2 maps show how marriage has changed in America during the last 35 years

It’s pretty common knowledge that Americans are less inclined to get married nowadays.

But it’s interesting to look at how that trend has changed over the years across the country.

So we looked at how marriage rates have changed in the last few decades across the country from 1980 to 2015 using the Minnesota Population Center’s Current Population Survey Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

First up, the proportion of adults between 25 and 54 years old in every state who were married in March 2015:

The two states with the highest marriage rates today are Utah at 70.9% and Idaho at 70.0%, both of which stood out compared to the rest of the states. Meanwhile, the two states with the lowest marriage rates were Louisiana at 50.6% and New York at 51.9%. (Although, overall, D.C. had the lowest rate.)

Next up, 1980.

Back then, Idaho at 84.1% and Iowa at 83.4% saw the highest marriage rates, and there was a handful of other states with similar rates. Meanwhile, the two states with the lowest rates were California at 69.1% and Hawaii at 70.0%. (Although, again, D.C. saw the lowest rate overall.)

There are two interesting things about these maps. First, the rates were much higher 35 years ago than they are today for every single state. In fact, the differences were so stark that we had to use two different colour scales for the maps — otherwise the 1980 map would be completely dark or the 2015 would be completely light.

And second, the lowest rates in 1980 are approximately the same as the highest rates in 2015 — which is quite a stark change.

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