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Divorce Rate by State 2020

Marriage and divorce are both common experiences for adults, although both can be challenging. About 90% of people in Western cultures marry by age 50. In the United States, about 50% of married couples divorce, the sixth-highest divorce rate in the world. Subsequent marriages have an even higher divorce rate: 60% of second marriages end in divorce and 73% of all third marriages end in divorce.

Divorces can emotionally and financially difficult. They can greatly affect parents as well as the couple’s children. According to the United States Census Bureau, both marriage and divorce rates decreased from 2008 to 2018. The marriage rate of women 15 and older for 2018 is 16.6 per 1,000 women. The national divorce rate is 7.7 per 1,000 women.

The average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old. Couples are more or less likely to get divorced based on several factors. Couples married between the ages of 20-25 are 60% likely to get a divorce. Those who wait until they are older than 25 to get married are 24% less likely to get divorced. Those with strong religious beliefs are 14% less likely to get a divorce. The higher attainment of education someone has, the lower their risk of divorce is.

Divorce rates consistently spike in March and August every year. Northeastern states tend to have the lowest marriage and divorce rates while Southern and Western states tend to have the highest marriage and divorce rates.

Below are the states with the highest and lowest divorce rates in the United States. The reason that the rate of divorce per population is so different from the percentage of marriages that end in divorce, and would create two entirely different lists of rankings, is that states see different numbers of marriages. Illinois, for example, has the lowest divorce rate in the country but less than 65% of people are married. In Idaho and Arkansas, where the divorce rates are higher, over 72% of people are married.

States with the Highest Divorce Rates

The following states have the highest divorce rates in the United States:

  1. Nevada - 4.5 divorces per 1,000 people (14% of marriages)
  2. Oklahoma - 4.1 divorces per 1,000 people (13.9%)
  3. Wyoming - 4 divorces per 1,000 people (13.3%)
  4. Idaho – 3.9 divorces per 1,000 people (13.1%)
  5. Kentucky – 3.7 divorces per 1,000 people (13.1%)
  6. Arkansas – 3.7 divorces per 1,000 people (13%)
  7. Alabama – 3.7 divorces per 1,000 people (12.3%)
  8. Florida – 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people (13%)
  9. Alaska – 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people (11.60%)
  10. West Virginia – 3.5 divorces per 1,000 people (13.3%)

Nevada has the highest divorce rate in the U.S. There are about 4.5 divorces per 1,000 people. The reason for the high divorce rate in Nevada is that people get married hastily in Las Vegas without thinking about the long-term commitment of marriage. Additionally, a divorce in Nevada can be finalized in as quickly as 10 days.

States with the Lowest Divorce Rates

The following states have the lowest divorce rates in the United States:

  1. Illinois – 1.5 divorces per 1,000 people (9.7% of marriages)
  2. Louisiana – 1.7 divorces per 1,000 people (11.8%)
  3. Massachusetts - 2.1 divorces per 1,000 people (9.5%)
  4. Iowa – 2.2 divorces per 1,000 people (10.7%)
  5. Kansas – 2.3 divorces per 1,000 people (11.2%)
  6. Maryland – 2.4 divorces per 1,000 people (10%)
  7. Georgia – 2.5 divorces per 1,000 people (11.20%)
  8. District of Columbia - 2.5 divorces per 1,000 people (8.7%)
  9. Wisconsin - 2.5 divorces per 1,000 people (10.7%)
  10. South Carolina - 2.5 divorces per 1,000 people (10.8%)

In some of these states, religion plays a major role in decreasing the likelihood of divorce, such as in Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina. Illinois and Louisiana both have low marriage rates, which translate to low divorce rates.

Here are the 10 states with the highest rates of divorce:

  1. Nevada (14.00%)
  2. Maine (13.90%)
  3. Puerto Rico (13.80%)
  4. West Virginia (13.30%)
  5. Kentucky (13.10%)
  6. Oklahoma (13.10%)
  7. Arkansas (13.00%)
  8. Florida (13.00%)
  9. New Mexico (13.00%)
  10. Oregon (12.90%)

Divorce Rate by State 2020

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Divorce Rate by State 2020