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When it comes to marriage, many Utahns apparently believe that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. More than one of every five Utahns who have ever been married have said "I do" at least twice.
That's according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
It said that 22.7 percent of Utah men and 23.2 percent of women who have ever been married have been wed at least twice, according to American Community Survey data between 2008 and 2012.
That is a bit lower than the national average of 24.8 percent for men and the 24.4 percent national average for women. Utah ranks 36th and 35th respectively for men and women among the states for remarriage rates, although margins of error clump many states close together.
Two Utah metro areas are listed among 20 nationally that essentially tie for the lowest re-marriage rate, the Census said.
They are Provo-Orem, with a rate of 16.2 percent for men and 17.3 percent for women; and Logan, with a rate of 18.1 percent for men and 18.0 percent for women.
Rates are higher in other Utah metro areas. The rate in Salt Lake City is 23.9 percent for men and 23.8 percent for women. In Ogden-Clearfield, it is 23.4 percent for women and 24.3 percent for women. In St. George, it is 28.7 percent for men and 30.4 percent for women.
Pam Perlich, senior research economist at the University of Utah, said the low remarriage rates in Provo, Logan and Utah overall have more to do with the area's age structure than whether first marriages endure for life.
In Utah, "we marry at the earliest ages nationally and at the highest rates," she said.
So, especially with the large number of married students in the college cities of Provo and Logan, "we have a lot of people who just got married. That enlarges the denominator" when dividing the number of re-married people by those who have ever been married.
A contributing factor, she said, is the Mormon culture in Utah. "LDS people tend to marry young," Perlich said. "They also put a high value on marriage and family," so more get married.
Utah also has the youngest median age in the nation, so it has many young people who get married early which again creates a larger number of people ever married, making the remarriage rate appear smaller.
Similarly, St. George may have a higher remarriage rate than average because it is where many older people retire and the likelihood of second marriages among older people is higher than among the young.
The two metro areas with the highest remarriage rates in the nation also are retirement centers: Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz., and Prescott, Ariz.
Some other national findings from the new report include:
• About 70 percent of adults with personal incomes of at least $100,000 had married only once.
• Those with at least a bachelor's degree are more likely to have married only once (64 percent) than all adults (52 percent).
• The majority of recent marriages (58 percent) are first marriages for both spouses, although 21 percent involve both spouses marrying for at least the second time.