Marriage rate returns to pre-pandemic high: CDC

The marriage rate in 2022 returned to pre-pandemic highs, new government data show, after a year of pandemic lockdowns put many engagements on hold temporarily.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a unit of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 2,065,905 marriages in total in 2022 — the first time the total surpassed 2 million since 2019, when the total number of marriages was 2,015,603.

The rate similarly increased in 2022, at 6.2 per 1,000 population. That’s the highest level since 2018, when the marriage rate was 6.5 per 1,000.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 correlated with a decline in marriages. In 2020, the total number of marriages dropped to 1,676,911 — from a rate of 6.1 in 2019 to a rate of 5.1 in 2020.

In 2021, the number of marriages increased slightly to 1,985,072 — a rate increase from 5.1 in 2020 to 6.0 in 2021.

While the marriage levels appeared to have returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, the last two decades have seen a downward trend for marriage rates. In 2000, there were approximately 2,315,000 marriages, with a nationwide population of about 50 million fewer people. The marriage rate at that time was 8.2 per 1,000 population.

The divorce and annulment rate has slowly been declining for the last two decades, and 2022 seemed to continue that trend. In 2020, the divorce rate dipped from 2.7 in 2019 to 2.3 in 2020. It bounced back, however, to 2.5 in 2021 and saw a steady decrease once again, to 2.4 per 1,000 population in 2022.

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