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HomeUS NewsAmid declining marriage rates, these states remain wedding hotspots

Amid declining marriage rates, these states remain wedding hotspots

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It’s Valentine’s Day, an occasion ripe for contemplating the big move from romance to lifetime commitment. 

If your journey takes you to the altar, you won’t be alone in getting there. Official data for 2022 aren’t out yet, but the market research company Wedding Report said new marriages hit a recent high last year as ceremonies postponed by the pandemic finally came together.

This year is expected to be strong as well, although there may be some factors holding couples back.

Wedding counts for 2023 “should be closer to normal,” said Shane McMurray, the CEO of Wedding Report. But McMurray also said inflation, a cooling economy and “wedding burnout” from the big 2022 big season may reduce guest counts this year or force some delays.

Faith Anne Heeren, 25, and her husband, David Heeren, during their wedding in December 2022.

What do we know so far about post-pandemic trends in marriage around the country? 

The latest data on new marriages available from the National Center for Health Statistics, for 2021, give us a hint at how things are playing out.

What did lockdown do to marriage rates?

The federal center for health statistics computes the marriage rate based on the number of marriage certificates completed in each year.

The 2020 national marriage rate fell to 5.1 per 1,000 people, its lowest level in 121 years.

Rodney and Monica Cosby exchange rings May 19, 2020 in Anaheim, California. The Orange County Clerk-Recorder opened a pop-up, socially distanced marriage booth in the parking lot of the city's Honda Center, home to the Anaheim Ducks.

Have weddings bounced back post-pandemic?

By 2021, new marriages had nearly returned to their pre-pandemic level. Every state except North Dakota experienced increases in marriage rates in 2021. The national rate was 6.0 per 1,000 people, just shy of where it was in 2019.

In raw numbers, that’s a lot of people. About 2 million couples got hitched in 2021, or 300,000 more than the year before.

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