Marriage in the U.S.
The number of married couples in the United States totaled some 60.8 million pairs in 2017, an increase from past decades, such as the 45.47 million couples in 1970. Although the number of married couples has increased, this may just be a reflection of the growth in the U.S. population. The rate of marriage has decreased from 9.8 per 1,000 of the population in 1990 to 6.9 per 1,000 of the population in 2016. Nevada has one of the highest marriage rates in the country at 28.4 marriages per 1,000 people as of 2016 while Illinois had one of the lowest rates in the country with 5.4 marriages per 1,000 population.
Similarly to the decrease in marriage rates, divorce rates have also declined in the U.S. reaching 3.2 divorces per 1,000 population in 2016. Marriage rates are expected to continue its decline as the millennial generation is less likely to get married than previous generations. Some have stated that higher number of unskilled men, lack of belief in lasting marriages, and a decrease in religious affiliations are all contributing to a decline in married couples.
In May 2017, same-sex marriage became legal nationwide under the Supreme Court which ruled that state-level bans on same-sex marriages were unconstitutional. The percentage of Americans who believe that same-sex relationships should be legal has increased from 59 percent in 2007 to 72 percent in 2017.