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Decennial Census Data on Marriage and Divorce

The Decennial Census occurs every 10 years, in years ending in zero, to count the population and housing units for the entire United States. Its primary purpose is to provide the population counts that determine how seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are apportioned.

Data on Marriage and Divorce characteristics are available for the U.S., 50 states and the District of Columbia, counties, and subcounty statistical areas (such as zip codes and block groups).

Census 2010


Mapping the Geographic Distribution of Interracial/Interethnic Married Couples in the United States: 2010, by Tallese D. Johnson and Rose M. Kreider, SEHSD Working Paper 2013-19, Presented at the annual meetings of the Population Association of America, New Orleans, LA, April 11-13, 2013.

Census 2000


Marital Status: 2000 (C2KBR-30)

  • Report [PDF - 530k]
  • Tables: Marital Status for the Population 15 Years and Over for the United States, Regions, States, Puerto Rico and Metropolitan Areas: 2000 (PHC-T-27)

Married-Couple and Unmarried-Partner Households: 2000 (CENSR-5)

  • Report [PDF - 502k]
  • Tables: Hispanic Origin and Race of Coupled Households (PHC-T-19)


1990 Census

1990 Census Information is available at the national, state, and sub-state levels. Use American Factfinder to find available Census 1990 data.

For more information about the Census 1990 survey and other data collected from the survey, visit the Census 1990 gateway.



Historical Census Data

Tables from the 1980 Census and prior years can be accessed here. The tables are all scanned copies of the original published Decennial Census volumes.

Historical Census reports are also available in PDF for 1790-1990.

Interracial Couples

Source of Data

The tabulations show data from the 1990, 1980, and 1970 censuses. The 1990 tabulations source is the 5-percent Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS). The 1980 data for the Total, White, and Black populations are from the 1980 5-percent PUMS and those from the 1970 census are based on the 20-percent sample. The 1970 and 1980 data for American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut, and Asian and Pacific Islander are based on 100-percent counts from unpublished tabulations. In the 1970 and 1980 data files, some Asian and Pacific Islander groups (such as Cambodian, Pakistani, and Tongan) are included in the "Other" race group because write-ins were not coded until the long (sample) forms were processed. Limited data are presented for 1960 and are based on the short form data.

The data on married couples are based on information reported in the decennial census, not marriage certificates. The householder is the person in whose name the housing unit is owned or being rented.

All data are subject to sampling variability, respondent classification errors, and data processing mistakes. The Census Bureau has taken steps to minimize errors. However, because of methodological differences, use caution when comparing these data with data from other sources.



RELATED PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS

Interracial Unmarried-Partner Households: How Do They Compare with Interracial Married-Couple Households in Census 2000? Tavia Simmons & Martin O'Connell. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Minneapolis, MN, May 1-3, 2003.

Intermarriage: Profiles of the Most Common Interracial Combinations Using 1990 Census Data. Rose M. Kreider. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Demographic Association, New Orleans, LA, October 27-30, 2000.


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Marriage and Divorce |  Last Revised: October 29, 2013