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Only 1 in 8 Americans believe in marriage, Utah bucks the trend

May 18, 2022, 12:59 PM | Updated: 1:14 pm
Tanner Holt used a swather to cut "Will you marry me?" into a large hayfield at his family's ranch ...
Tanner Holt used a swather to cut "Will you marry me?" into a large hayfield at his family's ranch in Enterprise. Photo credit: Justin McArthur

According to a recent poll, only one out of eight American adults believes in marriage.  The poll also showed fewer young adults believe in marriage, reporting only one in five. Marriage rates overall among Americans declined by 45% since 2009.

In 2020, there were 1.7 million weddings in the United States, a 17% decrease from 2019 and the fewest recorded since 1963. Forty-six states reported declines in marriage rates in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.

However, Utah is among the four states where marriage rates went up. According to the CDC, Montana, Texas, and Alabama reported an increase in marriage rates as well. 

Utah’s marriage stats

Over the past 30 years, marriage rates in Utah had much higher rates than the U.S. overall, but the gap has narrowed. While Idaho, Utah and Wyoming report the highest percentages of people who have been married; the percentage of people who are married, divorced or have never been married rarely varies by more than ten percentage points from state to state.

In Utah, 31% of Utahns have never married. 55% are married, and 9% are divorced. In Utah, the marriage rate decreased by 60% since 2009, 15% more than the national average. The Utah divorce rate decreased by 13%, less than the national average decline of 21%.

Roughly half of the American adults are married. A much smaller number say they are living with someone, divorced, separated or widowed. The percentage of married couples among religious groups is much higher.

In fact, a recent Pew Research study found that more members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were married than any other religion they surveyed, coming in at 66%. The next highest married groups were 64% of Presbyterians and United Church of Christ members, 62% of Evangelical Lutherans, 61% of Methodists and Anglicans, and 60% of Southern Baptists and Hindus. 

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Only 1 in 8 Americans believe in marriage, Utah bucks the trend