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U.S. DIVORCE – 80 SHOCKING FACTS

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Type divorce into a browser and you are likely to find any number of studies and reports focusing on a variety of areas but, if you don’t want to find yourself in an endless click to the next headline cycle, what follows is a comprehensive listing of overall divorce numbers in the U.S.

If you ever think you are alone in this, you’ll soon see just how in the majority you are. Of note, while Covid-19 has led to an increase in domestic violence and brought many relationships to a breaking point, we won’t really know the overall impact until 2021 at the soonest so, any impact will not be reflected in these numbers.

U.S. DIVORCE RATE

1. The marriage rate in the United States is currently 6.5 per 1,000 population.

2. The divorce rate in the United States is 2.9 per 1,000 population (as of 2018 which is the most current year of data from the CDC – with 45 states and D.C. reporting).

3. In gross numbers, in 2018 there were 2,132,853 marriages and 782,038 divorces.

4. In Virginia, as of 2018, the marriage rate is 6.4 per 1,000 population and the divorce rate is 3.1 per 1,000 population.

5. Currently, the divorce rate in the U.S. per 1000 women is 16.9. A seemingly more accurate reflection of the true divorce rate.

6. Almost 50% of all marriages in the U.S. will end in divorce or separation.

7. Researchers estimate that 41% of all first marriages, 60% of all second marriages and, 73% of all third marriages end in divorce.

8. The average length of a first marriage that ends in divorce is 8 years.

9. The United States has the 6th highest divorce rate in the world.

10. Every 13 seconds, there is one divorce in the U.S.

11. This equates to 277 divorces per hour, 6,646 divorces per day, 45,523 divorces per week, and 2,419,196 divorces per year. To break that down further:

12. There are 9 divorces in the time it takes a couple to recite their wedding vows (approximately 2 minutes).

13. More than 554 divorces occur during your typical romantic comedy movie (2 hours).

14. 1,385 divorces happen during the average wedding reception (5 hours).

15. There are 19,353,568 divorces over the course of an average first marriage that ends in 8 years.

16. Among all Americans 18 years of age or older, whether they themselves have been married or not, 25% have gone through a marital split.

17. 15% of adult women in the United States are divorced or separated today. In 1920 it was less than 1%.

18. Only 29 of every 1,000 divorced or widowed women in the U.S. remarry.

THE WHO, WHEN AND WHY

19. The average age of couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old.

20. 60% of all divorces involve people aged 25 to 39.

21. Surprising to some, Wives are the ones who most often initiate divorce at between 66% and 75% of the time.

22. Professions with the highest divorce rate: Dancers (43%), Bartenders (38.4%), Massage Therapists (38.2%), Gaming Cage Workers (34.6%) and, Gaming Service Workers (31.3%).

23. Professions with the lowest divorce rate: Farmers (7.63%), Podiatrists (6.81%), Clergy (5.61%), Optometrists (4.01%) and, Agricultural Engineers (1.78%).

24. Listing of divorce rates by occupation:

Occupation Divorce Rate

Dancers

43

Bartenders

38.4

Massage Therapists

38.2

Gaming Cage Workers

34.6

Gaming Service Workers

31.3

Food and Tobacco Machine Operators

29.7

Telephone Operators

29.3

Textile Machine Operators

29

Nurses

28.9

Home Care Aids

28.7

Entertainers

28.4

Bellhops and Concierges

28.4

Telemarketers

28.1

Waitstaff

27.1

Roofers

26.8

Maids

26.3

Corrections Workers

21.3

Law Enforcement

14.47

Doctors and Surgeons

9.23

Mechanical Engineers

9.22

Medical Scientists

9.11

Other Scientists

8.79

Legislators

8.74

Audiologists

7.77

Dentists

7.75

Farmers

7.63

Podiatrists

6.81

Clergy

5.61

Optometrists

4.01

Agricultural Engineers

1.78

*bonus: Law enforcement and police divorce rate is 14.47, while the rate for corrections workers is 21.3.

25. The groups with the most instances to experience marriage ending in divorce are: adults making less than $20,000 annually (39%), Baby Boomers (38%), those aligned with a non-Christian faith (38%), African-Americans (36%) and, people who identify as liberal on social and political matters (37%).

26. Conversely, the groups with the lowest instances to experience a marriage ending in divorce are: Catholics (28%), Evangelicals (26%), adults making more than $75,000 annually (22%), Asians (20%) and, those who identify as conservative on social and political matters (28%).

27. Divorce rate for women by ethnicity and age group:

25-29 30-34 35-39 40-49 50-59 60-69

Caucasian: 14.2% 22.1% 27.6% 36.3% 41.1% 36.9%

AA: 14.6% 23.9% 32.7% 35% 48.2% 40.3%

Asian: 1.3% 7.8% 13.2% 20.6% 18.5% 16%

Hispanic: 10.5% 16.3% 18.1% 23.7% 30.2% 25%

MILITARY

28. According to the Pentagon, the military divorce rate is 3.4%.

29. However, the rate is significantly higher in military women at 7.2 percent. The Divorce rate among enlisted troops is 3.8 percent.

30. The highest divorce rate among all Branches of the U.S. Military is the Air Force at 4.3%.

31. Divorce rates for military members who have been deployed are higher: It's 12.52% for those in the U.S. Navy, 8.9% in the Marines, 8.48% in the Army and 14.6% in Air Force, according to Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch data.

32. The divorce rate among U.S. Navy seals is a stunning 90%.

33. The divorce rate among people 50 and older has doubled in the past 20 years.

34. The divorce rate among couples where one spouse is in jail for one year of more is 80% for men and close to 100% for women.

35. About 1% of married same-sex couples get divorced each year, while about 2% of opposite-sex couple get divorced each year.

36. Same-sex female couples are nearly twice as likely to divorce than same-sex male couples.

37. In the United States, the divorce rate in states that allow same-sex marriage is 3.1% per 1000 people and, for those states that prohibit same-sex marriage it is 3.9% per 1000 people.

38. The month of January accounts for the highest percentage of divorces for one month that are filed per year.

39. The top eight reasons given for divorce are (with many giving multiple of these reasons): Lack of commitment (73%), argue too much (56%), Infidelity (46%), unrealistic expectations (45%), Lack of equality in the relationship (44%), Lack of preparation for marriage (41%) and, domestic violence (25%).

40. 48% of those who marry before the age of 18 are likely to divorce within 10 years, compared to 25% of those who marry after the age of 25.

41. 60% of couples married between the age of 20-25 will end in divorce.

42. Those who wait to marry until they are over 25 years old are 24% less likely to get divorces.

43. If both you and your spouse have been married before, you are 90% more likely to get divorced than if this had been the first marriage for each.

44. If a person has strong religious beliefs, the risk of divorce is 14% less likely and, a person having no religious affiliation is 14% more likely to get divorce.

45. Those who drop-out of high school are 13% more likely to get divorced, while those who attend college are 13% less likely to get divorced.

46. 60% of cohabiting couples will eventually marry. However, living together prior to marriage can increase the chance of getting divorced by as much as 40%.

47. If you met your spouse in high school, college, or grad school, you are 41% less likely to get divorced but, if you met them in a bar, you are 24% more likely to get divorced.

48. According to the CDC, the five state with the highest divorce rates are: Nevada (5.6%), West Virginia (5.2%), Arkansas (5.3%), Idaho (4.9%) and, Oklahoma (5.2%).

49. The five states with the lowest divorce rates are: Iowa (2.4%), Illinois (2.6%), Massachusetts (2.7%), North Dakota (2.7%) and, Pennsylvania (2.8%).

50. Facebook has been cited in a U.K. study as being a major contributor to divorce complaints (33%).

51. According to a study by the University of Rochester, in marriages of 3 years or longer if the couples watch a romantic movie together and have a conversation about it, it can lower the divorce rates among that group from 24% to 11%.

52. Pornography addiction was cited as a factor in 56% of divorces according to a recent study.

53. If your parents are still married, your risk of divorce decreases by 14%.

54. If your parents remarried after divorcing, you are an amazing 91% more likely to get divorced.

55. Children of divorce are 50% more likely to marry another child of divorce.

56. According to some studies, daughters of divorced parents have a 60% higher divorce rate, while sons of divorced parents have a 35% higher rate.

57. Couples with children have as much as a 40% lower divorce rate than those without children.

58. Half of all children in the United States will witness the ending of a parent’s marriage and, of this half, close to 50% will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage.

59. If you have twins or triplets, you are 17% more likely to divorce than those whose children are not multiples.

60. If you have a daughter, you are nearly 5% more likely to divorce than if you have a son and, when there are as many as 3 daughters that increases to 10%. Additionally, fathers are 3% less likely to be living with their children if they have daughters versus sons.

61. Having a baby prior to marriage can increase the risk of divorce by 24%.

62. Couples, astonishingly, are 76%-95% more likely to get divorced if only one of them smokes and, that percentage increases when the one is the Wife.

63. Even when both parties smoke, they are 53% more likely to divorce than a non-smoking couple.

64. How about alcohol? Each liter of alcohol consumed raises the chance of divorce by 20% and, with Americans, on average, consuming 9.4 liters per year, their divorce likelihood is increased by 188%.

65. Interestingly, a study out of the University of Buffalo found that couples whose drinking or non-drinking patterns are the same, are more likely to say together. However, if one is a heavy drinker and the other is not, they are 60% more likely to get divorced.

66. Mental disorders, depending on what they are, can increase the likelihood of divorce from 20% to 80% with addictions and major depression being the highest.

67. Ah, video games. A recent study finds video games cited 15% of the time in divorce petitions as a major factor in the decision to divorce.

68. Sadly, 43% of children in the United States are being raised without their fathers.

69. 90% of divorced mothers have primary custody of their children.

70. Over 79% of custodial mothers receive child support, while just under 30% of custodial fathers receive child support.

71. Wow, over 46% of non-custodial mothers completely default on child support, compared to only 27% of non-custodial fathers.

72. If a close friend of yours gets divorced, you are 147% more likely to become divorced yourself and 33% more likely if it is a friend of a friend.

73. A University of California study found that when a married person works with someone who is in the process of divorcing, it increases the married persons chances of divorcing by 75%.

74. The average total cost of a divorce in the U.S. is $15,000. INCREASE YOUR PROFITS.

75. Families with children that were not poor before their divorce see their income drop by as much as 50%.

76. Almost 50% of the parent with children that are going through a divorce move into poverty after the divorce.

77. 27% of recently divorced women had less than $25,000 in annual household income compared to 17% of recently divorced men.

78. A study entitled “Divorce and Death” says that broken marriages can kill at the same rate as smoking. The risk of dying is a full 23% higher among divorcees than married people.

79. One study found that a single divorce costs states and the federal government about $30,000 based on higher use of food stamps and public housing as well as increased bankruptcies and juvenile delinquencies. As a nation, in 2002, the 1.4 million divorces completed cost the U.S. taxpayers approximately 30 billion dollars

80. Only around 5% of divorces are fully or ultimately decided in a courtroom with 95% being resolved largely by mediation but, also through attorney negotiations and the parties resolving among themselves.


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