The percentage of Americans over the age of 18 who are married has dropped from 57% in 2000 to 51% in 2011, according to a report published by Pew Research Center. If this trend continues married people will soon be in the minority.
To fully understand the state of marriage in the U.S., 24/7 Wall St. examined marriage data on a state level. Other than divorce, one of the greatest differences in marriage trends by state is the average age of marriage. 24/7 Wall St. has examined data from the Pew Research Center for the 50 states to identify where people marry the youngest and where they marry the oldest.
There are a number of preconceived notions about why people marry young. Some of these are true and some are not.
States where residents get married early tend to be poor. These states have very low median household incomes and high poverty rates. The five states where people marry youngest include Oklahoma and Arkansas — two of the worst off states. The states in which people wait the longest to get married include some of the richest states, including Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
It is also often assumed that people who marry at younger ages are less educated. 24/7 research shows that this is not true. High school graduation rates vary greatly among the states where people marry young and old. Wyoming, where people marry young, has the highest high school graduation rate in the country. Rhode Island, where people marry old, has the 10th-lowest graduation rate.
The states where people tie the knot at a younger age also have higher rates of population growth. While states like Rhode Island and New York, where people wait a bit longer for marriage, have particularly low population growth rates.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed Census data to identify the states where people marry young and old. All other data is from the Census Bureau and Pew Research Center.
These are the states where people marry the youngest and oldest.