Denver is for lovers: Marriages are on the rise in the city

Denver is on pace to issue a record number of marriage licenses this year.

(Fabrice Lambert/Wikimedia Commons)
Dog cake toppers. (Stacie/Flickr)
Dog cake toppers. (Stacie/Flickr)

Move over Paris and Ohio, Denver’s the new thriving place for lovers.

First, comes love — maybe via a stroll through the scarily sentimental Cheesman Park or a table for two at one of the city’s dozens of breweries.

Then, comes marriage.

Denver is on pace to issue a record number of marriage licenses this year, according to the Office of the Clerk and Recorder.

Nine-hundred-eighty marriages were handed out last month alone — the most licenses ever issued during any month in Denver County’s history, city spokeswoman Mica Ward said.

About 5,230 licenses were issued through August.

Denver Marriage Licenses
Year Licenses Issued Adult Population Rate per 1,000 adults
2015 7,339 560,222 13.1
2014 7,126 543,530 13.1
2013 5,712 530,081 10.8
2012 5,473 517,376 10.6
2011 5,415 504,744 10.7
2010 5,038 491,518 10.2
2009 4,868 480,334 10.1
2008 4,865 469,067 10.4
2007 4,774 459,278 10.4
2006 4,801 452,078 10.6
2005 4,654 447,370 10.4
2004 4,761 446,243 10.7
Source: City of Denver and U.S. Census Bureua. Adults are those 15 and older. With parental consent, people in Colorado can be married starting at 16. (Adrian D. Garcia/Denver)

More people have been getting married each year in Denver since 2007, according to city data. Ward said she’s not sure what’s leading to the uptick, but she doesn’t think it’s that the U.S. government started officially recognizing same-sex marriages last year.

Denver started issuing same-sex marriage licenses in 2014. A new report from the New York Times shows higher concentrations of gay newlyweds in California and the East Coast.

The spike in weddings could be partly the result of Denver adding thousands of people every month. And overall, the city appears to be lagging behind the national average for married couples.

About half of Americans were married nationwide in 2014, according to The Pew Research Center.

In Denver, about 41 percent of residents 15 and older are married, according to a 2014 estimate from the Census Bureau and the National Historic Geographic Information System.

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Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.