Utah tops in married-couple households

Home is, famously, a haven in a heartless world. A new Census report indicates Utah is the nation’s haven for homes based on marriage.

The report indicates that “the unmarried partner population … grew 41 percent between 2000 and 2010, four times as fast as the overall household population.” The increase in opposite-sex cohabiting households was 40 percent from 2000 to 2010, and for same-sex couples the increase was 80 percent during the same time period. The numerical increase was from 4.9 million in 2000 to 6.8 million in 2010 or 4.6 percent of all households in 2000 to 5.9 percent in 2010.

Additionally, “in 2010 less than half of all households (48 percent) were husband-wife households, down from 52 percent in 2000 and 55 percent in 1990.”

Utah is singled out twice in the report. Utah has the lowest percent of opposite-sex cohabiting households (3.9 percent). It is one of two states (with Alabama at 4.1 percent) with less than 5 percent. (The highest percentage is Maine with 8.4 percent; Vermont is second with 8.1 percent.) 

More important, Utah is top in the percentage of “married husband-wife couple households.” These make up 61.0 percent of total households in the state. The next closest state is Idaho with nearly five percent less at 55.3. As a comparison, the lowest state is New York with 43.6 percent (the District of Columbia has only 22 percent!).

Utah’s percentage in 2000 was 63.2 and in 1990 it was 64.6. So, there has been a decline (3.6 percentage points) but a much smaller one than the national average (about 7 percentage points).

The current report does not report state family sizes but it does give the national average as 3.14. Utah’s, by comparison, is 3.56 (source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics 2010 American Community Survey, DP-1) which is close to the national average of 3.65 in 1960.

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