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The Best States for Happily Ever After

We’ve all heard the same fairy tales all our lives. The prince meets the princess, they fall in love, they get married, and live happily ever after. While there are usually fewer talking animals and fairy godmothers, everyday people are trying to live their own version of happily ever after through marriage. Of course, unlike the fairy tales, sometimes happily ever after isn’t quite so straightforward.

Our research examines the best states for marriage based on the number of people tying the knot, divorce rates, and marriage longevity according to the US Census Bureau. Our results are compiled below:

Average Duration of Marriage

The first factor we looked at was how long marriages tend to last in each state. Based on the average duration of marriage, Maine and West Virginia tied for the best states for marriage. Marriages in those two states last an average of over 22 years. On the other end of the spectrum, the nation’s capital had the shortest average marriage duration. Marriages in Washington D.C. lasted an average of just over 10 years, less than half the average for the best states in the nation.

Average Duration of Marriage in Years

Divorces per Capita

Once those marriages are decidedly over, divorce is the next step. Divorce rates per capita was the second data set we looked at, and according to the US Census Bureau, Nevada had the highest rate of divorce per capita. Meanwhile, Louisiana and Illinois tied for lowest divorce rates throughout the nation.

People Getting Divorced Per Capita - Based on US Census Data

People Getting Married per Capita

Next, we researched marriage rates per capita to see if the same states with the highest divorce rates also had the highest marriage rates. As it turns out, there is no correlation! Rhode Island had the lowest marriage rate per capita, and Wyoming had the highest marriage rate per capita, at over twice the rate of Rhode Island!

People Getting Married Per Capita - Based on US Census Data

Average Age for First Marriage

The average age for people to get married has gone up a few years over the course of recent decades, but most states still average in the 20s. Utah had the lowest average age for people getting married for the first time at just over 25. Meanwhile, Washington D.C. had the highest average rate at a little over 30, followed closely by Massachusetts and New York.

Average Age for First Marriages Based on US Census Data

Marriage Trends

If you’re wondering how your state does rates for “happily ever after”, you can take a look at the marriage rate, divorce rate, and average duration of marriage for your state below:

Marriage Trends Based on US Census Data


Whether you’re happily married, recently divorced, or still waiting for that happily ever after, there is a good chance your next move is on the horizon. As you merge your lives and your belongings, our team has the resources to ease the transition and make your move easier. Read up on our expert moving tips or check out our locations if you’re considering storage to ease your transition.

About the Author

Ryan DiMillo

Ryan DiMillo

Ryan DiMillo has led the digital marketing team at Life Storage for the past four years. Prior to this, he spent eight years working at a local ad agency, as Director of Information Technology, and later, as Vice President of Operations. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree from The State University of New York at Geneseo.

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