Are Divorce Rates in the U.S. on the Rise?

According to the United States Census Bureau, marriage rates and divorce rates both decreased between 2009 and 2019. Learn more here.

Divorce Rates in the U.S.: graph showing statistics

According to the United States Census Bureau, both marriage and divorce rates have decreased between 2009 and 2019. 

Depending on the state you live in, roughly 50% of marriages end up in divorce, 60% of second marriages end up in divorce, and 73% of third marriages end up in divorce. The United States has the sixth-highest divorce rate in the entire world.

Divorce rates across the United States vary state-to-state. Learn more about divorce rates in the U.S. below.

What You Need to Know About Divorce Rates in the U.S.

In 2019, the marriage rate was 16.3 per 1,000 women. The divorce rate was 7.6 per 1000 women.

The average age for divorcing couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old. Here are some statistics about the ages of couples more likely to divorce:

  • Couples who get married between the ages of 20-25 are 60% more likely to get a divorce.
  • Couples who wait until after the age of 25 to get married are 24% less likely to divorce.
  • Couples who hold strong religious beliefs are 14% less likely to divorce.

The U.S. Census Bureau survey states that the following are the top three reasons for divorce in the United States:

  • Incompatibility (43%)
  • Infidelity (28%)
  • Money issues (22%)

States with the Highest and Lowest Divorce Rates in the U.S.

The divorce rate per population is different from the percentage of marriages ending in divorce because states all have a different number of marriages. For example, divorce rates are higher in Arkansas and Idaho because over 72% of the population is married, whereas other states with fewer marriages have lower divorce rates.

The below 2019 divorce rates are based on every 1000 women.

Highest Divorce Rates

  • Arkansas – 10.7
  • Oklahoma – 10.4
  • Nevada – 10.2
  • New Mexico – 10.2
  • Kentucky – 10.1
  • Wyoming – 10.0
  • Delaware – 9.4
  • Utah – 9.4
  • Kansas – 9.2
  • Alabama/Missouri – 9.1

Lowest Divorce Rates

  • Maine – 4.8
  • District of Columbia – 4.8
  • South Dakota – 6.0
  • Pennsylvania – 6.1
  • New York – 6.1
  • Illinois – 6.2
  • New Jersey – 6.3
  • Iowa – 6.3
  • Wisconsin – 6.4
  • Massachusetts – 6.4

Below are the states with the highest percentage of divorce rates.

  • Maine (14.00%)
  • Nevada (14.00%)
  • Arkansas (13.00%)
  • Florida (13.00%)
  • Kentucky (13.00%)
  • New Mexico (13.00%)
  • Oklahoma (13.00%)
  • Oregon (13.00%)
  • Vermont (13.00%)
  • West Virginia (13.00%)

The Takeaway

Divorce rates rise in March and August, likely because people decide to divorce after the new year.  In February, many people are meeting with lawyers, and by March, they are ready to file the papers.

In August, many couples may try to fix failing marriages during family holidays. They may also postpone their divorce until the end of the summer holidays to prevent ruining their children’s summer vacation.

Many other factors also contribute to divorce rates, including location, marriage age, how quickly a divorce can be finalized in a specific state, and more.

css.php Skip to content