Divorce Statistics

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5 Divorce Statistics That May Shock You

Ashayla Blakely

Written by: Ashayla Blakely

Ashayla Blakely

Ashayla Blakely is an experienced storyteller who has fun writing authentic and relatable content for DatingAdvice.com. As a hopeless romantic, Ashayla has always enjoyed sharing good conversation and advice about dating. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Telecommunications from the University of Florida. She is currently enrolled in the graduate program at Florida State University's film school. You can often catch her with a script in her hand, calling out the shots in her many directorial roles on set.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Divorce is a sad situation that most people do their best to avoid. And yet many modern marriages end in divorce court. According to Our World in Data, long marriages are becoming less common1 around the world. But why?

Studies show that people are marrying later in life because they have education and career goals that come first. Modern women are more likely to be educated and have their own career prospects, so they aren’t financially trapped in a bad marriage.

Despite the shaky state of modern marriage, there is still hope for those couples who wish to say “I do” someday. Thanks to counseling and other helpful relationship resources, not every marriage has to end with an expensive legal bill. LegalJobs estimates that couples can — with the proper guidance — reduce their chances of getting divorced2 to 39% — compared with the 50% divorce rate of the 1980s. 

In our research, we’ve uncovered surprising divorce statistics that increase the overall understanding of how marriage and divorce impact society.

1. The U.S. Divorce Rate is 2.5 Per 1,000 People

Marriage is a tradition that most Americans hold dear and near to their hearts. For the longest time, the United States population took pride in walking down the aisle and confessing their love in front of people they care for. Nowadays it’s not strange to see American couples tossing out the idea of marriage altogether. Others are picking up their new rituals and straying away from societal expectations of marriage.

Based on the United Nations statistics, the U.S. divorce rate is 2.5 per 1,000 people3. This is considered the highest divorce rate in North America — but not as high as other countries like Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. These three countries have the highest divorce rates in the world. 

Photo of a man sitting alone
A lot of Americans decide not to go through a divorce because of family concern.

Children usually play a big part in a couple’s decision whether to get a divorce. According to Family Means, children who experience their parents’ divorce are deeply affected4. In certain scenarios, children suffer academically, socially, and even emotionally. Family Means experts said that children who witness a divorce are likely to mistrust the institution of marriage and fail to maintain lasting relationships themselves.

The research supports the trend that children who experience divorce will be more likely to divorce5 in the course of their adulthood.

2. Massachusetts Has the Lowest Divorce Rate in the U.S. 

Research shows that Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate6 in the U.S. Some would say that age is a major component of a successful marriage. Parents and society in general often advise young people not to marry at too young an age –– and they may be onto something. Statistics show that a lot of people from Massachusetts choose to marry when they are older. As a result, marriages tend to last longer and divorces are less likely. 

Massachusetts map
Massachusetts was the first state in the U.S. to support same-sex marriages. 

Researchers say that states that approve same-sex marriages have a lower divorce rate. But that’s not always the case! Nevada has the highest divorce rates but was one of the first states to recognize both marriage and domestic partnerships between same-sex couples.

Texas is another state that has a low divorce rate. Douglas Pits suggested that the low divorce rates7 in Texas are a result of how expensive divorces are. Some couples would rather not deal with the expenses involved with a divorce. 

“So it seems that in Texas, either married couples have been doing a better job of getting along or economic times make it more sensible to keep trying to work things out,” said Douglas. 

3. A Town in Oregon Has the Highest Divorce Rate in the U.S.

Brookings, Oregon, has the highest divorce rate in the U.S. Research shows that 20% of Brookings residents are divorced, and the number has increased over the years. City data reveal that Brookings has a small population and most residents are people over the age of 40. Some people suggest that small towns may be the cause of the high divorce rate. 

Following dreams together. Rear view of beautiful young couple holding hands while walking through the city street
A small town in Oregon has a high divorce rate.

When you don’t have a large dating pool to choose from, you may settle into relationships that don’t fulfill you. People may marry local partners for companionship and comfort rather than for love. Online dating resources can help singles living in small cities improve their chances of finding someone who shares their interests and values. 

Depending on what kind of relationship you’re looking for, certain popular dating apps like Match or eharmony can help singles connect with people from all over the world. Hence, singles don’t have to settle for their next-door neighbor if they don’t have chemistry.  

4. About 73% of Third Marriages End in Divorce

Many factors can contribute to a divorce. Some couples get a divorce because of infidelity while others find themselves growing apart and aren’t able to get over their new differences. But a major reason why people get a divorce is because they don’t give their marriage a fair shot before moving on to the next relationship. Divorce Statistics show that around 73% of third marriages8 end in divorce. 

The average time it takes someone to remarry is three years — if they decide to remarry again. Some relationship experts suggest people should wait longer after a divorce to start dating again. They suggest that the first couple of years after a divorce are hard and should be focused on finding healing. 

5. India Has the Lowest Divorce Rate Worldwide

It’s safe to say that religion plays a major factor in divorces as well. Some couples’ faith holds them back from getting a divorce and encourages them to work things out. Interestingly enough, statistics show that India has the lowest divorce rate worldwide. Divorce.com studied the divorce rates by country and reported that India’s divorce rate in 2022 was estimated to be less than 1%

An Indian couple
Indian couples are among the least likely to divorce in the world.

Marriage is a beautiful and sacred thing in Indian culture. Divorce is not seen as a valid option. Indian couples may choose each other for marriage, or they may be part of an arranged marriage agreed to their families. In either case, the marriage is consider a life-long binding decision.

This certainly encourages couples to take their vows seriously and weather the challenges of life together, but it also can hurt those who feel trapped in an unhappy relationship. This is something to consider when you tie religion into your decision to marry.

FAQs: What is the Number One Cause of Divorce?

As I mentioned earlier, divorces occur for an array of different reasons. But some of the most common reasons have been reported to be constant conflict, infidelity, lack of communication, lack of romantic intimacy or sex, and incompatibility. As we all know, marriage has its fair share of challenges. Sometimes those challenges just seem too big to overlook.

Although divorce isn’t ideal — no one wishes to get married just to get divorced — it’s still something that is a possibility. Should it happen to you, find a supportive team to back you up. Divorce attorneys, including the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), are a great resource to have while going through a divorce. AAML practices family law and has helped many families peacefully settle their divorce. 

“Divorce is an unfortunate reality experienced by half of all families. The chances of proceeding respectfully and amicably increase depending upon your choice of representation,” said Cary J. Mogerman, the current president of AAML.

Where Can I Meet Divorced People for Dating?

When the time is right, jumping back into the dating scene can be challenging but not impossible. Thanks to niche dating sites, including JustDivorcedSingles and DivorcedFreeAndSingle, divorced singles can find a partner who has similar views and life experiences. Divorced singles tend to be older and more mature, so it makes sense that they vibe well in new relationships.

The longstanding dating service eharmony sees a lot of divorced singles looking for a second chance at love. Its in-depth compatibility ratings and paid subscription plan can appeal to mature adults who are serious about making a deep connection.

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Dating someone after a failed marriage certainly comes with trials and errors. But dating a fellow divorced person who’s been there and done that can make the process easier. 

Many divorced singles are also parents and have to deal not only with a failed marriage but coparenting their children as well. Fortunately, there are free single parent dating sites available for singles with children. Stir is a great dating app for single parents who want to meet other single parents on their terms. Many single people on the Stir app have gone through a divorce and are trying to figure out how to date while still prioritizing their kids. 

How Can I Heal Properly After a Divorce?

There are plenty of healthy options that people should consider after dealing with a divorce. A common thing that people do is participate in one-on-one therapy sessions to help them process the divorce and heal. Divorced singles are encouraged to talk to someone throughout their healing journey whether that’s a professional or a friend. A listening ear can help a person way more than most people think. 

Helpful resources, like the Breakup Shop, can provide coaching services that help singles recover from bad breakups. The Breakup Shop provides a peer-to-peer support system where divorced people share their thoughts and advice for moving forward after a marriage ends.

Photo of a couple breaking up
Certain coaches and psychologists specialize in breakup recovery and healing hearts.

“Our divorce topics are written by people who have actually been through a divorce,” Andrea told us. “We find this is the best way to connect with our readers and provide them the best insight possible.”

Another healthy alternative singles can consider when looking for healing is practicing different self-care routines. This can be going to the gym or picking up a pen and journaling. These small steps help divorced singles not only rediscover themselves but prepare for the next relationship –– if that’s something they are interested in! 

Divorces Don’t Always Have to End Badly

Divorce is something that every couple should discuss. Certain questions like, “How can we avoid getting a divorce?” or “What are common problems that couples experience that lead to divorce?” can help couples address problems early in their relationship to avoid joining the divorce statistics. 

Love can fade in even the longest relationships when arguments begin and differences arise. Divorce may not be on everyone’s to-do list, but it is something that commonly happens. We often view divorce as a messy situation that ends with two people hating each other. But that’s not always the case! With the right divorce attorney and a mature attitude, a divorce can be an amicable next step for two adults.

Some divorces are viewed as a happy new beginning. It’s not always the end of a sad story but rather the start of a new chapter. Plenty of divorced parents still keep in contact with one another and maintain a healthy relationship for the sake of their children. Co-parenting is way better when two people can understand that their relationship may not have worked out, but their family ties are still important. Happy endings may not always be what we think, but they do exist!

Data Sources

1. ourworldindata.org/marriages-and-divorces#marriages-are-becoming-less-common

2. legaljobs.io/blog/divorce-statistics

3. unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic-social/products/dyb/documents/dyb2021/table25.xls

4. familymeans.org/effects-of-divorce-on-children.html

5. newswise.com/articles/children-of-divorce-more-likely-to-end-their-marriages

6. cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/marriage-divorce/state-divorce-rates-90-95-99-21.pdf

7. fox26houston.com/news/texas-ranked-among-states-with-the-least-divorce-rates-report

8. wf-lawyers.com/divorce-statistics-and-facts

9. divorce.com/blog/divorce-rates-in-the-world

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