Love is in the Air: Marriages Rebound in 2021

Posted on by Brian Tsai

Hands with WedThe number of marriages in 2020 was the lowest recorded in the United States since 19631, as many couples had to delay weddings due to the pandemic. However, in 20212 there was a rebound as both the number and rate of marriages were up 18% compared with 2020. The increase in the number and rate of marriages was the biggest year-to-year increase since the end of World War II1.

The number of marriages increased from 1,676,911 in 2020 to 1,985,072 in 2021, and the rate increased from 5.1 marriages per 1,000 to 6.0.  Despite these increases, the 2021 number and rate were both still 2% lower than in 2019, another year in which marriage rates continued the decline they began in 20161.


The marriage rate increased from 2020 to 2021 in 49 states and the District of Columbia3. North Dakota was the only state in which the marriage rate decreased in 2021.

States with the largest percentage increases in 2021 were: New Mexico (74%), Hawaii (73%), California (63%), Rhode Island (29%), and Kentucky (28%). All states had statistically significant changes except for two: Idaho and North Dakota, where changes were less than 2%.

Nevada continued to have the highest marriage rate in the United States in 2021– the rate increased 25% in that state from 2020.

The 5 states with the highest marriage rates in 2021 were:

  1. Nevada (26.2)
  2. Hawaii (12.8)
  3. Montana (11.0)
  4. Utah (9.1)
  5. Arkansas (8.2)

Rates reflect the location where the marriage occurred and does not necessarily reflect place of residence.

¹ CDC/NCHS Vital Statistics System,

2 CDC/NCHS Vital Statistics System,

³ CDC/NCHS Vital Statistics System,

Posted on by Brian TsaiTags
Page last reviewed: February 14, 2023
Page last updated: February 14, 2023