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How Many Trips Do We Take Down the Aisle?

Wed May 18 2011
Rose Kreider, Family Demographer, Fertility & Family Statistics Branch, U.S. Census Bureau
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Most of us take only one trip down the aisle. Among all currently married couples in 2009, 72 percent were made up of a man and woman who were each in their first marriage. Looking only at recently married couples, which gives us an idea of current patterns, 65 percent of couples who married during 2008 were in their first marriage.

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At the other end of the spectrum, a small percentage, just 1 percent, of currently married couples consisted of a husband and wife who had both been married three or more times. Another 6 percent of currently married couples included one spouse who was in at least their third marriage. Between these extremes, 22 percent of currently married couples included at least one spouse who was in their second marriage.

Couples who got married during 2008 looked similar, with 25 percent including at least one spouse who was in their second marriage and a slightly higher 9 percent including one spouse in their third or higher order marriage.

More detail about how many times adults have married and other information on the marital history of Americans is available in a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau titled Number, Timing and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2009.

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