Divorce Statistics and Divorce Rate in the USA


The rate of divorce in America is high and it has even reported by various organizations that the rate is 50%. To be more precise, this is not true. Data reveal that the figure is very close to the actual one. However, if current trends continue, soon the figure will reach 50% and even more.

When we discuss about stats, it should be actual and real. US divorce statistics are gathered by a number of diverse agencies, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the independent Americans for Divorce Reform.  The stats are not comprehensive but the figures help a lot in understanding the meaning of divorce in the highly modern society of America.

So, let’s begin with a table of age at marriage for those who want it to end:

Age Women Men
Under 20 years old 27.6% 11.7%
20 to 24 years old 36.6% 38.8%
25 to 29 years old 16.4% 22.3%
30 to 34 years old 8.5% 11.6%
35 to 39 years old 5.1% 6.5%

Divorce Rate Statistics of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marriages

Various studies on US rate of divorce show significant differences when a comparison is made in 1st, 2nd and 3rd marriage breakups in America. The marriage breakup rate in America for first marriage is 41% to 50%; the rate after second marriage is from 60% to 67% and the rate in America for 3rd marriage are from 73% to 74%. Reports also say that couples with children have a slightly lower rate of breakup as compared to couples without children. This is due to the fact that being childless is one of the prime causes behind divorce in America. Also, the children of divorced parents are prone to divorcing 4 times more than the children of couples who are not divorced.

Drop in Divorce rate:

Rates have been dropping during the last few decades. Data indicates that marriages have lasted longer in the 21st century as compared to the success rate of marriages in the 1990s. Also experts believe that the current rates trend might go down more in coming years as more and more couples prefer a live-in relationship. This is a type of relationship where couples live together like partners without marrying.

In 2008, a study was conducted by Jenifer L. Bratter and Rosalind B. King on behalf of the Education Resources Information Center. In this detailed study, the main topic was whether crossing racial boundaries increased the risk of ending a marriage. After detailed study it has been found that interracial couples have higher rates of divorce, particularly for those that married during the late 1980s. In interracial divorce cases gender plays a big role. Interracial marriages with highest divorce rate took place between White females and non-White males. White wife/Black husband marriages are also more likely to result in divorce by the 10th year of marriage as compared to White/White couples. Also White wife/Asian husband marriages are more likely to end in divorce as compared to White/White marriages.

Divorce Rates by States (for 2009):

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Mentioned below is a table that highlights geographic variations in divorce in the United States. All figures are based on national, regional, and state marriage breakup rates per 1,000 men and women aged 15 and over in 2009. Data is collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

The overall rate of divorce in America in 2009 for men is 9.2 and the same for women is 9.7. For northeast region, the rate for men and women in 2009 is 7.2 and 7.5 respectively. For Midwest region of America, the rate for men and women in 2009 is 9.1 and 9.2 respectively. In the south region the rate for men in 2009 is 10.2 and that for women is 11.1. Lastly, the rate in the western region in 2009 is 9.2 and 9.8 for men and women respectively.

State Men Women
Alabama 12.7 13.9
Alaska 12.5 16.2
Arizona 10.8 11.9
Arkansas 13.5 12.8
California 8 8.9
Colorado 11.6 9.4
Connecticut 6.7 10.7
Delaware 8.9 8.7
District of Columbia 6.3 8.3
Florida 8.5 9.9
Georgia 11.5 11.7
Hawaii 8.3 7.8
Idaho 7.7 9.7
Illinois 8 8
Indiana 11 10.7
Iowa 10.2 10.8
Kansas 10.6 10.2
Kentucky 12.6 13.5
Louisiana 11 10
Maine 13 9.1
Maryland 8.8 8.2
Massachusetts 7.8 7
Michigan 9.2 9.3
Minnesota 7.4 7.8
Mississippi 11.1 12.5
Missouri 9.5 10.4
Montana 9.1 11.1
Nebraska 8.8 9.8
Nevada 12.3 12.3
New Hampshire 10.1 9.6
New Jersey 6.1 6
New Mexico 10.2 10.1
New York 6.6 7.3
North Carolina 9.9 10.3
North Dakota 8 8.3
Ohio 9.5 10
Oklahoma 12.8 14.1
Oregon 10.4 11.4
Pennsylvania 7.7 7.4
Rhode Island 9.4 9.5
South Carolina 8.1 7.8
South Dakota 10.9 8.9
Tennessee 11.4 11.6
Texas 10 11.9
Utah 10.2 10.8
Vermont 9.6 11.5
Virginia 8.9 10.2
Washington 10 10.6
West Virginia 10.9 11.8
Wisconsin 8.3 7.5
Wyoming 10.3 10.7

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2009.

Some more interesting statistics on marriage and divorce in the United States of America:

  • There were approximately 2,230,000 marriages in 2005 which was bit less as compared to the figure of 2,279,000 in 2004. During 2004 and 2005, there was an increase of 2.9 million in total population.
  • The marriage breakup rate in 2005 (per 1,000 people) was 3.6 which was the lowest rate since 1970.
  • The highest rate was at 5.3 in the year 1981.
  • The marriage rate in 2005 (per 1,000) was 7.5 which was 7.8 in the previous year.
  • In 2004, the state with the highest reported marriage breakup rate was Nevada. The rate in Nevada was 6.4 (per 1,000).
    In 2004, the District of Columbia was the state with lowest reported rate, at 1.7.
  • As of 2003, 43.7% of custodial mothers and 56.2% of custodial fathers were either separated or divorced.
  • In 2002, 7.8 million Americans paid about $40 billion in child and/or spousal support.
  • In 2002, the percentage of married people who reach their 5th, 10th, and 15th anniversaries are 82%, 65% and 52% respectively.
  • Percentage of married people who reach their 25th, 35th, and 50th anniversaries are 33%, 20% and 5% respectively.
  • Average length of divorce proceedings in America is one year.

Regardless of the specific figures on termination of marriage of America, facing a divorce is a traumatic experience for most of the couples and can leave emotional scars that last a lifetime. So, before filing a petition in the court to end your marriage always make sure that this is what you and your spouse wants. 


28 Responses to “Divorce Statistics and Divorce Rate in the USA”

  1. vbabygirl says:

    This article leaves out the stastistic for black wife/white husband couples. These marriages are 50% LESS likely to end in a divorce than white wife/white husband couples so depending on the gender of the individuals some interracial unions actually have lower rates of divorce that same race couples. Also, the statistic on marriages that make it to their 25th, 30th, and 50th anniverseries should take into consideration of one or both of the spouses dying before the marriage even makes it to those years. For example, its probably more likely that the reason why only 5% of marriages make it to their 50th year, is because most people die before their marriage reaches the 50 year mark not because of divorce.

  2. Juan Reynoso says:

    FREEDOM IS BASE ON TRUST – TRUST IS BASE ON TRUTH
    LATINOS FOR HONEST GOVERNMENT

    Divorce in our country is due to the lack of values and understanding the meaning of commitment, loyalty, responsibility and the will to work together to sustain the family united. Marriage is a commitment made between to people, to care and support each other to fulfill their goals and objectives to enable each other to contribute to the economic and welfare of the family. A family that is united by love is a family that will endure any thing; love, trust and unity are the key elements of a successful marriage.
    We fail in our marriage, when we want to dominate our partner. Marring a controlling person can happen to anyone. The warning signs of controlling in a relationship are jealousy, intense financial management where the husband or wife demand accountability for every Dollar expended. No matter what your situation, knowing whether your husband or wife is behaving in ways that are controlling or abusive can help you to take control of your relationship and life. If you believe your husband or wife is controlling or abusive, you should contact a counselor, the help of counsel may help to save the marriage.
    The truth is, that not one will divorce a partner that value for what this person is, unconditional love and support is what most people want in their marriage. Longevity in most marriage is do to working together to have the best in life for them and their family, by being able to work together toward a goal, that marriage become strong. Do not be a quitter, do not destroy your marriage, work your relationship with your partner, make an effort to build a life with your partner, do not look for happiness in the next relationship, because is you that have the power of creating the relationship you want, believe me; life is want you make it.
    Do not control your partner, by brainwashing them and making them believe that they are inferior to you or incapable to achieve their goals, because allowing them to be better then yourself, by having a better job or making more money then you; place in jeopardy your leadership in the decision making process in your own home. The believe that we have to be the one that earn the most money, have the better paying job and be the man of our home, in many cases undermine our ability to be good husbands and then is when we become the tyrant that our partner will reject soon or latter and file for divorce.
    Love is not possession, you do not own your partner, give love and support and help your partner to be the best he or her can be.
    God bless us, and give us the wisdom to work together to be the best we can be.

  3. Nick says:

    The real problem of divorce is that hardly anyone respects how God feels about marriage. He does not approve of divorce, unless someone cheats on their spouse. Marriage is a very serious decision not to be taken lightly. You have to get to know someone very well before committing to them. If people respected God’s feelings, there would not be many divorces at all. But since people only care about themselves, then divorce runs wild.

  4. Adrian says:

    I LOVE ME SOME WAFFLES.

  5. John Smith says:

    When you lose respect for your partner due to their selfish and unjust behavior, life is too short to try work things out. You will never truely respect that person again, no matter what they do or say. When it’s gone, don’t waste your time. You must break free and search for a partner that will honor your commitment to each other. It’s hard, but it does work out for the best in the end for both all parties involved. Good luck with that first step. Happiness is calling and if you listen real hard, you will hear it faintly calling to you in the distance.

  6. windy says:

    the real reason such a divoce rate between white wife- black husband or white wife – asian husband is beacuse white women are not a wife material.thats why such marrages cant last longer.

  7. me says:

    “The real problem of divorce is that hardly anyone respects how God feels about marriage” – Which God? Zeus, Thor, Shiva, Allah, the God of the Old Testament? There is not a single shred of evidence that a god exists let alone what one might “feel”! The idea that one should try and work out what some made up omnipotent deity might feel, in order to make serious life decisions is not only impossible and absurd but incredibly selfish.

  8. Those who divorce rarely marry the person with whom they are having the affair. For example, Dr. Jan Halper’s study of successful men (executives, entrepreneurs, professionals) found that very few men who cheat divorce their wife and marry their lovers. Only 3 percent of the 4,100 successful men surveyed eventually married their lovers.

  9. LOTVLOVE says:

    It seems to me that AMERICA can trade spouses in like leased cars

    infact childsupport is now sometimes less than an auto payment

    If you lost all financial rights to your spouse, I wonder how many would divorce.

    Its jst not working, “TRADE EM IN”

    SAD BUT TRUE

    Called Hollywood Weddings

    Sigh

    I love this last statement

    So, before filing a petition in the court to end your marriage always make sure that this is what you and your spouse wants.

    As if two people want out?

    Usually someone wants out and then the other eventually gives up.

    However you cannot sit forever….

    It just breaks my heart

    If you dont like your spouse – trade them in for the new iphn 5 Model :)

    What they forget to mention is that the iphn5 also has defects and we are all trading baggage and hurting our children in the process

    who do deserve to have both parents under the same roof

    GOOGLE:

    Love Dare
    Fireproof

    I Dare Ya :)

  10. george says:

    The reason we have such a high divorce rate is because woman jump in bed with a guy before they ask what’s your name.
    i’m greek and my mom wated till she got married to have sex. she knows how to cook and take care of the house. she has been a widow now for 14 years.my father past when she was 53.no she did’nt start dating. i would lose all respect for her if she did. my mom is a lady not an american whore.
    1 man and 1 man only! if a woman has sex with more then 1 man then she’s a whore!
    A man who put’s his wife out to work is no man! that’s what my father used to tell me.
    so wake up all you american women and start working in the kichen and not on your backs!!!!

  11. Beth says:

    “the real reason such a divoce rate between white wife- black husband or white wife – asian husband is beacuse white women are not a wife material.thats why such marrages cant last longer.”
    Well hello unnecessary racism! lmao
    I hardly think divorce has anything to do with race my dear. Try again.

  12. Mia says:

    Hey george…
    Guess what, even in the Bible Ruth remarried. This doesn’t make you a whore. Oh, and do you know how many men sleep around? First off, God made us all differently, there is no perfect woman or man out there. Now, I agree that a woman AND a man should only have sex with their spouse. I think you need to chill out.

  13. Natalie says:

    George you are a misogynistic creep. Smart and talented women take jobs outside the home because they want to, so they can feel fulfilled. She is not “put out to work” by her husband, which you say as if she’s a kept farm animal. What year is it where you live?

  14. Corey says:

    Hey George,
    You need to learn how not to disrespect women. This is 2013, in any country, women should be independent and choose to work if they please. It is not a woman’s job just to work in the kitchen and be a “stay at home mom”. And you put a lot of blame on women. Men have sex with more than one woman, I’m assuming that makes us male whores, right? Everyone sins. (Not saying it right)

  15. Misha says:

    In the Asian Indian community the divorce rate is increasing in arrange marriage and love marriages in India and Indians who will outside of India. The meaning of marriage is changing and like one person said people don’t include God’s feelings or allow him to be part of the decision-making process. The reasons for divorce are people marrying young or being pressured, people who prefer rich, good looking, highly educated person and such people than looking at character of person or the inner qualities and values, people not taking the time during single life to develop into the man or woman that they need to be for marriage, and more. There are Asian men and women who marry other people of different races or religions or both that do not work out within a decade. There are also people who marry in the same race, but whatever the reasons do not work out. Asian Indian divorce rates are soaring and the children suffer the most from custody battles, seeing two parents separate, depression, feeling that the children are the cause of the marriage breakup, and more.

  16. kinklu says:

    My wife and I have been married over 46 years. We almost got divorced a couple times but backed out of it well before taking action. We have no secret except for one. She likes to tell me about things that bore me like her shopping trip or what kind of hamburger she bought our grandson for lunch. I used to pretend to listen while was on the computer or reading. One day she came home all excited about what the grandkids had done and I had to wait for the computer to download or something. So I turned in my chair, looked directly into her eyes and listens while asking intelligent questions about details. I’ll never forget the way she lit up. It was magic! She treated me like I was a prince. The part that really did it was to look intently into her eyes like I was only interested in her words and nothing else. I’m not always able to do this every time, but I have discovered that if I do it frequently, it changes our telationshipa,d

  17. JustMyTwoCents says:

    ANY ONE can have a great marriage, but NOT without work. All marriages have their ups and downs, but if you give up when things are crappy, you will miss out on the good that will come with sticking together and making it work.

  18. JustMyTwoCents says:

    George says:
    “The reason we have such a high divorce rate is because woman jump in bed with a guy before they ask what’s your name.”

    I’ve got news for you George, men jump into bed with women too. With that kind of thinking, I would NOT be surprised if you’re single.

  19. joseph says:

    I need some advice. My wife and I are contemplating divorce because of a few things that happened in our marriage one of which was my wife’s imposing parents and family. To the point that they had keys to our home and would come and go as if it was their home. My wife ended up having an affair with someone our sons age. 13 years younger than she is. We are currently working on trying to save our marriage because we have 2 more kids one 14 and the other 10. She tells me that she is not sure if she is still in love with me and I am trying to save my marriage not only because I love her and have so much invested in my marriage but I really love my kids. I was a product of divorced family and my biggest fear of putting my children thru a divorce is becoming a reality. It is a heart-breaking experience and I am so distraught as to why or how someone could be so selfish and not care about the ramifications. What are your thoughts?

  20. brandon says:

    ahhhhhh well aint that America.

  21. Meg says:

    Kinklu
    Thank you for the most insightful post I ever read! I remember watching some dr Phil like show years ago where the counselor said “get interested”. Your post really explains how to do that. FYI- I was thinking the other day how every once in awhile my husband and I would wake up at the same time and be gazing into each other’s eyes. Smart phones on our bedside table has changed that. Electronic rules for the bedroom?

  22. olddog says:

    My first marriage, we just tried too long to make it work; she began to believe the feminist stuff and tried to impose it on me, while I just wanted an old-fashioned wife, equal but different. By age 40 I realized we were talking past each other and took the hard decision to split. Best thing I ever did

  23. God is good says:

    Marriage is not easy. Any type of relationship is hard. In my opinion, i think that marriage requires commitment, an honest desire from both members to make it work. First, you need to know your partner very well. I did not know my husband very well. I married him after a year of dating on and off. But I can say something, we have tried so hard to make it work. We have different personalities and we crash sometimes. But the love that we had for our son keep us grounded and make us….stop and think before we act. We are together because of my son. he is under the spectrum of Autism and we just want the best for him. That is why we are still together.

  24. Michael says:

    The traditional marriage is gradually disappearing. Afterall, this is the internet age and very easy to establish a connection between man and woman outside of the marriage boundaries. Unfortunately, man does not like to be equal to woman. In fact, in today’s world, if the woman says she is homemaker, it is looked at in a very negative way. As the woman is practically forced to work full time, then, the temptation takes over.

  25. Belle says:

    Hey Mia I agree 110% with what George says about women. I know that he said it in a not so nice manner but he spoke the naked truth because I see it all the time on a daily basis. I wish more america women would value themselves more and not give in to the first guy that ask them out. Have some moral you women! Be smart! Your not worth the chase if you give in so easily. Your asking to get your heart broken.

    Ruth was a widow in the Bible that is why its okay for her to remarry and she picked the best guy out of the whole land. I am so proud of her!

  26. CJ says:

    Divorce is something I said was not an option… But I am going through one now after being married for 20 years! I have been through hell and I still am. I raised our children while he was never there when they got older. I worked and took care of the house and kids and made all the appointments and did all the grocery shopping and found ways to make it work. I have been through his cheating and online craziness and even when he lost his job due to his pain killer addiction.. and his verbal, financial, physical and mental abuse.. I tried everything to make it work.. I just could not do it anymore.. I almost went back, when he hounded me and badgered me and would pressure me… I cant.. As soon as he said “You can still work and I can take care of the house…” and “I promise I will not take advantage of you again..” and the worst and made me just walk away “Its your dance you lead and I will follow”.. I flipped out.. why? because he used that line on the woman he cheated on me with a few years ago!!!

  27. reality says:

    Let’s face it. Divorce and child support are the new female income. Over 40Billion dollars in 2002 changed hands from either, and I’ll bet more than 80% of it was from men to women. 100% of the divorced men I know got toasted in their divorce. The reason the marriage rate is going down, is men are smartening up. I know a woman with three kids from three different fathers and on welfare, food stamps and any other handout she can get. I estimate she’s getting between $40,000 to $60,000 per year in child support and handouts. That’s the equivalent of up to $90,000 per year before taxes.

  28. Dan says:

    Lots of opinions out there. Opinions are like AH’s; everyone has one and nobody else really cares. I’d offer mine but I already know none of ya care.

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