Divorce Statistics and Divorce Rate in the USA

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):

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. 

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