Latter-day Saint Marriage & Divorce Statistics

46 Primary Sources

Sep 7, 1976

President Spencer W. Kimball recommends marrying same racial, educational, socioeconomic, and religious background; claims 10% of temple marriages end in divorce.

Jun 17, 1978

Kimball discourages interracial marriage, but states that there is "no condemnation" of it.

Jun 1985

Heaton and Goodman's Church study that is the source of the popular 6% divorce statistic for temple marriages.

Nov 1988

Ezra Taft Benson cautions single women to avoid romantic relationships with men that "cannot take you worthily to the temple."


Tim B. Heaton reports LDS divorce rates as derived from surveys.


Study by non-LDS demographer shows low LDS divorce rates.


Heaton summarizes various LDS marriage statistics.

Feb 1999

Gordon B. Hinckley writes in the Ensign that "there is no substitute for marrying in the temple."

Apr 8, 2000

LA Times article that the Church cites on their website; cites the 6% temple divorce rate number.


Heaton provides a summary of various Latter-day Saint statistics; estimates that temple sealings have a divorce rate of 25-30%.


Student manual for the eternal marriage class summarizes teachings on the issue.


Church manual quotes Spencer W. Kimball on interracial marriage.


Study finds that LDS and conservative Protestants are more likely to marry early; LDS less likely to cohabitate.


Study using the National Survey of Households and Families—Latter-day Saints and conservative Protestants get married the youngest.


Tim Heaton, Stephen Bahr, and Cardell Jacobson provide summary of LDS divorce rates from different sources.


Article that uses the National Survey of Families and Households data (1st wave in the late 1980s) to show that Latter-day Saints are married much sooner.

Jun 2006

Dallin H. Oaks encourages youth to date and gives advice.

Mar 31, 2007

Deseret News article that cites a BYU Professor's number that the average age of first marriage is 23, and juxtaposes that with the national average of 25-27.


Arthur C. Brooks finds that religious people are, on average, happier than secularists.

Sep 12, 2008

Keller does a deep dive on the popular 6% figure that is often cited as the temple divorce rate.

Mar 2009

Report summarizes findings of large religion survey and finds that Latter-day Saints have low divorce rates.


Study showing that returned missionaries have low divorce rates.


Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell show that Mormons are less likely to marry outside of the faith.


Rodney Stark provides data showing religious couples are more likely to marry, stay married, and have happier marriages than irreligious couples.

Feb 16, 2012

Results from Gallup well-being poll that shows that Mormons score high.


Naomi Schaefer Riley finds that interfaith marriages are "more unhappy," "more unstable," with "high divorce rates."


Naomi Schaefer Riley reports that fewer Mormons (12%) are in interfaith marriages compared to other religions.


Naomi Schaefer Riley reviews data on interfaith divorce and marital satisfaction, including Mormons.

Dec 1, 2013

In the Gospel Topics Essay, the Church "disavows...that mixed-race marriages are a sin."

Jun 1, 2014

Jeremy Uecker finds that Latter-day Saints marry much younger.


Tim Heaton and Cardell Jacobson summarize the results of Pew survey on LDS marriage/divorce.


Heaton & Jacobson analyze 2007 Pew data and cross-year General Social Survey data showing LDS divorce rates, also reporting cross-national data that shows higher divorce rates internationally.


Shows how Church members do on surveys of well-being.


Study that shows that Latter-day Saints in New Zealand report higher happiness.

May 24, 2017

Jana Riess conveys finding from the Next Mormons Survey that indicates that median age for marriage among Mormons is 22.


Informal literature review of older LDS and mental health studies, finds that LDS are healthier.


Study finds that U.S. "nurses who attended religious service more than once per week had a 50% lower likelihood of subsequent divorce or separation."

Dec 2020

Study finds that religious service attendance improves psychological well-being.


Church Gospel Topics essay cites LA Times article that cites the 6% number.


Article on church Website states how Bishops are to promote marriage among singles.


FSY pamphlet provides the Church's standards around dating.

Oct 19, 2021

Cranney analyzes Pew's 2014 data on Latter-day Saint divorce; LDS less likely to get divorced than non-LDS.

Oct 23, 2021

Cranney analyzes the GSS data on Latter-day Saint divorce; LDS get divorced less than non-LDS.

Nov 16, 2021

Blog post from Stephen Cranney that analyzes GSS data to show that members report higher marital happiness.

Dec 2021

Research brief finds that women with religious upbringing are less likely to cohabitate and divorce than those with irreligious upbringing; non-Christian religions (Mormons) even less likely.

Jan 31, 2022

Gallup finds that Americans who attend religious services weekly have far higher life satisfaction than those who do not.