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Highlights of a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

Advance Report of Final Marriage Statistics, 1989 and 1990

Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 43, No. 12, Supplement

For Release July 14, 1995

  • Provisional data show the marriage rate in the U.S. dropped to 9.0 marriages per 1,000 population in 1993, the lowest rate in 30 years. After peaking at 16.4 in 1946, the marriage rate fell dramatically over the next few decades, reaching a low of 8.5 in the period 1959-62. Between 1959-62 and 1980-82 the rate increased to 10.6 before beginning its current downward trend.
  • Final 1990 data show the Northeast has the lowest marriage rate (8.0) of any region, while the West (11.0) has the highest. The Middle Atlantic division of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania has the lowest rate (7.9) while the Mountain division of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada has the highest (18.1).
  • Pennsylvania has the lowest marriage rate of any State (7.1), while Nevada has the highest rate (99.0).
  • June continues to be the most popular month for marriage, with more than twice as many marriages (280,218) than the least popular month, January (117,310).
  • The rate of women and men marrying for the first time is approximately 40 percent lower than in 1970. Marriage rates for divorced or widowed people have had similar declines since 1970.
  • The average age of people marrying for the first time has increased over the past three decades. The average age of first-time brides was 25 in 1990, compared with an average age of 21 in 1964. For first-time grooms, the average age was 27 in 1990, compared with an average age of 24 in 1964.
  • The average age of divorced women who remarry is 37; for men the average age is just under 41.
  • Out of thirty-four States reporting information on race, 85 percent of marriages involved white couples, 11 percent involved black couples, 1 percent involved couples of other races, and 3 percent involved interracial couples. The marriage rate for white women was 76 percent higher than the rate for black women, while the rate for white men was 55 percent higher than the rate for black men.

For more information about this report, please contact NCHS Public Affairs Office at (301) 458-4800 or via e-mail at: paoquery@cdc.gov.

Advance Report of Final Marriage Statistics, 1989 and 1990. Vol. 43, No. 12 supplement. 24 pp. (PHS) 95-1120 [PDF - 201 KB]

 
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