By Divorce.com staff
Updated Apr 12, 2023
Utah’s divorce rates follow the nationwide downward trend, while marriage rates stay more or less consistent.
In this article, you’ll see the specifics of marital status in Utah and how divorce and marriage rates change for different age and ethnic groups, religions, political views, and other factors.
Read on to find more.
Divorce Rate in Utah
Utah is among the five states with the lowest divorce rates in the U.S., after D.C., New Jersey, and New York. The 2022-2023 percentage of divorced couples was only 9% per 1,000 people, according to the World Population Review.
Besides having a relatively low divorce rate, Utah’s divorce trends include the following interesting facts:
- Divorce rates in Utah have varied from 8 to 9% on average during the past ten years.
- Men in Utah divorce less often (7.9%) than women (10.2%).
- Of all ethnic groups in Utah, the White ethnic group and Black or African Americans have the highest divorce rates. Conversely, Native Americans and Asians have the fewest divorces.
- 60% of divorced families in Utah have underage children.
- The divorce rates in Republican counties in Utah are lower (10.3%) than in the Democratic ones (14.3%).
Divorce Rate by Year in Utah
Utah divorce rates have been more or less consistent since 2014 up until 2022. It fluctuated from 9% to 9.4%. However, there were a few years (2019-2021) with lower divorce rates - 8.6%-8.7%.
The detailed Utah divorce rates, taken from the Census.gov yearly tables and World Population Review, are presented below.
- 2022 9.0%
- 2021 8.6%
- 2020 8.7%
- 2019 8.7%
- 2018 9.0%
- 2017 9.2%
- 2016 9.1%
- 2015 9.4%
- 2014 9.1%
The percentage for each year was calculated as a median value between the men’s and women’s divorce rates, which are not usually equal. So, let’s look at the gender differences in divorces in Utah more closely.
Who Files for Divorce More in Utah
One of the nationwide trends regarding divorces is that most marriage dissolutions are started by women. The 2015 American Sociological Association survey suggested that two-thirds or 70% of all divorces are women’s initiatives. Also, this number increases for college-educated women.
Some reasons why women leave their marriages more often than men might be mismatches between the spouses in interdependence, careers, and caregiving, according to Psychology Today.
What is the Most Common Reason for Divorce in Utah
The most widespread reason why couples file for divorce is marital infidelity. About 10-15% of married women and up to 25% of men cheat in their marriages. Age also makes a difference, believes Dr. N. Wolfinger. He found that 20% of spouses older than 55 are unfaithful compared to 14% of people younger than 55.
Infidelity rarely influences the divorce outcome in Utah unless it affects marital property. In this case, the courts may divide property and award alimony in favor of a non-cheating spouse.
Divorce Rate in Utah Counties
Utah consists of 29 counties, each with a different divorce rate. The data below shows divorce rates for each Utah county.
- Box Elder County 9.8%
- Cache County 7.3%
- Rich County 13.4%
- Weber County 14.2%
- Davis County 9.9%
- Morgan County 5.9%
- Tooele County 11.7%
- Salt Lake County 12.5%
- Summit County 9.5%
- Daggett County 10.4%
- Wasatch County 9.6%
- Duchesne County 9.1%
- Uintah County 13.2%
- Utah County 6.9%
- Juab County 8.5%
- Sanpete County 9.4%
- Carbon County 16.9%
- Emery County 8.9%
- Grand County 20.9%
- Sevier County 11.3%
- Millard County 8.3%
- Beaver County 9.2%
- Piute County 10.4%
- Wayne County 8.3%
- San Juan County 9.1%
- Kane County 12.5%
- Iron County 10.1%
- Washington County 11.3%
- Garfield County 10.9%
A County With the Highest Divorce Rate
Of all 29 Utah counties, Grand County has the highest divorce rate - 20.9% per 1,000 people. In addition, the percentage of divorced women is 24%, while men are at 18%.
The largest share of divorced women (45.3%) is among the 40-44 year-olds. As for men, they get divorced most often (31.7%) when they are 35-39 years old.
A County With the Lowest Divorce Rate
Morgan County has the lowest divorce rate in Utah - only 5.9% per 1,000 residents. Following the state’s gender pattern, the share of divorced men is lower (4%) than the percentage of divorced women (8%).
The highest number of divorces for women (23.2%) happens when they are 20-24 years old. As for men in Morgan County, they get divorced most often (13.3%) at 30-34 years old.
Divorce Rate in Utah Cities
Divorce rates for the largest cities in Utah vary from 3% to 18% per 1,000 people and are listed below. The data originates from the Statistical Atlas.
- Ogden 18%
- South Ogden 18%
- Midvale 16%
- Murray 16%
- South Salt Lake 16%
- Clearfield 15%
- Magna 14%
- Roy 14%
- West Valley City 14%
- Taylorsville 13%
- Millcreek 13%
- Brigham City 13%
- Hurricane 13%
- Salt Lake City 13%
- Tooele 12%
- Sandy 12%
- Layton 10%
- Riverton 10%
- Spanish Fork 9%
- Washington 9%
- Pleasant Grove 8%
- Saratoga Springs 6%
- Lehi 6%
- Highland 3%
City With the Highest Divorce Rate
Ogden and South Ogden in Utah have the highest divorce rates - 18%. Both cities are situated side by side in Weber County, which has the third highest number of divorces among other counties. If we look at the gender differences in divorces in these two cities, we’ll see that women get more divorces than men - approximately 20% against 16%.
City With the Lowest Divorce Rate
The city in Utah with the fewest divorces is Highland. Its divorce rate is 3%, with 17.5 thousand people. The number of divorced men and women is almost the same: 3% of men and 2% of women are divorced.
However, the age group with the most dissolutions differs depending on the person’s gender. For instance, the largest share of women get divorced between 40 and 44 years old, while men end their marriages at 55-59.
Divorce Rate for Families With Kids in Utah
Around 60% of divorced families in Utah have children under 18 years old. According to the Census.gov 2021 data, 20.9% of children lived with their fathers after divorce, and 38.6% stayed with their mothers.
The share of single-parent families in major Utah counties in 2021 is shown below.
- Salt Lake 22.1%
- Utah 11.9%
- Davis County 16.9%
- Weber 27.3%
- Washington County 17.8%
- Cache County 17.7%
- Tooele County 18.6%
- Box Elder County 17.1%
- Iron County 22.9%
- Summit County 23.2%
Divorce Rate by Ethnicity in Utah
The majority of Utah’s population is White (85%). Other races include Asian (2.3%), Black or African American (1.2%), Native American (1.1%), Native Hawaiian (0.9%), and several others.
The highest divorce rates are among Whites and Black or African Americans, while Native American and Hawaiian ethnic groups have the fewest divorces.
The 2021 American Community Survey provided detailed divorce rates for ethnic groups in Utah, as shown below.
- White 8.7%
- Black or African American 8.6%
- Asian 7.5%
- American Indians and Alaska Native 7.4%
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 6.8%
- Hispanic or Latino origin 7.9%
- Two or more races 8.8%
- Other races 8%
Divorce Rate by Religion in Utah
Highly religious couples in Utah are less likely to divorce, says a professor from BYU School of Family Life, Alan Hawkins. Currently, 73% of Utahns are Christians, with 55% belonging to the Mormon faith. The rest of the population is either unaffiliated (22%) or of non-Christian faiths, such as Buddhist (1%) and Muslim (1%).
Mormon faith. The rest of the population is either unaffiliated (22%) or of non-Christian faiths, such as Buddhist (1%) and Muslim (1%).
Divorce has been declining over the past years among religious Utahns. Hawkins believes that it is because fewer people are getting married, and others wait longer to start a family.
The Pew Research survey on religion and divorce rates provides a handful of data for Christians and Mormons in Utah:
- Christians 7%
- Mormons 6%
Divorce Rates by a Political Party in Utah
Currently, Utah is a Republican state. In 2020, almost 60% voted for the Republican Party. Only three counties - Salt Lake County, Summit County, and Grand County - voted for the Democrats.
Overall, median divorce rates between the counties by their political parties are below.
- Democrats 14.3%
- Republicans 10.3%
If we look at the six counties with the highest divorce rates, we’ll see that two are Democratic and four are Republican.
Marriage Rate in Utah
Utah has one of the highest marriage rates in the U.S. with 55.8% per 1,000 people, according to state-by-state marriage statistics. Of them, 56.1% are men, and 55.4% are women. The number of marriages in Utah has slightly decreased since 2010, when 57.3% of the population was married.
Below are a few additional facts useful to know regarding marriages in Utah:
- Utah residents get married earlier than people in other states at 24-26 years old.
- The average length of Utah’s marriages is comparatively low: 17.2 years.
- 19% of married couples in Utah are interracial.
- Almost 50% of people in Utah get married between 20-34 years old.
- The White (57.2%) and Asian (56.4%) ethnic groups have more marriages than other races. The Black or African American group has the fewest marriages with 36%.
The Average Age of Marriage in Utah
Utah is one of four states, including Oklahoma, Idaho, and Arkansas, where people get married very young compared to other states.
The median age at first marriage in Utah is 26.1 for men and 24.8 for women, according to Bowling Green State University’s research. In comparison, the median age when most people get married in the U.S. is 30.6 (men) and 28.6 (women).
Both women and men start getting married in large numbers between 20 and 34 years old. Almost 40% of men and 50% of women are married during this period. The numbers reach 70% for 55-64 year-olds. The detailed distribution of the married population by age group is below.
Average Length of Marriage in Utah
The average duration of marriage in Utah is among the lowest in the country - 17.2 years. In comparison, the U.S. median length of the marriage is 21 years, according to the Bowling Green State University report. However, second and third marriages are usually shorter, at 17 and 13 years, respectively.
Short marriage duration may result from different factors. One of them could be getting married at a young age, which is 25 on average in Utah. Moreover, some studies, such as the one published in Psychology Today, show that the less risky age for divorce is between 28 and 32.
Marriage Rate by Year in Utah
The marriage rate in Utah has been 55% on average throughout the last ten years.
The yearly marriage rates in Utah from 2014 until 2022 are shown below:
- 2022 55.8%
- 2021 55.3%
- 2020 55.4%
- 2019 55.5%
- 2018 55.4%
- 2017 55.6%
- 2016 54.9%
- 2015 55.3%
- 2014 56.3%
Marriage Rate in Utah Counties
Analyzing the marriage rates by county in Utah helps distinguish between counties with the most and least marriages. In particular, Morgan County has the highest marriage rate - 71.6%, while San Juan County’s marriage rate is the lowest in Utah - 44.5%.
- Box Elder County 63.4%
- Cache County 55.9%
- Rich County 60.3%
- Weber County 54.1%
- Davis County 61.5%
- Morgan County 71.6%
- Tooele County 58.9%
- Salt Lake County 51.9%
- Summit County 62.6%
- Daggett County 63.1%
- Wasatch County 61.8%
- Duchesne County 63.9%
- Uintah County 55%
- Utah County 58.5%
- Juab County 59.4%
- Sanpete County 54.8%
- Carbon County 52.7%
- Emery County 63.7%
- Grand County 51.8%
- Sevier County 61.8%
- Millard County 64.4%
- Beaver County 61.4%
- Piute County 52%
- Wayne County 67.4%
- San Juan County 44.5%
- Kane County 53.5%
- Iron County 53.5%
- Washington County 59.2%
- Garfield County 59.1%
Marriage Rate in Utah Cities
The percentage of marriages vary mostly between 40% and 70%.
Marriage rates in the largest Utah cities are illustrated below.
- Eagle Mountain 73%
- Saratoga Springs 70%
- Lehi 68%
- Syracuse 67%
- Kaysville 66%
- North Ogden 65%
- Riverton 64%
- Washington 63%
- Spanish Fork 62%
- Layton 61%
- Pleasant Grove 61%
- Sandy 59%
- Hurricane 59%
- Roy 57%
- Tooele 57%
- Kearns 55%
- Clearfield 54%
- South Ogden 53%
- Taylorsville 51%
- Magna 51%
- Millcreek 48%
- Murray 47%
- Ogden 44%
- Salt Lake City 41%
- South Salt Lake 38%
The city with the highest marriage rate in Utah is Eagle Mountain - 73%. The city also has one of the lowest divorce rates (5%), making it seem like a happy place for couples. Conversely, South Salt Lake has the fewest marriages in Utah - only 38%.
Same-Sex Marriage Statistics in Utah
Utah started recognizing same-sex marriages on October 6, 2014. During the first week after that, the courts issued about 905 marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The number of same-sex marriages has increased since then. The U.S. Census.gov tables with statistical data released yearly have the following numbers for same-sex married couples.
Total same-sex couples 6,741
- male spouses 1,907
- female spouses 4,834
Total same-sex couples 5,304
- male spouses 2,637
- female spouses 2,667
The number of same-sex marriages increased between 2020 and 2021 by 27%. However, earlier, the number of all-male and all-female couples were almost equal.
Conversely, in 2021, same-sex female marriages were more than double the number of male marriages.
Rates for Civil Unions in Utah
As of 2021, there were 57,769 cohabiting couples in Utah, according to a Census.gov report. 93% were opposite-sex, and 7% were between same-sex partners.
- Cohabiting couples in total - 57,769
- Opposite-sex - 54,012
- Same-sex (male) - 2,479
- Same-sex (female) - 1,278
There’s no common-law marriage in Utah. Still, cohabiting couples can ask the court to recognize their union as a domestic (civil) partnership. Utah state laws require that these couples go through a specific verifying procedure.
At the same time, civil unions do not copy marriages regarding rights and responsibilities, so not all partners switch from simple cohabiting to a civil partnership (marriage).
Interracial Marriage Statistics in Utah
After the ban on interracial marriages was lifted in Utah in 1963, the number of mixed-married couples increased. For instance, Utah’s percentage of interracial marriages in 2010 was 6.5%. However, it was below the national average of 10%, according to the U.S. Census report.
These days, the national interracial marriage rate is about 17%. In comparison, Utah’s average percentage of these marriages currently reaches 19%, calculated as a median value between its metro areas.
Here are a few of them, which provided the data on interracial marriages:
- Ogden-Clearfield 27%
- Provo-Orem 14%
- Salt Lake City 18%
Utah’s divorce and marriage rates have been relatively steady for the past ten years. The state’s divorce rate is one of the lowest nationwide (9%), while the marriage rate is comparatively high (55%). Utahns start families earlier than other state residents (24-26 years), but the length of their marriages is among the lowest in the U.S. - 17.2 years.
Divorce and marriage trends also vary for different ethnic groups and political factors. For instance, Whites and Black or African Americans lead in divorce rates among other races in Utah. As for political views, families living in Democratic counties divorce more often than those in Republican counties.