Defining serial marriage as three or more marriages, and using U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2008 American Community Survey, the Pew Research Center reports that five percent of all Americans were in serial marriages in 2008. The report, “The States of Marriage and Divorce,” presents data on the marriage status of Americans in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. The report includes an interactive map that gives state-by-state information on marriage and divorce in the United States. Marry Young, Marry Often, a post on Freakonomics, a blog on economics in everyday life, summarizes the report.
The states of California (4% men, 4% women), Massachusetts (2% men, 2% women), and New York (2% men, 2% women), as well as Pennsylvania (3% men, 3% women), Minnesota (3% men, 3% women), Wisconsin (3% men, 3% women), Illinois (4% men, 4% women), Hawaii (men 3%, women 3%) and the District of Columbia (men 3%, women 2%) have lower rates of serial marriage than the national average, which is 5% for both men and women. Michigan has an average rate of serial marriage (5% men, 5% women). All the southern states have rates of serial marriage higher than the national average, and the contiguous states of Arkansas (10% men, 10% women) and Oklahoma (10% men, 9% women) have the nation’s highest rates of serial marriage. All the other states that are contiguous to Arkansas have rates that exceed the national average: Tennessee (9% men, 8% women), Mississippi (8% men, 8% women), Louisiana (6% men, 6% women) and Texas (6% men, 6% women). Alabama, which borders Mississippi, has serial marriage rates of 8% men and 8% women.