October 18, 2011
Florida consistently has one of the highest rates of divorce than any other state in the United States. In fact according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), records indicate that over 50,000 couples filed for divorce in the Sunshine State in 2005. This staggering number outweighs the combined divorce rates of each state in the Northern Midwest.
According to reports, 15.5 percent of the population in Panama City in particular is divorced, the highest percentage of all cities examined. According to court records, 1066 residents filed for divorce in 2009. 898 divorces have been filed as of October this year.
Panama City was not alone in putting Florida on the map for divorce rates. Four other cities in our state can be found within the top 10, and a total of 11 Florida cities reside in the top 50 cities with the highest divorce rates.
According to the 2009 data collected by the US Census Bureau, divorce rate in Florida for men is 8.5 and 9.9 for women, based on national, regional, and state divorce rates per 1,000 men and women aged 15 and over.
Marriage Counselor, Dr. Joel Prather tried to find out why the state ranks so high.
He suggested that people come to Florida to change their lives. They think that being in a warm, tropical climate will help them overcome whatever professional or personal issues they were experiencing in their last location. Once they arrive, these people realize it’s going to take more than palm trees and sun tanning to work out personal issues with a spouse.
Dr. Prather also suggested Panama City’s party atmosphere contributes to its number one ranking. It can be hard for some couples to keep focused on their relationship in a hotbed of temptation.
He makes note that the status of the economy may be a factor. Along with infidelity, arguments over finances are one of the biggest contributing factors to divorce.
Florida’s lenient divorce laws may also play a role in the number of cities ranking in the top 50, as Florida is relatively one of the easiest states for couples to get divorced in.
In addition, taxpayers are burdened with almost 2 billion USD per year due to these divorces.