Marriage, divorce rates declining nationwide

Love may be in the air this Valentine’s Day, but fewer people are getting married in Louisiana.
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 4:27 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Love may be in the air this Valentine’s Day, but fewer people are getting married in Louisiana.

The number of people getting married in the state has dropped by 21% since 2011.

Hailey Woods and Dalvin Carmouche, along with their one-year son Lennox, are getting something special this Valentine’s Day—a marriage license.

“We wanted that family life, the holidays, tradition. We want to create a legacy for our son,” Woods explained.

Together for four years, the couple is ready to make it official.

In just a couple of weeks, they will say “I do.”

“It’s something I always wanted to do. I always wanted to be married. I always wanted to be a dad,” Carmouche said.

But tying the knot isn’t for everyone. In fact, Louisiana has the lowest percentage of married couples in the United States.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, the clerk of court has seen a decrease in couples applying for marriage licenses.

In 2017, they issued nearly 3,000. In 2022, they only issued 2,675.

“That number has dropped drastically,” Supervisor Jeff Hickerson added.

For over two decades, Nina Russell has united thousands of couples in marriage.

She says she is extra busy this Valentine’s Day.

“I’m doing more weddings especially this week,” said Russell.

Russell has been married for nearly 50 years. When asked her advice, she said, “The biggest misconception is everything is going to be wonderful and live happily ever after. I tell them it will be hard work.”

That’s something that Hailey and Dalvin already understand.

With Dalvin serving in the army, they both know the importance of sacrifice and commitment.

“You get the romantic and consistency, and support. You want someone is present,” added Woods.

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