What is the Current Divorce Rate in America?


The overall divorce rate for men and women in the United States of America differ from state to state. As far as the current rate is concerned, the report titled Marital Events of America: 2009 is the most reliable one. This report examines marriage, divorce and widowhood in America.

Historically, data on marriages and divorces in the U.S. were collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, but since 1996 the Census Bureau allowed American Community Survey (ACS) to collect data related to marriage, divorce and widowhood.

Some of the main features of this report are:

  • Marriage, divorce, and widowhood rates for men and women for the nation and states.
  • Demographic characteristics of adults who experienced a marital event.
  • Age distributions of men’s and women’s first marriages compared with historical data from vital statistics.
  • A profile of children who live with a parent who divorced in the last year.
  • Characteristics of married couples by their durations of marriage.
  • Age-adjusted durations of first and second marriages for women by state.

Marriage and Divorce Rates per 1,000 Men and Women Aged 15 and Over for the Nation, Regions, and States: 2009

Area-wise Male Female

Married Divorced Married Divorced
United States 19.1 9.2 17.6 9.7
REGION
Northeast 16.0 7.2 14.4 7.5
Midwest 18.0 9.1 17.1 9.2
South 20.3 10.2 18.6 11.1
West 20.7 9.2 19.2 9.8
STATE
Alabama 20.2 12.7 18.8 13.9
Alaska 26.0 12.5 24.7 16.2
Arizona 20.3 10.8 19.0 11.9
Arkansas 26.4 13.5 23.0 12.8
California 19.1 8.0 17.5 8.9
Connecticut 17.1 6.7 15.9 10.7
Colorado 23.5 11.6 22.0 9.4
Delaware 23.1 8.9 20.9 8.7
District of Columbia 17.7 6.3 16.9 8.3
Florida 17.0 8.5 15.2 9.9
Georgia 22.1 11.5 20.4 11.7
Hawaii 24.9 8.3 21.9 7.8
Idaho 25.8 7.7 25.1 9.7
Illinois 17.9 8.0 16.3 8.0
Indiana 19.8 11.0 18.9 10.7
Iowa 21.5 10.2 21.5 10.8
Kansas 22.1 10.6 20.8 10.2
Kentucky 22.2 12.6 20.5 13.5
Louisiana 20.6 11.0 17.6 10.0
Maine 13.5 13.0 12.2 9.1
Maryland 18.3 8.8 16.1 8.2
Massachusetts 15.8 7.8 14.1 7.0
Michigan 16.5 9.2 15.6 9.3
Minnesota 15.3 7.4 15.4 7.8
Mississippi 19.3 11.1 17.3 12.5
Missouri 18.6 9.5 18.7 10.4
Montana 18.5 9.1 18.8 11.1
Nebraska 19.6 8.8 18.9 9.8
Nevada 23.2 12.3 22.4 12.3
New Hampshire 16.7 10.1 15.5 9.6
New Jersey 14.8 6.1 13.3 6.0
New Mexico 20.4 10.2 19.9 10.1
New York 16.8 6.6 14.8 7.3
North Carolina 20.4 9.9 19.0 10.3
North Dakota 26.7 8.0 27.3 8.3
Ohio 16.9 9.5 15.4 10.0
Oklahoma 23.8 12.8 22.4 14.1
Oregon 18.9 10.4 18.1 11.4
Pennsylvania 15.5 7.7 14.3 7.4
Rhode Island 15.0 9.4 15.1 9.5
South Carolina 18.1 8.1 15.8 7.8
South Dakota 20.1 10.9 20.3 8.9
Tennessee 19.4 11.4 17.1 11.6
Texas 21.5 10.0 20.4 11.9
Utah 29.6 10.2 26.7 10.8
Vermont 16.4 9.6 15.4 11.5
Virginia 20.5 8.9 18.8 10.2
Washington 21.4 10.0 20.3 10.6
West Virginia 22.2 10.9 20.8 11.8
Wisconsin 17.2 8.3 16.2 7.5
Wyoming 30.7 10.3 28.7 10.7

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

As per the findings in this new report, Marital Events of America: 2009, the overall national rates of marital events for men in 2009 were 19.1 marriages and 9.2 divorces. The US divorce rate in men and women are the highest in the southern United States, while those in the Northeast have the lowest.

There are 10.2 divorces per 1000 men in the South (Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) and 11.1 per 1000 women–above the national average of 9.2 for men and 9.7 for women in 2009. In the Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) the rate is 7.2 per 1000 for men and 7.5 per 1,000 for women in 2009. There are two exception cases also in regard to the state of Alaska and Maine. In these two states, divorce rates for men and women rank in the top 10.

Facts related to highest divorce rates in the US for men and women:

  • Arkansas has the highest rate for men, with 13.5 per 1000 men.
  • In Maine, there are 13.0 such cases per 1000 men.
  • There are 12.8 divorces per 1000 men in Oklahoma.
  • Alabama has the fourth highest rate for men with 12.7 divorces per 1000.
  • In 2009, there are 12.6 such cases per 1000 men in Kentucky.
  • With 16.2 divorces per 1000 women, Alaska has the highest rate for women.
  • There are 14.1 such cases per 1000 women in Oklahoma.
  • In Alabama, there are 13.9 such cases per 1000 women.
  • Arkansas has the fifth highest divorce rate for women, with 12.8 divorces per 1000.
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According to the report, divorce rate differences between men and women can be attributed to several factors: Women tend to live longer than men and marry older men. Conversely, men remarry more than women do, so their marriage rates tend to be higher.

Characteristics of Those Married and Divorced (2009)

Characteristic Total Total Men Total Women Total Married Men Total Married Women Total Divorced Men Total Divorced Women
Population 15 years and over 245,155,843 119,715,944 125,439,899 2,286,750 2,208,971 1,098,959 1,219,656
15 to 24 years 17.6 18.6 16.7 19.5 27.9 3.8 5.8
25 to 34 years 16.9 17.6 16.2 43.9 41.8 23.7 27.3
35 to 44 years 17.0 17.4 16.6 18.31 5.8 29.4 30.1
45 to 54 years 18.2 18.4 18.0 10.9 9.4 26.0 22.9
55 to 64 years 14.2 14.0 14.4 5.0 3.7 12.0 9.8
65 years and over 16.1 14.0 18.1 2.4 1.4 5.2 4.2

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

As per US divorce statistics, it is clear that age is closely associated with recent marital events. For instance, 44 percent of men and 42 percent of women who married in between 2008 and 2009 were aged 25 to 34. Given that individuals who divorce need to first be married, it is not surprising that men and women who divorced in the same given time period were older, with the highest percentages among those 35 to 44 years old (29 percent of men and 30 percent of women). Also those recently married are more likely to be younger and to have been married for the shortest durations of time.

For the complete report, click here.

To conclude this is all about current US divorce statistics. To know more about the report, you can check the official site.


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