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80 Surprising Marriage Facts and Statistics

Sophie Simons
January 21, 2024

Marriage is a beautiful thing, depending on whom you ask. Some people regard it as one of life’s most important milestones, while others can’t be bothered. Some things have changed as far as weddings and marriages go over time, but the institution retains its importance in society. Here are some interesting facts. 

Marriage Facts and Statistics You Should Know

  1. If you are a spendthrift, you might have better marital success marrying someone with a similar financial outlook. (Source: Live Science)
  2. If your partner is neurotic - prone to lean on negativity all the time even when they do not plan it - sex could improve their personality. (Source: Live Science)
  3. The average adult falls in love at least seven times before marriage. Most people don't give up love until they finally find the one. (Source: eHarmony)
  4. Age is just a number when it comes to love and marriage, and senior citizens have been proving this repeatedly. 65 and older people are more likely than their younger counterparts to remarry. (Source: Pew Research Center)
  5. At least 54% of married couples are happy with their relationships and are optimistic about the future with their spouses as opposed to those cohabiting. (Source: Pew Research)
  6. Married couples are happier with how the seemingly small things work in the house - like shared chores - than their cohabiting counterparts. (Source: Pew Research)
  7. Two-thirds of married couples trust their partners always to have their back. They feel confident their partners will act in their best interest. (Source: Pew Research Centre)
  8. There is something to be said about marrying your best friend, it seems. 8 in 10 people polled said their partners were the closest people they had in their lives. (Source: Pew Research)
  9. Most married and cohabiting couples say their families treat their partners like family. (Source: Pew Research
  10. Women feel they take responsibility for most of the tasks that make their homes cozy and functional, while men, when polled, said they contributed equally. (Source: Pew Research)
  11. It is more likely to meet someone who has cohabited than married. The survey covered adults between 18 and 44. Most marriages in the US start with cohabitation before the parties legally commit to living together. (Source: Pew Research)
  12. Globally, the number of people getting married has declined since the 60s for various reasons. (Source: Our World in Data)
  13. Marriage is still an important milestone for most people, but the views on cohabitation have changed, with 7 out of 10 people being okay with it even if it doesn't lead to marriage. (Source: Pew Research Centre)
  14. Senior citizens value marriage and feel that society is better off when people marry instead of cohabiting. The younger generation - 18-29 - are okay with either. (Source: Pew Research)
  15.  Do married couples parent? 6 in 10 polled felt marriage was a rich ground for parenting but not always necessary unless people were happy to be together. (Source: Pew Research)
  16. Thinking in ‘us,’ ‘our,’ and ‘we’ could serve you better during fights and other times. Polled married couples reportedly faired better when they used these magic words than when they thought in singularity. (Soirce: Live Science)
  17. A 2013 survey showed at least 88% of married couples were in it for love and strongly believed the love they shared helped them stay together. (Source: Pew Research)
  18. A little negativity is almost normal, but a study showed your spouse only becomes more annoying after marriage. (Source: Live Science)
  19. Instead of walking on eggshells when dealing with an easy-to-annoy partner, experts in a study suggest being tough to let them know when and if they annoy you. Constantly pointing out their behavior helps them change and makes marriage happier for all involved. (Source: Live Science)
  20. If you were scared of the future, a study of 6000 couples found out that love can last in couples married for longer than two decades. A good deal of work will be involved, but it will be worthwhile. (Source: Live Science)
  21.  Men seem more sensitive to their wives if they are way more physically attractive than they (the men), while wives prioritize security (emotional and financial) over physical looks. (Source: Live Science)
  22. Remarriage is quite common these days, with 1 in four new marriages being between people who have been in the institution before. Safe to say breakups do not make people stop believing in marriage. (Source: Pew Research)
  23. Intermarriages have been steadily rising, with one in six new marriages being between adults of different ethnicities. (Source: Pew Research)
  24. Sentiments on same-sex marriages have been changing, with 62% of Americans polling positively on legalization. This includes groups that were previously skeptical. (Source: Pew Research)
  25. Does religion matter among spouses? 7 in 10 Americans who married after 2010 are reportedly of different religious groups from their partners, and they say it hasn’t affected their marriages. (Source: Pew Research)
  26. Couples that fight together stay together. Marriages will likely be more successful if partners talk and argue over things rather than sweep them under the rug. (Source: Guardian)
  27. A poll of 1010 households earning $50,000 and above was conducted to determine their most common fights, and the biggest issue was finances. Couples disagreed on spending more than anything else. (Source: Huffington Post)
  28. West Bank and Gaza had the leading rates for marriage in 2018, with ten marriages for every 1000 people. (Source: Statista)
  29. You will likely be in better general health if you are married. (Source: NIH)
  30. Married people take the toll of life off each other, leading to better emotional and psychological health when compared to their unmarried counterparts. (Source: NIH)
  31. Would you believe married folks have more sex than their single counterparts? Proximity leads to more intimacy, according to a study. (Source: NIH)
  32. Some states in the US give married couples federal tax breaks that may not be available to single people. (Source: Investopedia)
  33. Married and partnered adults are doing better than their married counterparts on various grounds. (Source: Pew Research)
  34. The median age for marriage has been rising since the 60s for various reasons and is currently at 27 for women and 29 for men. (Source: Business Insider)
  35. You may set yourself up for a successful marriage if you get married in your late twenties to mid-thirties. People in this age group are more grounded, know what they want, and are more concerned with long-term fulfillment than instant gratification and infatuation. (Source: Brides)
  36. Couples who regulate their emotions find more satisfaction in their marriage than those who cannot. Those polled mentioned angry spats during conflicts that lead to hurtful words. If these are regulated, couples rerive more joy from their union. (Source: NIH)
  37. There’s something to be said for being friends before getting married. Marriages built on understanding and the knowledge of the other have better chances of success than those founded on passion. ( (Source: BC Campus)
  38. How easily and often you can forgive could impact the longevity of your marriage. If you let go quickly, you benefit from stability and more happiness than the partner who holds on to the smallest things. (Source: NIH)
  39. Utah and Alaska had the highest marriage rates in the US in 2021. (Source: US Census Bureau)
  40. The vast majority see a man as the primary provider in the family and opine a marriage lasts longer or is happier when he is financially capable. (Source: Pew Research)
  41. Partners who find their own sources of happiness are more fulfilled in marriage and relationships. As much as couples need to spend time together, finding things to do individually could lead to better connection and happiness. (Source: The Wedding Chaplain)
  42. About 75% of marriages that start as affairs do not last longer than five years. (Source: Leandie Buys)
  43. Heard of the marriage premium, where married people earn 20-30% more than their single counterparts? It could result from better reviews and promotions driven by heightened responsibility, leading one to become more effective at work. (Source: SNU Business School)
  44. You will likely be happier in your marriage if you were already happy before. While marriage was seen in a 15-year-long study to increase happiness levels marginally, the couples were already satisfied with their lives before. (Source: APA)
  45. Approximately 253,112 marriages were conducted in the UK in 2019. (Source: Statista)
  46. Saturday is the most popular day for weddings in England and Wales, followed closely by Friday. (Source: Statista)
  47. Did you know the order in which you and your spouse were born could determine the success or failure of your marriage? A study shows the worst pairing is between children of the same order - two firstborns, two lastborns, and two only children. Two middle children are likely to be poor communicators as they tend to avoid conflict naturally, making an imperfect pairing, too. The best pairing could be between the oldest brother and youngest sister. (Source: McKendree Edu)
  48. Couples that tie the knot after dating for 2-3 years have better success rates. This could be because they learn quite a lot about each other before committing to a long-term union.  (Source: Brides)
  49. The cost of doing a wedding keeps rising even as the guest list shrinks. (Source: PR Newswire)
  50. 30-40% of happily married couples reportedly sleep in different rooms or beds for higher quality sleep. (Source: CBC News)
  51. A 1993 study that explored intimacy among couples that have been married for over a decade found that at least 16% of the polled were in sexless marriages for various reasons, including boredom, asexuality, and religious practice. It is estimated that today, 2-10% of marriages could be sexless. (Source: T&F Online)
  52. Statistics on the longevity of marriage can be daunting, but studies have shown couples who seek pre-marital counseling have better chances of success. Source: NIH)
  53. The world took its time warming up to same-sex marriages, and it was the Netherlands that took the first stab at it. Today, over 30 jurisdictions recognize and legalize these marriages. Denmark legalized registered same-sex partnerships that bestowed on the partners the perks of marriage earlier in 1989. (Source: Pew Research)
  54. Marriages have better chances of success if partners are at least in their mid to late twenties. They might fall apart sooner if they are younger. (Source: NIH)
  55. The legal age in most parts of the world is 18, but studies show at least 650 million women all over the world got married off before this age. (Source: Word Vision)
  56. Over 4,000 years ago, women had little say in how they were wed. The idea of marriage was not bound to romantic love but the need to ensure continuity in lineages and prevent women from bearing children with more than one man. (Source: The Week)
  57. Did you know at least 55% of today's marriages are arranged? Most of these are in India, but even other parts of the world still practice it. Surprisingly, arranged marriages last longer than most when couples choose each other. (Source: GitNux)
  58. Monogamous unions were not a thing until the 9th century after a long battle between the Catholic Church and the ancient order. Before that, men could marry as many women as they wished. (Source: Live Science)
  59. Marriage between second cousins is still accepted in several parts of the world. (Source: Live Science)
  60. In the 1700s, couples needed to have a civil wedding before a church ceremony, but today, a church ceremony is enough, which is why couples need licenses to get married. They get to sign their certificate during the event. (Source: The Tablet)
  61. Heterosexual marriage rates declined by 6.8% in 2018 in the UK, a factor that could be caused by more people preferring cohabitation to life-long commitment. (Source: Office of National Statistics)
  62. 29% of the people polled in a Bravo TV survey admitted to being good friends first before taking the risk of dating and eventually getting married. More men than women are open to the idea of starting something more serious with their friends, and the majority of the participants preferred to initiate romantic relationships from platonic friendships. (Source: Bravo TV)
  63. More and more couples prefer to cohabit for a while before getting married. In the UK, couples typically move in together 10-15 months into dating. (Source: UK Standard)
  64. ‘You can now kiss the bride’ is an ending to a wedding ceremony right after a couple has been pronounced man and wife, but in Roman times, it was a seal for a marriage contract. Literacy rates were so low that people simply sealed things with a sweet kiss. (Source: Perfect Promises)
  65. The average married couples have sex between 51 and 56 times a year. Source: Research Gate)
  66. Daniel Fredric Bakeman and Susan Bakeman had the longest marriage. It lasted 91 years and only ended because Susan died at 105. They’d known each other since they were 12 and 14 respectively. (Source: My Wedding Anniversary)
  67. Want a lasting marriage? Spend at least 6 hours a week together without distractions, including children. (Source: Gottman
  68. Most cultures regard pearls as a symbol of eternal love and will have them as part of the event, whether as jewelry or on the dress. (Source: Majorica)
  69. Women often adopt their spouses' last names after marriage, but that is not a legal requirement in almost every country. People have the choice to keep their names. (Source: Brides)
  70. Following up on the above fact, 79% of women still prefer to take their husband’s last name after marriage, even without the legal obligation. (Source: Pew Research)
  71. Because black pearls were considered to have some power in ancient China, they were used at weddings to confuse evil spirits and help make marriage last long. (Source: Angara
  72. Traditionally, brides need something old, something blue… and so on. This phrase has a sweet meaning behind it. Something old represents friends and family, while something borrowed is the veil the bride has on. Something new is the couple getting married, and blue is for the bride’s purity. (Source: Bride)
  73. A wedding ring represents the never-ending nature of the union two people enter when they get married. (Source: Henri Maillardet)
  74. Double dates are great for marriages, research shows. Couples get to discuss how they handle disagreements and other issues - except sex and money. (Source: News Wise)
  75. Weekly sex could be a useful recipe for marriage, a study of 30,000 Americans found out. It doesn’t have to be every day; just once a week will do great for the intimacy needed for a healthy relationship. (Source: SPSP)
  76. If you have similar drinking habits, your marriage has better chances of success and happiness. (Source: Oxford Academic)
  77. A happy wife is great for a happy marriage. It was observed that wives do much more for their husbands when they are happy with them, making their lives much happier and fuller. (Source: Rutger)
  78. While there is nothing wrong with being materialistic, it was linked to lower satisfaction in marriage in a study. (Source: BYU News)
  79. Having things in common as a couple is great, but maintaining your own hobbies even after marriage is even better as it reduces codependency. (Source: Brides)
  80. A Kuwait couple recorded the shortest marriage in the history of marriages. They were married for all of four minutes. (Source: ListVerse)

Conclusion

There you have it! Marriage remains one of the cornerstones of family and is still highly regarded in various parts of the world. What is your take on it?

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Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons is a leading psychologist with a passion for enriching relationships. Through empathetic counseling and insightful guidance, she empowers couples and individuals to foster deeper connections, resolve conflicts, and create lasting harmony. Sophie's expertise in relationship advice has touched countless lives, making her a trusted source for building fulfilling partnerships.

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