Snapshot of Catholic Marriage, available at:

Snapshot of Catholic Marriage

Why Marriage Matters

Snapshot of Catholic Marriage

Snapshot of Catholic Marriage

Two-thirds of Catholics currently married were married in the Church.

  • 415,487 Catholic marriages in the United States in 1972 dropped to 168,400 in 2010 (a decrease of 60 percent!).  This mirrors a decrease in the number of marriages in the entire U.S. population, a decline of over 50% from 1970 – 2012 (The State of Our Unions 2011, 60).
  • Among the Catholic adult population, 53% are presently married, 25% have never been married, 13% are divorced or separated, and 5% are widowed.
  • Twenty-three percent of adult Catholics are or have been divorced.  Of these divorced Catholics, 60% were married to another Catholic.
  • Of divorced Catholics polled, 15% have sought an annulment.  Among those who have sought to have their marriage annulled, 49% of the requests were approved.
  • Two-thirds of Catholics currently married were married in the Church.
  • Just over 70% of Catholics are married to a Catholic spouse, with an average of 2 children per marriage.


Mark M. Gray, “Exclusive analysis: National Catholic Marriage rate plummets,” Our Sunday Visitor, June 26, 2011.

Marriage in the Catholic Church: a Survey of U.S. Catholics, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), Georgetown University, 2007.

W. Bradford Wilcox, The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America 2011 (University of Virginia National Marriage Project, Charlottesville, VA).

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Snapshot of Catholic Marriage, available at: