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Gem State Marriage Rate Hits 60 Year Low

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By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) New government data shows marriage continues to be an honorable institution in Idaho.

However, there are some interesting trends developing.

The statistic that really stands out...Idaho's rate of marriage is the lowest it's been in sixty years.

Fewer couples are walking down the aisle these days.

That's according to the 2011 Idaho Vital Statistics report.

But, one local business hasn't noticed a difference.

"Weekends are completely filled through the summer and we have weddings for the next year that we've already started putting together as well," said Ruth Conway, Canyon Crest Events Center.

Remembering anniversary dates appears to influence a couple’s wedding date.

The highest number of couples, 313, were married on 9/10/11.

And, the second highest on 11/11/11.

This year is no different.

"We do have a New Year's Eve and then Halloween," said Conway.

The Twin Falls Reformed Church has seen a slight decrease in the number of weddings recently; however, for Pastor Chuck the biggest changes are in the types of marriages.

"What we see most of and the most significant change is the blended family,” said Chuck Swoboda, Associate Pastor, Twin Falls Reformed Church.

IN 2011, THE TWIN FALLS REFORMED CHURCH PERFORMED ROUGHLY TWENTY WEDDINGS...HALF OF THOSE WERE BLENDED MARRIAGES.

"Either the bride or groom, they're bringing kids into their marriage either from a previous marriage or a previous relationship,” said Swoboda.

Another trend: a change in the age at which couples are tying the knot.

"It used to be early 20s, now it's mid to late 20s when people are getting married for the first time."
"I did a wedding for a couple and they were in their seventies,” said Swoboda.

Most of all the pastor feels couples are working hard for a long, happy marriage.

"Everybody is either from a divorced family or knows someone close to them that is part of a divorced family, they see the results of that and they're trying to avoid that," said Swoboda.

And, the stats back that up.

The number of divorces in the Gem State decreased by four and a half percent from 2010 to 2011.

Some other interesting facts...

The oldest divorcee in 2011 was 95–years old and the shortest marriage lasted just eleven days.

If you'd like to read the full report click HERE


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