Statistics on marriage and divorce are of great interest to federal, state, and local public officials, researchers, the business sector, the media, and members of the general public. They want to know how many people are married or divorced, what the marriage and divorce rates are, and the trends over time. A major reason for this interest is that marriage and divorce numbers are considered to be key social indicators of personal, child and societal wellbeing. Also there are numerous benefits, rights and privileges contingent on marital status. While there is great interest in this information, the quality, availability, reliability, usability and completeness of marriage and divorce statistics has been lacking in a number of jurisdictions. At times, the limitations of the data have impacted stakeholders' ability to accurately examine marriage and divorce trends and appropriately shape programs and policies related to family formation.
NHMRC Collection by Topic
The Marriage and Divorce Related Statistics Collection by Topic is an annotated listing of published resources that describe and assess the state of marriage and divorce- related information. Collectively these resources address why it is important to accurately count marriages and divorces, clarify some of the confusion about what the statistics mean, identify the different sources of this data and associated strengths and limitations, and provide recommendations on how to improve the data.
NHMRC Fact Sheets and Research Briefs
The NHMRC has published a number of data sheets on various topics. You can also search our site at the upper right of the page to find information about a specific topic you are interested in.
- Covenant Marriage: A Fact Sheet
- Infertility: A Fact Sheet
- Interpreting Divorce Rates, Marriage Rates, and Data on the Percentage of Children with Single ParentsInterracial Marriage and Relationships: A Fact Sheet
- Living Arrangements of Children in the United States over Time
- Marriage and Divorce in the National Guard and Reserves: A Fact Sheet
- Remarriage Trends in the United States: A Fact Sheet
- Stepfamilies in the United States: A Fact Sheet
- Trends in Marriage Rates
- Trends in Median Age at First Marriage
- Trends in Nonmarital Birth Rates
- Where Do "Domestic Violence" Statistics Come From and Why Do They Vary So Much?
The links below are to summaries of key trends published by federal statistical agencies or other organizations.
- American Marriage in the Early Twenty-First Century
- Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States
- Divorce rates by State: 1990, 1995, and 1999-2009
- Estimated Median Age at First Marriage, by Sex: 1890 to the Present
- Facts and Findings from The Gay and Lesbian Atlas
- In US, Proportion Married at Lowest Recorded Levels
- Marriage and Divorce: A Fifty State Tour
- Marriage and Divorce – CDC Fast Stats
- Marriage and Cohabitation in the United States: A Statistical Portrait Based on Cycle 6 (2002) of the National Survey of Family Growth
- Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
- Marriage rates by State: 1990, 1995, and 1999-2009
- Remarriage Trends in the United States
- Step-Families in the United States
- Who Marries and When? Age at First Marriage in the United States: 2002
Summaries and information about national, state, and local studies: