May 30, 2023 - News

Utah's marriage rate is No. 1 in the nation

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Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Utah has the smallest share of cohabiting unmarried couples in the United States, a new report shows.

By the numbers: Of the 672,000 Utah couples who live together, just 8% are unmarried — by far the lowest in the nation, according to Census figures released last week.

  • Utah also didn't have a lot of single adults, the 2020 counts showed. Of all 1.1 million Utah households, 63% include couples — the highest of any state.

The intrigue: The share of opposite-sex couples who are married — 92% — is higher than the 60% of same-sex couples who are married.

  • Of note: Same-sex marriage has been legal in Utah for less than a decade.

Context: Marriage is strongly encouraged by Utah's dominant faith group, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Idaho, whose population has the second-highest concentration of church members, also had the second-highest share of households with couples versus single adults: 61%, to Utah's 64%.

The latest: In a recent speech, church apostle Dallin Oaks warned single adults not to put off marriage and children, even if they think they can't afford to start a family.

Yes, but: The church forbids same-sex marriage — and Utah had a relatively high rate of same-sex marriage.

  • 60% of cohabiting gay couples are married, No. 11 in the nation.
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