Marriage as an institution continues to evolve and change. Although many people now see marriage as merely one arrangement among other viable alternatives, marriage continues to have an important status and significance in our culture. Sometimes, when we discuss topics such as marriage and divorce, it can be helpful to look at the hard numbers to get a sense of what’s going on. In this post, we’re going to examine some of the statistics on marriage and divorce here in the State of Colorado.
Marriage Statistics in CO
In 2020, the total number of weddings in Colorado was 23,658. By comparison, this means that Colorado ranks 17th in the country in terms of most marriages in 2020. In 2020, the average amount spent on the wedding was a bit less than $21,000 (around $20,700). This amount represents a significant decline from averages in previous years. The reason for this is obvious: 2020 was a difficult year financially for many people. If the economy continues to rebound, there’s reason to suppose that averages will increase back to previous levels.
People did not spend less on average per wedding in 2020, they also tied the knot less often in general. In 2019, by comparison, there were almost 42,000 marriages (41,932 to be exact). That’s a huge drop! This also probably means that cohabitation is becoming increasingly common, particularly among younger Coloradoans.
Divorce Statistics in CO
Colorado is among the most divorce-prone states in the U.S. In 2018, for instance, Colorado ranked 10th with a divorce rate of 13.52 per 1,000. In addition, Colorado had several cities which ranked among the “top 50” cities with the highest divorce rates. Aspen was the city with the highest divorce rate in Colorado; a whopping 22.9% of all Aspen residents have been divorced. However, Aspen also has a sizable married population, with married residents making up 31.4% of its population.
Just for reference, the state with the highest divorce rate in 2018 was Arkansas, with a divorce rate of 17.14 per 1,000 residents. Although these data are from 2018, the current statistics for 2020 and 2021 are likely quite similar. Most of the highly divorce-prone states remain near the top of the list from year to year.
We have data on percentages and rates, but what about the causes behind both marriage and divorce? Unfortunately, we don’t really have data on the reasons behind either of these things. However, we can develop some reasonably good factors that can explain some of the divorce statistics in Colorado.
We can cite these factors because we can reference the information collected when a couple of files for divorce. When a couple file for divorce, not only do they have to provide basic personal information, but they also often provide information about the reasons for the divorce. The information given by divorced couples may not always be accurate, but we can at least use this information to draw insights. Here are a few of the widely cited reasons as to why couples are increasingly likely to divorce in Colorado:
- Prior divorces
- Marrying too young
- Lack of religious affiliation
- Financial problems
- Educational level
- Lack of children
If a person has divorced before, there is a higher probability that he or she will divorce again. Marrying at a relatively young age also gives a higher probability of the union ending in divorce. Lack of religious affiliation, financial problems, and relatively low levels of education also all point toward a greater likelihood of couples splitting apart.