Although marriage patterns in the United States have changed considerably over the past half-century, when placed within a larger global context there is still evidence that Americans value marriage. Compared with other industrialized countries, Americans have higher marriage rates and marry somewhat earlier. Marital disruption is higher in the United States compared with European nations. We see a pattern of marriage, divorce, and remarriage, or “marriage-go-round.” This pattern in the United States, along with various opportunities and challenges remarriages present, has important implications for those involved.
– Jamie M. Lewis and Rose M. Kreider, U.S. census Bureau, “Remarriage in the United States”
Among U.S. individuals ages 15 and over, two-thirds (67%) have been married at least once. The proportion of individuals ever married ranges from a low of 44% in the District of Columbia (much lower than the 62% ever married in New York, the second lowest state rate) to a high of 74% in Idaho. With 68% of individuals 15+ ever married, North Carolina is similar to the national average.
Compared to the nation, a slightly higher proportion of North Carolina residents have been married two or more times (27% vs. 25%). Twenty-one percent of ever married North Carolinians have been married twice compared to 19% nationally. And 5.8% have had three or more marriages versus 5.3% nationally. Among the states, New Jersey has the highest proportion of ever married individuals with only one marriage (84%) while Arkansas has the lowest (65%).