Home > What is the Average Marriage Length by State? Here’s Everything to Know

What is the Average Marriage Length by State? Here’s Everything to Know

If you are wondering what the average marriage length is state by state, this ultimate guide has got you covered. It runs through what you need to know, and takes a look at how long marriages last outside the country in regions such as Europe and Asia.

While at it, we have touched on some additional related information, such as the divorce rate in the United States, how it has changed throughout the years, and what the marriage rate in the country is like as well.

Read ahead to find out more about the topic.

What is the Average Marriage Length by State?

Research has shown that couples in West Virginia and Maine tend to stay married for the longest time, and stay together for around 22.3 years. On the flip side, Washington has the shortest average length – marriages here usually only last 10 years.

South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin also have quite high averages. It is 21.2, 21.3, 22.0, and 22.3 years for them respectively. Along with Washington, Alaska and Nevada have lower marriage lengths compared to the rest of the country. It is 16 and 17.2 years for them respectively.

In the United States as a whole, the average marriage length is 19.9 years. Here’s some additional information that you may like: Quite a few married couples in the states have moved to Hawaii. Data shows that 57% of couples do this, which is much higher than any other place in the country.


What is the Divorce Rate in America?

According to the CDC, the divorce rate was 2.3 percent per 1,000 for 2020. This equals to around 630,000 divorce cases in the US that year. Although this number may seem large, the truth is that the divorce rate has significantly reduced compared to how high it was in the 70s and 80s.

It was 3.5 percent per 1,000 in 1970, and 5.1 percent per 1,000 by the end of the decade. From 5.1 percent, the rate declined to 2 percent in 1990, and then gradually moved to the 2.3 percent that was mentioned in 2020.

There are many reasons why divorce rates have reduced – some couples may decide to try to make amends and make things work. It’s also because more people go to therapy and try the different resources that are now available to fix their marriages.

What is the Divorce Rate in The World?

As we touched on the divorce rate in the United States, it is only right that we take a look at it internationally. First, let’s talk about Europe. The rate drastically depends on which part of Europe that you look at. However, Russia, Ukraine, Spain and Portugal have the highest numbers in the region.

Russia has 65.7 divorces per 100 marriages, Ukraine has 67.4 divorces per 100 marriages, Spain has 57.5 divorces per 100 marriages, and Portugal has 58.7 divorces per 100 marriages. Malta is known for having the least number of divorces in Europe. From a population of 1000, only 0.8 percent of married couples decide to end things here.

Meanwhile in Asia, China and Japan have the highest number of divorces. Just to give you an idea, there are annually over 1.2 million divorces from China, and around 250,000 from Japan too. In turn, Sri Lanka is known to have the lowest number of divorces in the world, coming in at around 0.15 percent per 1000 people.

Of course, we have to talk about Canada too. It has a pretty low rate, as only 2.1 percent out of 1000 marriages end up in divorce.

What is the Biggest Cause of Divorce?

The answer depends on which part of the world you’re looking at. But a lot of the time, conflict is the biggest cause. Couples may fight a lot as they just don’t have the connection that they had anymore, which could be due to drastically different work schedules and other differences that they can’t resolve.

Also, a lack of commitment results in divorce. One of the two even may have committed adultery as a result. And of course, lack of physical intimacy is another major cause. This could be due to the couple being too busy to be intimate, or a lack of sexual relations, as the couple doesn’t find each other attractive anymore. This could be due to hurt or tension caused by arguments and disagreements.

Money also tends to be a major factor which leads to a break up. Usually, the woman may leave the man if they have to deal with poor finances as the man is the breadwinner of the family. If one partner tends to overspend, this may have a negative effect on the couple’s finances in the long term.


What is the Marriage Rate in the United States?

The marriage rate has declined throughout the years. In 1990, it was 9.9 percent per 1000 people in the population. However, it fell to 7.5 percent in 2005, 6.1 percent in 2019, and more recently, 5.1 percent in 2020.

The fall in marriage rate could be due to a number of reasons, but the main one would be that more people realize that getting married is not the ultimate goal in life anymore. Plus, couples have become more comfortable being in a relationship than committing to tying the knot.

How Can You Make a Marriage Work?

There are a number of ways that you can make a marriage work, and they include the following.

1.      Communication is Key

Probably the best way to keep your marriage going is by always communicating how you feel to your partner. You and your partner would be able to talk things out and avoid unnecessary arguments. You also would be able to avoid doing anything that would make them unhappy.

2.      Make Time for Your Significant Other

You can keep your relationship happy and going by always making time for your spouse.  You don’t have to worry about the flame that you two have ever dying out.

3.      Build Trust

Remember to also build the trust in your relationship. You would be able to spend time away from your partner without worrying about them cheating. And this would be true vice versa too.

4.      Learn to Forgive

If you have been married for years, then there is a chance that your partner has hurt you a couple of times. To have a successful marriage, you need to learn to learn to forgive and let go. If this something that you struggle with, a counsellor can help. I advise you to take your partner with you as you would be able to talk about your feelings and resolve things.

5.      Make Some Personal Time

In line with you two should not spend more time together, remember that it is also important that you make some personal time for yourself. You need time to be your own person without living in your partner’s shadow.

6.      Be Thankful for Your Significant Other

Last but not least, show your spouse that you are thankful for them. You don’t have to go out of your way to do this, as simply just telling them how much they mean to you will suffice.

How Do You Know if Your Marriage is Headed to Divorce?

If you’re unhappy and are wondering whether your marriage should last, this section has got you covered. It touches on a couple of tell-tell signs that mean you should end things.

Let’s talk about them.

You’re Unhappy

Definitely consider ending things if you’re unhappy in your marriage. There is no reason for you to waste your time and energy with your partner when you can find love again. Yes, filing for divorce would be a bold move if you’re the only one that’s unhappy, as your partner may still be in love with you.

But there’s nothing you can do if even counseling and communication have not worked. You should also consider filing for divorce if you are in a situation where your partner is unhappy too. This is especially true if the two of you don’t have kids, as ending things will become substantially easier.

Your Instincts are Kicking In

If your instincts are telling you that it’s time to end the marriage, you probably should listen to them. Talk with friends and family about how you are feeling. They may reassure you and tell you that you and your significant other are not right for each other.

It is a Toxic Relationship

There is no reason for you to stay in a relationship with someone that is toxic or abusive. Things can end badly, with you even getting hurt. If you are toxic when you’re around each other, this does not necessarily mean that you physically hurt each other. Instead, it could mean that you are emotionally and mentally abusive.

Everything is Hard

Of course, it would be time to end your marriage if you find maintaining it too hard. It doesn’t have to be full of unhappiness, but the two of you may just have very different schedules so trying to make things work is not feasible.

How Do You File for Divorce?

If you are planning on filing for divorce, you will find this section useful. It runs through all the best tips and tricks around.

Let’s get to it.


Find & Hire a Good Lawyer

The first thing that you need to do is find a good lawyer. Divorces can get pretty messy, especially if there are kids and property involved. You would need someone that will ensure that you get custody of the kids, as well as a share of whatever wealth you and your partner may have.

Think About Your Kids

If you have children, you definitely need to keep in mind how the divorce would affect them. You should sit down with them with your partner and explain that the two of you are parting ways. Try and emphasize how this would be for the better. Be sure to keep things amicable to make it easier for them too.

Save Enough Money (At Least 3 Months’ Worth)

Make sure that you have enough cash after you file for divorce. If you are financially dependent on your partner, they would probably cut you off right after you file the papers. You need to make sure that you have enough cash saved up to survive in case this happens. I would recommend that you save for at least 3 months beforehand.

Have a Safety Plan for You & the Kids

If there is a history of domestic violence, you need a safety plan to keep yourself and your little ones safe. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, as leaving your partner may push them off the edge.

Surround Yourself with Your Loved Ones

Going through a divorce is definitely one of the hardest things you could experience. I advise you to surround yourself with friends and family during this period.

Get Separated First

Also, you don’t have to file for divorce immediately. The shift will probably be difficult for both you and your spouse, so I would recommend that you be separated for a while first. This will let you test the waters and decide whether getting a divorce would in fact be a good idea.

In case you have kids, this would be a good route to take, as you would ease them into the idea of you and spouse being divorced.

Final Thoughts

As discussed, the average rate of marriage differs quite a bit per state. West Virginia and Maine tend to have the highest average rates, coming in at around 22.3 years. On the other hand, Washington has the lowest marriage length, at 10 years. We also took a look at some related information, like what the divorce rate in the United States is like – how it has changed throughout the years, and the marriage rate across the country.

Hopefully you found all the points discussed useful.