2021’s Best Cities to Get And Stay Married
Marital success depends on a couple’s commitment. But some cities offer a better chance at a happily ever after than others.
After all, the 2021 wedding season that is already underway is projected to be the biggest ever.
Among the marital bliss factors we looked at:
- Rate of married households
- Five-year change in divorce and separation rate
- Share of young people who have never married
- Wedding venues per 100,000 residents
- Event planners per 100,000 residents
See the 10 best (and 10 worst) cities for married couples below, followed by some highlights and lowlights from our report.
2021’s Best Cities for Marriage Success
- Fremont, CA
- Jersey City, NJ
- Glendale, CA
- Arlington, VA
- Santa Ana, CA
- Oakland, CA
- Honolulu, HI
- Santa Clarita, CA
- Washington, DC
- San Francisco, CA
2021’s Worst Cities for Marriage Success
- Des Moines, IA
- Mobile, AL
- Columbus, GA
- Montgomery, AL
- Cleveland, OH
- Akron, OH
- Detroit, MI
- Sunrise Manor, NV
- Toledo, OH
- Worcester, MA
Highlights and Lowlights:
Playing the Long Game in California: Want a shot at making it to your golden anniversary? Move to the Golden State. California dominates our ranking of the Best Cities to Get (and Stay) Married, claiming 60% of the top 10, half of the top 20, and 40% of the top 50.
Fremont lands in first place overall, as well as in the married and unmarried population categories. The strong Catholic presence in Fremont might help explain its track record: The Catholic Church considers marriage permanent and has an estranged relationship with a divorce.
Claiming another three spots in the top 10 are Bay Area cities — Glendale at No. 3, Oakland at No. 6, and San Francisco in 10th place. Los Angeles suburbs Santa Ana and Santa Clarita snag the fifth and eighth spots, respectively. Stability is clearly the name of the game in California.
Ohio: The (Broken) Heart of It All: Ohio’s poor performance in our ranking underscores the irony in its nickname as The Heart of It All. (The nickname, of course, comes from the state’s ticker shape.) At No. 88, Cincinnati is tops among the state’s biggest cities, while Columbus finishes at 122. Other Ohio cities land in the bottom 10: Cleveland at 145, Akron at 146, and Toledo barely escaping the last place at 149.
Cincinnati’s higher position results from its 6th-place showing in wedding chapels and churches per 100,000 residents and a 12th-place finish in the five-year difference in the share of the never-married young population.
You’ll hear a lot of church bells in Ohio, but you might just be getting summoned to dinner.
Las Vegas: Great for Quick Nuptials, Average for Longevity: Las Vegas might be the most iconic wedding spot in America, but it’s only middling at best in our ranking at No. 73.
Why so mediocre? The city’s unmarried young population grew faster in five years than in others, finishing at 116th place. And at position 136, the city’s separation and the divorce rate are one of the highest in the nation, though couples who happen to wed in Vegas don’t necessarily stay in Vegas — their marriages may not last, either. (After her surprise trip down the aisle in Sin City, Britney Spears divorced her new hubby just 55 hours later. That’s barely a weekend.)
But if your dream is to be married to Elvis, Vegas is still your best option for that cinematic ceremony. Just don’t accidentally leave the groom on the roof of Caesars Palace like Doug’s groomsmen do in The Hangover.
Our full ranking and analysis can be found here.