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What marriage rates were the year you were born

1/
State Library of New South Wales // Flickr

What marriage rates were the year you were born

It may seem more people than ever are getting married. In 1967, interracial marriage was legalized at the federal level; in 2015, same-sex marriage achieved the same victory. If you’re a late-20s-something professional, the seven wedding invitations on your fridge certainly imply more marriages than ever are happening.

The data tells a different story.

Marriage rates in the United States are on the decline. They’ve actually been sinking for decades, although there’s been a slight plateau in the last few years as the marriage rate stagnates at 6.8%, the lowest in recorded history. Marriage used to be an inevitability, but increasingly attitudes towards marriage reflect skepticism about its longevity and relative importance. If nothing else, people are putting it off: Pew reports that 20% of 18-29 year olds were married in 2010, compared with 59% in 1960.

Youthful disdain is not married to matrimony. More young adults now return home after college and buy houses and cars later in life than their parents did. Financial instability could be a contributing factor: college is more expensive than ever, and many report feeling the job market is especially bleak. Another factor could be the increase in divorce rates in the last two decades of the 20th-century, meaning a large portion of traditional marrying age Americans have grown up in split households.

Diving deep into how marriage rates have trended over the years, Stacker compiled data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) gathered by Randal Olson, as well as national marriage and divorce rates from 2000-2016 and Statista data about the national marriage rates from 1990-2016. The marriage rate was taken by dividing the overall population of the United States in a specific year by the number of marriages that occurred that year.

So how much exactly have marriage rates changed over time? Read on to see the marriage rate in the year you were born, from 1920 to 2016.

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Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane // Flickr

1920

Population: 106,461,000

Number of Marriages: 1,274,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 12.0%

 

3/
John Oxley LIbrary, State Library of Queensland // Wikicommons

1921

Population: 108,538,000

Number of Marriages: 1,164,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.7%

4/
Storye book // Wikicommons

1922

Population: 110,049,000

Number of Marriages: 1,134,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.3%

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Underwood and Underwood, N. Y. // Wikicommons

1923

Population: 111,947,000

Number of Marriages: 1,230,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 11.0%

6/
State Library of New South Wales // Flickr

1924

Population: 114,109,000

Number of Marriages: 1,185,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.4%

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John Oxley LIbrary, State Library of Queensland // Wikicommons

1925

Population: 115,829,000

Number of Marriages: 1,188,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.3%

8/
Stanzman // Wikicommons

1926

Population: 117,397,000

Number of Marriages: 1,203,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.2%

9/
中华照相馆 // Wikicommons

1927

Population: 119,035,000

Number of Marriages: 1,201,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.1%

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Sam Hood // Wikicommons

1928

Population: 120,509,000

Number of Marriages: 1,182,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 9.8%

11/
John Boyd // Wikicommons

1929

Population: 121,878,000

Number of Marriages: 1,233,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.1%

12/
Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane // Flickr

1930

Population: 123,188,000

Number of Marriages: 1,127,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 9.1%

13/
Mark Humphrys // Wikicommons

1931

Population: 124,149,000

Number of Marriages: 1,061,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.5%

14/
Adományozó/Donor: Nagy Csilla. // Wikicommons

1932

Population: 124,949,000

Number of Marriages: 982,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 7.9%

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freeparking // Wikicommons

1933

Population: 125,690,000

Number of Marriages: 1,098,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.7%

 

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Sam Hood // Wikicommons

1934

Population: 126,485,000

Number of Marriages: 1,302,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.3%

17/
The Telegraph // Wikicommons

1935

Population: 127,362,000

Number of Marriages: 1,327,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.4%

18/
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikicommons

1936

Population: 128,181,000

Number of Marriages: 1,369,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.7%

19/
National Library of Australia // Wikicommons

1937

Population: 128,961,000

Number of Marriages: 1,451,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 11.3%

20/
Elzbieta Sekowska // Shutterstock

1938

Population: 129,969,000

Number of Marriages: 1,331,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.2%

21/
Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons // Wikicommons

1939


Population: 131,028,000

Number of Marriages: 1,404,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.7%

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State Library of Queensland, Australia // Wikicommons

1940

Population: 132,122,000

Number of Marriages: 1,596,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 12.1%

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Paul Townsend // Flickr

1941

Population: 133,402,000

Number of Marriages: 1,696,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 12.7%

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Wikicommons

1942

Population: 134,860,000

Number of Marriages: 1,772,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 13.1%

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Adományozó/Donor // Wikicommons

1943

Population: 136,739,000

Number of Marriages: 1,577,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 11.5%

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Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons // Wikicommons

1944

Population: 138,397,000

Number of Marriages: 1,452,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.5%

27/
Kiryat Ono Municipality // Wikicommons

1945

Population: 139,928,000

Number of Marriages: 1,613,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 11.5%

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Roman Nerud // Shutterstock

1946

Population: 141,389,000

Number of Marriages: 2,291,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 16.2%

29/
Department of the Interior. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rosebud Agency. // Wikicommons

1947

Population: 144,126,000

Number of Marriages: 1,992,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 13.8%

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simpleinsomnia // Flickr

1948

Population: 146,631,000

Number of Marriages: 1,811,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 12.4%

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Wikicommons

1949

Population: 149,188,000

Number of Marriages: 1,580,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.6%

32/
Alan Levine // Flickr

1950

Population: 151,684,000

Number of Marriages: 1,667,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 11.0%

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KUCO // Shutterstock

1951

Population: 154,287,000

Number of Marriages: 1,595,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 10.3%

34/
Wikipedia

1952

Population: 156,954,000

Number of Marriages: 1,539,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 9.8%

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trialsanderrors // Wikicommons

1953

Population: 159,565,000

Number of Marriages: 1,546,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 9.7%

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Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd // Wikicommons

1954

Population: 162,391,000

Number of Marriages: 1,490,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 9.2%

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Panagiotis Kourtesiotis // Wikicommons

1955

Population: 165,275,000

Number of Marriages: 1,531,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 9.3%

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Wikipedia

1956

Population: 168,221,000

Number of Marriages: 1,585,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 9.4%

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Smithsonian Institution // Flickr

1957

Population: 171,274,000

Number of Marriages: 1,518,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.9%

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Brzostowska // Shutterstock

1958

Population: 174,141,000

Number of Marriages: 1,451,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.3%

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Jonathan Smith // Wikicommons

1959

Population: 177,130,000

Number of Marriages: 1,494,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Tuloisela, Matti // Wikicommons

1960

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Aftonbladet // Wikicommons

1961

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Brzostowska // Shutterstock

1962

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Alexander Mokletsov // Wikicommons

1963

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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KUCO // Shutterstock

1964

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Elzbieta Sekowska // Shutterstock

1965

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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ABC Television // Wikicommons

1966

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Kaius Hedenström / Lehtikuva // Wikicommons

1967

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

50/
Wikipedia

1968

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Lyudmila2509 // Shutterstock

1969

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Lindsay Basson // Shutterstock

1970

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report // Wikicommons

1971

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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KUCO // Shutterstock

1972

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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KUCO // Shutterstock

1973

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Roman Nerud // Shutterstock

1974

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Bohdan Rodyuk Chekan // Wikicommons

1975

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Nantucket Historical Association // Wikicommons

1976

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Elzbieta Sekowska // Shutterstock

1977

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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tiffany terry // Flickr

1978

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Ion Chibzii // Wikicommons

1979

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Steven & Courtney Johnson // Flickr

1980

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Joe Haupt // Flickr

1981

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Tiếng Việt // Wikicommons

1982

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Scotch Mist // Wikicommons

1983

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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J Hansson // Wikicommons

1984

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Sarah Stewart // Wikicommons

1985

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter // Flickr

1986

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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bruce frick // Flickr

1987

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Roman Nerud // Shutterstock

1988

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Ranveig // Wikicommons

1989

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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GeorgeLouis // Wikicommons

1990

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Joint Base San Antonio

1991

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Joachim Specht // Wikicommons

1992

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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TriStar Pictures

1993

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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MGM pictures

1994

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

77/
Universal Pictures

1995

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Roger W // Flickr

1996

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

79/
Eden, Janine and Jim // Flickr

1997

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Cinema Vehicle Services

1998

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Herry Lawford // Flickr

1999

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

82/
Twentieth Century Fox

2000

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Joe Haupt // Flickr

2001

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Kelly Sue DeConnick // Flickr

2002

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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David Ball // Wikicommons

2003

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Orientalist1979 // Wikicommons

2004

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Marc van der Chijs // Flickr

2005

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Iweta and Vasik Rajlich // Wikicommons

2006

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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H3yjt // Wikicommons

2007

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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George W. Bush White House

2008

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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United States Navy // Wikicommons

2009

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Prolineserve // Wikicommons

2010

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Dutourdumonde Photography // Shutterstock

2011

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Denis Probst // Wikicommons

2012

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Nek Vardikos // Wikicommons

2013

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Victor Grigas // Wikicommons

2014

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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Giordano Benacci // Wikicommons

2015

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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KUCO // Shutterstock

2016

Population: 180,760,000

Number of Marriages: 1,523,000

Marriage rate per 1000 total population: 8.4%

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