Home Research From Dating to Happily Ever After: States Where Love Lasts

From Dating to Happily Ever After: States Where Love Lasts

by Andra Hopulele
2 min. read

No one likes to mix love and statistics, and taking the numbers approach to love sounds a bit counterintuitive — too cold and “calculating.” But maybe the numbers and figures behind our meaningful connections and relationships could reveal the secret to everlasting love.

For instance, perhaps couples in Maine, West Virginia and Wyomingwhere the median duration of marriage is the highest in the country — know something that the rest of us don’t. Or, maybe people in New Jersey, North Dakota and Utahwhere divorce rates are the lowest — discovered the secret to making love last. And, maybe the fact that around half of the people who chose to move to Hawaii and Alaska were married should also mean something.

Do you live in the best state for love? And, more important, should you move to improve your odds of making love last?

To help us find answers to these questions, Point2 analysts did what they do best: They crunched all the right numbers to discover the states where love and lovers come first. They looked at marriage duration and divorce rates in each state, the number of married people who chose to move to a different state, the number of restaurants and flower designers, and even wedding costs and interest in diamond rings, among many other factors.

Here are some key findings:

  • Some believe love lasts three years, others think love is everlasting. Married couples in West Virginia and Maine are definitely of the second opinion: At a median of 22.3 years, these two states have the longest-lasting marriages in the nation.
  • Hawaii is the place to be if you’re serious about your happy ever after. Boasting the largest share of married people who moved from another place (57%) and ranking at #2 in the wellbeing index, Hawaii truly seems to be not just the Paradise of the Pacific but a love haven as well.
  • South Dakota and New Jersey are the second and third best options for romantics everywhere. With half their populations currently married and a median duration of marriage of 20+ years, these states seem to know the most about love.
  • More findings: Based on Google searches and trends, diamonds are New Yorkers’ best friends, as they are the most interested in this topic; The popularity of online dating reached its highest peak in Vermont; and romantic movies are the best way to say I love you in Alaska.

Marriage & Divorce Stats Speak Volumes

Love means different things to different people, but certain states seem to have a way with couples: According to the data, these states have the best marriage scores: When analyzing their high share of married people, the low percentages of people who divorced or separated and especially the duration of the marriage, it becomes obvious people here take their vows more seriously.

If a long, stable marriage is what you're after, you might consider moving to West Virginia, Maine or Vermont. And if you're curious about the states you should avoid, here's a shortlist: Nevada, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma and New Mexico have the highest divorce rates.

Fun fact: Looking at the number of weddings per 1,000 people could be another great way to see where people are the most eager to tie the knot. Unsurprisingly, Nevada has the highest number of weddings per 1,000 people (23.11) and the next state doesn't even come close: Hawaii boasts 8.52 weddings per 1,000 people.

Looking at net numbers, there are three (big) states which have a lot of wedding ceremonies: California, Florida and Texas all have over 100,000 weddings in just one year.

Some States Act Like Magnets for Couples

Aspects like a state's overall wellbeing, wages and wedding costs, as well as net migration are also good indicators of a state's desirability for couples. And when a state actually attracts a lot of people who are already married, it could mean that couples in love see that place as supportive of the married life.

Meanwhile, if you're married and determined to keep the love alive, finding the best restaurants for date night could be the sweetest, most romantic gesture. In this case, your best bets are Rhode Island, Oregon and Hawaii, which have the highest number of restaurants per 1,000 people.

On the other hand, if you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, but wedding costs make you shudder, a ceremony in West Virginia, Arkansas or Kentucky won't break the bank. Instead, these states will enable you to spend the money on something more important, such as the honeymoon. That's because here, wedding costs represent the lowest share of the local median income.

Other States Make Grand Romantic Gestures Easy

Romantic dinners, watching a rom-com and spending a cozy evening inside, buying flowers - these are all grand (albeit, old-fashioned) romantic gestures that remind our partners of our love. Google Trends reveals the states where grand (and small) romantic gestures never go out of style: People are the most interested in buying diamond rings in New York, the highest number of floral designers per 1,000 jobs is in Missouri and wedding planners are the most in demand in South Dakota.

Combining all of these romantic search terms reveals the most romance-ready states:

Check out the full data on all 18 factors we analyzed for the study.

Although these numbers and figures make it seem as though all that lovers need to do is to follow the yellow brick road to a state that promises eternal happiness, making a relationship or a marriage work usually implies more than just changing your ZIP code. Stats might help, but working on yourself, practicing gratitude and being open might put everyone in a better position to find the right partner.

Expert Opinions

While Point2 analysts found the numbers that reveal where the most loving states are, couples therapists and psychologists definitely know more about how to make love work anywhere. So, for more advice on how to find and keep a great partner, and also get the best out of a relationship, check out the following expert advice:

Scott S. Hall
Scott S. Hall
Professor of Family Studies
Ball State University
What do you think people in long-lasting relationships are doing differently, to make it work?

People in long-lasting relationships tend to want to be in long-lasting relationships. It takes a certain mindset to invest in something you hope to have endure, and to be able to look beyond “the small stuff” for the sake of longevity. It means to stop looking around for potential “upgrades” and look for the best in your partner and be satisfied with that.

It also helps to be committed to the relationship, either through the form of marriage or some other way to clearly articulate that you believe in the institution or the concept of couplehood. Create a strong sense of “us” or a shared identity as a couple. Marriage generally has those things built into it so other long-term relationships may need to find other ways to make that kind of commitment more pronounced.

Having a joint vision of what the couple wants to accomplish together is also key. Blain Fowers argues that “the best marriages are partnerships in which spouses are devoted to creating a shared life that is larger than the emotional payoff of the marriage.” Sometimes it’s the simple, daily things that accumulate to help keep a couple connected. John Gottman found that certain things that become a pattern can have lasting effects on couples: telling each other something about your day before you part ways, having a low-stress conversation about your day when you reunite, small acts of daily affection, going on a weekly date, and daily affirming appreciation for one another.

Fewer people are getting married than ever before. What is your take on this social trend?

While marriage rates have been declining, it is important to recognize that the numbers can mislead us into thinking that marriage is less prevalent than it is. The increasing age at first marriage means that more people in their 20s are single than were in past decades, but most of those still eventually marry. Numbers that focus on proportions of households with married couples, for example, can be misleading because the total number of households is affected by the number of single and divorced people living in their own households (instead of with roommates or extended families). Numbers that focus on proportions of adults who are currently married also skew lower with the rise in the age of first marriage and with high divorce rates, whereas numbers that focus on those who never marry in their whole life will skew higher for marriage rates (that calculation is rarer but has been in the single digits).

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that young people are becoming more open to exploring their gender and sexual identities and feel freer to not marry, especially if they believe that marriage imposes certain gender roles and a boring lifestyle—though there seem to be a variety of role models to turn to who are married and experience significant diversity in what it means to be married.

The divorce rate also creates some cynicism, and unfortunately, people tend to believe the divorce rate is increasing or it is higher than it really is, so some of the cynicism is unfounded (the divorce rate for first marriages is most likely closer to 40% than 50%, and could be lower than that).

What would be your most important advice for married couples struggling with their relationship during quarantine or isolation?

We all know that distance can make the heart grow fonder. That typically refers to physical distance, so being quarantined together can feel like the opposite—there isn’t much buildup of anticipation to be together. But, a sense of distance might be created, not by changing proximity, but by introducing more mystery and spontaneity.

Little things that shake up the routine probably have a bigger impact than usual. Taking the time to pay attention and ponder about opportunities to create more anticipation by being less predictable could be a good investment, and could be a meaningful gesture for one’s spouse. Put down the phone and turn off Netflix for a few minutes every day and actually pay attention to one another—and if all you do is argue, then set aside 15 minutes a day in which you have a conflict-free interaction; a discussion, a card game, something. Keep that time protected to help counter those times when harsher discussions need to happen.

It is also nice to have some other social contact to spread out some of that need for connection across others than just one’s spouse, so taking advantage of virtual communication with friends and family could help ease some of that pressure.

William Chopik
William Chopik
Associate Professor of Psychology
Michigan State University, College of Social Science
What do you think people in long-lasting relationships are doing differently, to make it work?

People in successful relationships do a lot of things right and, over the years, many theories have pointed to why people stay together. Where you live certainly has something to do with it, as some of our research has found; but there are entire theories about what keeps people together. For example, one popular theory says that staying together is mostly a function of satisfaction (if you’re happy), investments (how much time/energy/resources you’ve put in), and your alternatives/options (if you could be dating someone else or be better off alone). Thus, if you’re happy, you’ve put a lot into a relationship (or your future is very tied together), and there are fewer things you find appealing, you’ll probably stay together! Another theory suggests that if the benefits of staying together outweigh the costs, you stay together (seems simple enough).

But there are also other elements and things you can often glean from the day-to-day interactions people have. For example, people in long-term, happy relationships likely view each other as responsive. Perceiving your partner to be responsive to your needs is one of the bedrocks for why people stay committed to their relationships. That involves responding to them in active and empathetic ways, reciprocating when they tell you important and intimate things, and being attuned to their states and feelings.

Fewer people are getting married than ever before. What is your take on this social trend?

There have been a lot of explanations put forth for why people are marrying less. Some people think that it’s a sign that marriage is less necessary for economic advancement, particularly among women. That might be true; although unmarried people often lag behind married people on several economic indicators, and the opposite is often true—people who struggle financially are less likely to get married in the first place. Others suggest that more recent generations are holding off getting married until they are on more firm financial ground. Yet others focus on people’s forecasts of the future: in an uncertain world, with economic, climate, and social challenges mounting, does it make sense to pursue long-term relationships or even have children with another person?

Finally, there’s also a theory that we put too many expectations on relationships—so often, we expect romantic partners to be perfect lovers, friends, parents, sexual partners, confidants, therapists, and more. Often, they fail to live up to those expectations, so relationships in modern society might end prematurely.

Certainly, these things might play a role. But a major factor is likely how people view marriage and long-term relationships. For many years, relationships were often seen as a requirement for having a full life. Even today, single people face quite a bit of stigma and challenges in their everyday lives because they aren’t married. That’s been changing a bit, but that’s both encouraging and a little bit worrying.

On the one hand, people should pursue whatever life arrangement provides them with meaning and happiness. People are increasingly turning to other aspects of modern life to find fulfillment—hobbies, work/careers, friends, social media, and/or entertainment. It sounds a bit empowering that the image of an old, weary, depressed single person is not entirely accurate and that we can find happiness even if we don’t make it to marriage. And according to research, marriage doesn’t provide long-lasting or enormous gains in happiness. Sure, happier people tend to get married, but there’s nothing special or transformative psychologically about the transition. On the other hand, we know that having a romantic partner provides additional opportunities to give and provide support, expand our social networks and opportunities, and climb social hierarchies.

Life isn't easy for singles. The crucial question is rather: what are single people doing instead of getting married? If their life is filled with opportunities to connect with others in meaningful ways, that’s great. But if they’re not getting married and suffering because of that, then we should probably be worried.

What would be your most important advice for married couples struggling with their relationship during quarantine or isolation?

Many different things can help relationships work. Being a responsive partner like I discussed above certainly helps. But in an uncertain and, frankly, sometimes-depressing world, seeking out opportunities for “self-expansion” can do a lot of good. In other words, it might be good to ask couples: what are some new or unique things you can try to do together that you typically don’t? What if you tried those things or had unique/interesting/engaging experiences together?

Within those simple questions is a lot of relationships science. Oftentimes, people fall out of love gradually or lose the “spark” that made them excited about being in a relationship in the first place. One of the first things asked of couples in those situations is whether they’re going on dates together—taking time, as a couple, to spend quality time together. Do fun stuff together! Actually date! This is especially beneficial if they seek out novel experiences that challenge them to grow and regain a sense of expanded self about them and their relationships.

Obviously, quarantines and isolation throw a wrench into that suggestion—the fancy Italian restaurant might be closed or inaccessible if you’re quarantining, and raves aren’t the smartest place to go for the same reasons. I’d encourage partners to try to emulate safe experiences that expose them to unique situations if they can. For example, playing a fun new game that takes them out of their comfort zone might do the trick. Charades might not be as exciting for young people, but games where you try funny voices, take on secret identities, dramatically act out clues, or involve team-building might be different enough. Likewise, watching engaging media together and discussing it, reading a book, or listening to a podcast about something fascinating to the couple might provide opportunities for challenging a couple and growing together. Maybe couples could recreate what a fancy dinner out would be. Even the act of cooking together might be different enough to get couples to try new things and learn more about each other. And that doesn’t involve any risky behavior (except for any fights about whether it’s okay to put pineapple on pizza)!

Quinn Hendershot
Quinn Hendershot
Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology
Binghamton University
Fewer people are getting married than ever before. What is your take on this social trend?

We know that marriage specifically provides both mental and physical health benefits to married individuals. When individuals are unmarried, they may be more likely to suffer negative effects from experiencing problems that the "built in" support system of marriage can help buffer against. Marriage has been found to help individuals weather a variety of stressful events, such as cancer diagnoses and even COVID-19 related strain. Additionally, just living with a partner while being unmarried may not provide the same protective benefits as are seen in marriage. It's important to note though, that if a marriage is strained, or functioning poorly, it may also have a negative impact on individual well-being.

But overall, marriages with high relationship quality can be a huge benefit to the individuals within that relationship. Although many factors are playing into the rise in the number of unmarried individuals, when people are unmarried, they may be more vulnerable to experiencing negative effects following the kinds of life stressors that we all face.

Theresa E. DiDonato
Theresa E. DiDonato
Professor of Psychology
Loyola University Maryland
What do you think people in long-lasting relationships are doing differently, to make it work?

Long-lasting relationships tend to be characterized by a high degree of commitment. Partners are future-oriented and plan to be together. Often, this reflects a happy relationship defined by healthy habits of showing care, attention, and concern for each other, efforts to support each other’s goals and day-to-day needs, mutual attraction, and genuine enjoyment of each other’s company.

A long-lasting relationship, however, isn’t necessarily a happy relationship. Even though satisfaction factors into commitment, relationship scientists recognize that commitment comes from multiple sources, including significant investments in the relationship (such as shared history, emotional/personal disclosures, money, time, children, etc.). Anything a person would lose, if the relationship ended, could motivate their staying in a less-than-satisfying relationship.

Fewer people are getting married than ever before. What is your take on this social trend?

In American culture, young adults often enjoy an extended period of identity exploration where they can move, try different jobs, and explore options that they might have. This can come with a delay in marriage; in fact, people are marrying later in life than ever before. At the same time, many people are choosing cohabitation instead (living with a romantic partner before or instead of marriage), either because of convenience or logistics, wanting to marry but not yet, or rejection of the institute of marriage.

If people do want to get married, when exactly they get married might reflect their views on what they need before they can marry. The “marriage bar” may be rising, with perceived pre-requisites potentially including a certain amount of money, specific educational goals, home ownership, etc.

People might also want a specific type of wedding (bachelor/bachelorette party, expensive reception, honeymoon, etc.), so people delay getting married, and in some cases, never end up getting married.

What would be your most important advice for married couples struggling with their relationship during quarantine or isolation?

Stress is never separate from a relationship; it spills into a relationship by affecting people’s attention and ability to address their partner’s needs. When you’re tired, overwhelmed, and anxious, it’s hard to provide validation and support to someone else. It’s much easier to display hostility or withdraw.

When partners can acknowledge each other’s concerns and validate their efforts, they set themselves up to engage in effective communication and responsive support. Effective communication and responsive support will make a big difference in protecting couples against the potentially harmful effects of pandemic-related and other external stressors.

Brooke Feeney
Brooke Feeney
Professor of Psychology
Carnegie Mellon University
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
What do you think people in long-lasting relationships are doing differently, to make it work?

People in the longest-lasting relationships are experiencing a much higher ratio of positive to negative interactions with their partners than those whose relationships end. There is some research showing that stable relationships need to maintain at least a ratio of 5:1 positive to negative — but people in the happiest and most stable relationships are more along the lines of 20:1. A loss of positive emotion in a relationship is one of the biggest predictors of relationship decline and divorce.

Research indicates that couples should “build positive emotional capital” in their relationships to protect against relationship threats - and there are many ways to do this. I have done research showing the benefits of affectionate touch, and of supporting a partner’s goal strivings, as well as supporting them in times of stress. And there is research showing that emotional capital can be built in relationships via shared positive activities, and that “turning toward” a partner rather than away in everyday moments is important.

Also, conflict researchers have shown that a combination of specific types of negative behaviors when couples are in conflict predict relationship dissolution, as well. This includes behaviors such as contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Avoiding these types of behaviors when trying to resolve conflict is important.

Fewer people are getting married than ever before. What is your take on this social trend?

I think there are many reasons for the trend of fewer people marrying than in the past. A large part of it is that people are putting it off until later to focus on their education and career goals, the increase in education, income, and career prospects of women, people being choosier about whom to marry (e.g., having higher standards for what they accept and expect from marriage partners, waiting for the “right” person, the view that being single is better than being with someone with whom one is not well matched).

There is also a greater societal acceptance of “singlehood” and acknowledgment of the benefits of singlehood — and greater acknowledgment that there is not a “one size fits all” approach to the marriage trajectory. That’s just a few of many contributing factors, in my opinion.

Morgan Cope
Morgan Cope
Graduate Student in Experimental Psychology and Graduate Teaching Assistant
Florida Atlantic University, Department of Psychology
What do you think people in long-lasting relationships are doing differently, to make it work?

Romantic relationships are not just the sum of one person and another. They are unique entities whose dynamics emerge from the interaction of mutually influencing individuals, each with their own needs, values, and goals.

Often, people want to know the secret to lasting love or what their partner really wants. What I hear when I am asked these questions is:

‘What quick and easy fix can you give me to solve a) all the issues I harbor from my past romantic failures, b) my current tribulations that I have been manifesting through self-unawareness, and c) any future issues that may arise due to my lack of willingness to make real changes to my behavior?’.

This may sound harsh. But once you recognize the complexity of intimate human connection, you realize that those who are ‘making it work’ are the ones who are always working at it. They are not a specific type of person, nor do they have a certain kind of relationship. Their unions transcend diagnosable personality traits and neatly defined communication styles that fit into prettily packaged categories. They are, quite simply, the workers; the messy ones who understand the inherent intricacies of tethering oneself to another.

Now, people have been investigating questions like these scientifically for decades, and some important themes have been identified as proverbial ‘relationship muscles’ to exercise to maximize your romantic performance. From mutual self-disclosure to effective communication about sex and money, the sheer number of capacities to hone in close relationships is enough to make one seriously consider life-long singlehood. However, for many of us, doing so is well worth it.

One domain that has been closely examined by relationship scientists that I want to mention is goals – identifying your own, your partners’, and integrating them to form coherent aims that you can work together as a unit to achieve. Short-term goals, long-term goals, goals that you may never get around to completing. Regardless of the eventual outcome, working with your partner to establish where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there provides you with a superordinate purpose and a mutual understanding that you are in this thing called life together.

Importantly, we all have different things we want to achieve. Some couples want the baby blue house on Cherry St. with two dogs and maybe a kid – maybe. But these narratives we have been spoon-fed certainly do not work for everyone and are the demise of many relationships, as people fail hard – and often – to fulfill what they think their partner wants and who they think they should be, when all we can really be for each other is ourselves.

So, what do I think about long-lasting relationships? I think they are the exquisite consequence of people accepting the ambiguity of love, who fight for it anyway despite the deep fear it stirs up in many of us, and work each day to grow and protect the connection they have so passionately fostered. By acknowledging the needs, goals, and values of ourselves and those we choose to be our partners, we may one day be so lucky as to work our way to this elusive state of divinity.

Fewer people are getting married than ever before. What is your take on this social trend?

As data come out on romantic relationships during the Covid-19 crisis, we are finding out that quarantine and pandemic stress are exacerbating all dimensions of romantic relationships – good and bad. For example, if communication was an issue for you before the pandemic hit, you may experience increased conflict in this domain. Contrarily, if you and your partner were riding high on the fires of lust back in early 2020, you may have locked your relationship down by moving in together or putting a ring on it.

For couples who are struggling right now because of increased time spent with a partner, professional setbacks, financial issues, or difficult communication patterns, I encourage you to think back to how your relationship was before the pandemic. What were you struggling with then? Are your issues now rooted in these same conflicts? If so, you may be experiencing your historical relationship problems on steroids as overall stressors and pressures exponentiate around us.

Once you have identified what the problem might be based on your past and current experiences, you will serve yourself, your partner, and your relationship well by talking about them. It is easy to let time and bad feelings pass you by as you are distracted witnessing the implosion of our global and local systems; but remember what you can and cannot control. You can control your day-to-day habits, the way you approach your relationship, and the way you think about and treat yourself. With appropriate support between you and your partner, your relationship conflicts will be acknowledged, and you can start planning for how to overcome them together.

What would be your most important advice for married couples struggling with their relationship during quarantine or isolation?

Prolonged singlehood is a multidimensional phenomenon. One macro-level factor contributing to this trend may be the abundance of resources and wealth in Western nations. Because people no longer need to get married to secure basic needs like food and shelter, they can postpone long-term relationship commitments beyond early adulthood and live as independents while they develop personal competencies like professional skills and hobbies. This is particularly true for the modern woman. More than ever before, women are occupying professional spaces and providing for their own basic needs, which was a role previously endorsed as a duty of men to fulfill. Pushing beyond this rigid binary has opened doors for people of all gender identities to pursue self-actualizing ventures outside of legally binding marriage contracts that are often construed as freedom-limiting engagements for both parties.

We are also observing a simultaneous shift in attitudes about mate choice and childbearing. Right now, there are 7.9 billion people on this planet – and we have access to a large portion of them through social media and dating sites. When it comes to choosing a life partner, people may be experiencing a paradox of choice. The sheer volume of potential mates may be paralyzing, preventing people from deciding on any one partner because they perceive a countless number of alternatives. This can also be used to help explain the recent shift in attitude toward having kids. Adults across races, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities have more opportunities for self-fulfillment than ever before through careers, hobbies, traveling, or simply dedicating their earned wages to self-interest rather than investing in raising children. Accordingly, people are postponing or avoiding parenthood while emphasizing the self, contrary to previous generations.

Overall, individuals’ orientations toward marriage and children have shifted inward, as life expectancies increase, and the global population grows. The long-term implications of this trend have yet to reveal themselves, but it is possible that we will see a decrease in divorce rates, or the opposite effect may take place wherein individuals embrace the throw-away culture and commit to a life-long cycle of short and mid-term relationships.

Kelly Campbell
Kelly Campbell
Professor of Psychology
Associate Director of the Institute for Child Development and Family Relations
California State University, San Bernardino
What do you think people in long-lasting relationships are doing differently, to make it work?

I don’t think the keys to a healthy relationship have changed that much over time. Good communication and healthy conflict resolution skills are essential. Partnering with someone who shares a lot of your likes, goals, view on life, etc. is important. Having respect for your partner and expressing love will keep relationships healthy. And engaging in regular 'maintenance behaviors' will keep a relationship in a good place. Maintenance behaviors refer to things like being positive, contributing to the household, and appreciating your partner. Relationships need attention and so being attentive and deliberate about them will keep them satisfying and committed.

Fewer people are getting married than ever before. What is your take on this social trend?

People are less religious than they used to be, and religion was a big factor driving the decision to marry. Also, people live longer now than they used to and so saying 'I do' forever can mean a very long time. People are sometimes hesitant to enter into that arrangement, especially when they are in their 20s, and 'forever' could mean 80 years together. More people are cohabiting now than ever before and once they are living together and getting many of the same benefits marriage provides, they don’t feel the need to marry. There is a lot less stigma around having kids out of wedlock now compared to the past, so this is yet another factor influencing the decision not to marry. Research shows that the people most likely to marry are college-educated, middle- or higher-income individuals. One reason why lower-income groups tend to marry at lower rates is that we have been socialized in the U.S. to desire a big, elaborate wedding. If people can’t afford that type of event, they tend to forgo marriage, hoping for the day when they can afford it. All of these factors contribute to lower rates of marriage.

What would be your most important advice for married couples struggling with their relationship during quarantine or isolation?

Build in time apart. It can be overwhelming to be around each other all the time so if both partners are working from home or around each other a lot more than they used to be, they need to do things separately and with other people (family, friends). They need a life and space outside of each other in order to have interesting things to talk about. If they need professional help, they need to get it. Rates of domestic violence went up during COVID and some individuals may feel dependent on their partner for income or other reasons and can’t see a way out of a bad relationship. If this pertains to someone reading this article, seek out the help of a good therapist (contact the insurance provider to find one) and get support from family and friends who can help get the person out of the unhealthy relationship.


  • For this study, we analyzed 18 factors that were grouped into three categories.
  • The first two categories included factors like the marital status of population 15 years and over, the median duration of current marriage, the geographical mobility in the past year by marital status, median earnings (Census data), weddings & wedding costs, the number of floral designers, the number of full service restaurants (BLS data) and data from the Sharecare Wellbeing Index.
  • The third category focused on interests as they appeared in Google Trends. Values were calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the most popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location, a value of 50 indicated a location that was half as popular. A value of 0 indicated a location where there was not enough data for this term. A higher value meant a higher proportion of all queries, not a higher absolute query count.
  • We used a combination of ranking scores and weighted averages.

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