TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A new report from the Department of Health shows slightly more people got married last year than the year before, ending what has been a decade-long decline. The number of divorces is also falling.
Alma Reyes Rivera tided the knot with her beau, Louis, in a civil ceremony Tuesday. The two may be part of a growing trend.
"We have been together about three years now, so we decided to get married because we love each other," Rivera said.
The actual number of marriages and the number of marriages as a percent have been falling for a decade. Last year saw a three-tenths of a percentage uptick in marriage.
Florida's Catholic Conference says that's a good thing.
"Those who are married are generally happier, healthier and enjoy longer lives than those who are not married," said Michele Taylor, of Florida's Catholic Conference.
The vital statistics report for last year shows there were 54 divorces for every 100 marriages. Not since 1960 has there been a lower percentage of divorces when compared to population. Before that, the lowest rate was in the 1930s.
Rivera told reporter Mike Vasilinda she found the lower divorce rate heartening.
"That's good news that marriages are lasting longer in these times," Rivera said. "It's really difficult."
One trend that hasn't changed is more people get married and divorced in Florida when compared to the national average. Nationally, the marriage and divorce rate is about a half-percent less than it is in the Sunshine state.
Even with the uptick, there were still about 13,000 fewer marriages from the high-water mark in 2006 when about 8.8 percent of the population married, compared to 7.4 percent last year.