Can you marry your first cousin?


Marrying a first cousin is illegal in some states while others allow the marriages under certain conditions. For example, North Carolina prohibits double-cousin marriages but allows first cousin marriages.

As of 2014, 25 states prohibit first cousin marriages. These states include Idaho, Iowa and Texas. Six states allow first cousin marriages but place restrictions on the marriages. One example is Illinois. In this state, the marriage is only legal if both people are 50 or older or one is unable to reproduce. First cousin marriage is legal in the remaining states, but it is frowned upon in most societies.


  • Cousin is defined as two people who share at least one grandparent.
  • Marriages between first and second cousins account for around 20 percent of marriages worldwide.
  • Marriage between cousins is more common in the Middle East than anywhere else in the world.
  • Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha were first cousins who were married.

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