48 Divorce Statistics in the U.S. Including Divorce Rate Race Marriage Length

Divorce Statistics in the U.S. Including Divorce Rate, Race, & Marriage Length

The divorce rate in America remains high, with between 40-50% of marriages ending in divorce. However, the overall divorce rate has declined in recent years. In this article, we will examine the latest statistics on divorce in the US, including divorce rates, causes of divorce, and how factors like race, age, and income impact divorce rates.

Divorce Rate in the US

The divorce rate in America peaked around 1980 when the crude divorce rate hit 5.3 divorces per 1,000 people per year. Since then, divorce rates have generally been declining.

National Average Divorce Rate

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national divorce rate is currently 2.3 divorces per 1,000 people. This has declined steadily since 1996, when the rate peaked at 4.0 divorces per 1,000 people.

The states with the highest divorce rates in 2022 include:

  • Arkansas: 10.7 divorces per 1,000 married people
  • Oklahoma: 10.4 per 1,000
  • Nevada: 10.2 per 1,000

The states with the lowest divorce rates are:

  • Maine and Washington D.C.: 4.8 divorces per 1,000 married people
  • New York: 6.1 per 1,000
  • Massachusetts: 6.4 per 1,000

Divorce Rates by State

There is significant variation in divorce rates across different states. States with higher average incomes and education levels tend to have lower divorce rates. Southern states generally have higher divorce rates than Northeastern states.

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Divorce Rate Over Time

The divorce rate peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It has declined fairly steadily since then, from 4 divorces per 1,000 people in 2000 to 2.3 per 1,000 people in 2020.

Contributing factors to the declining divorce rate likely include couples marrying later, more equitable gender roles, and greater social acceptance of divorce leading to fewer trapped marriages.

Demographics of Divorce

Divorce does not impact all demographic groups equally. Factors like gender, age, race, income, and education all influence divorce rates.

Divorce Rates by Gender

Women initiate nearly 69% of all divorces, compared to 31% initiated by men. Some sociologists attribute this to women often being unsatisfied with the emotional support they receive from male partners.

Divorce Rates by Race

  • The black divorce rate is the highest at 30.8 divorces per 1,000 black married people.
  • The Hispanic divorce rate is 18.5 divorces per 1,000 married Hispanic people.
  • The white divorce rate is 15.1 divorces per 1,000 married white people.
  • The Asian divorce rate is lowest at 12.4 divorces per 1,000 married Asian people.

Divorce Rates by Age

People aged 25-39 have the highest divorce rates, while older adults over age 55 have lower divorce rates. Some contributing factors:

  • Financial instability early in marriage
  • Mid-life crises hitting around ages 40-50
  • Older adults are more committed, and less likely to start over

Divorce Rates by Income

Higher-income corresponds to lower divorce rates. For example:

  • 15.1 divorces per 1,000 people making under $25k
  • 14.7 per 1,000 people making $25k-$35k
  • 12.8 per 1,000 people making over $100k

Financial strain causes stress in marriages. Those with higher incomes have more resources to weather hard times.

Divorce Rates by Education

People with college degrees have greater marital stability.

  • No high school degree: 16.4 divorces per 1,000
  • High school degree: 16.4 per 1,000
  • College degree: 14.1 per 1,000
  • Master’s degree: 12.5 per 1,000
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Educated couples may have better communication skills and financial stability.

Causes of Divorce

While reasons given for divorce are often complex, researchers have identified some leading causes.

Most Common Reasons for Divorce

The most commonly reported causes of divorce are:

  • Lack of commitment (63%)
  • Infidelity or extramarital affairs (60-40%)
  • Constant arguing (57.7%)
  • Financial problems (25%)

Basic incompatibility and changing over time also contribute.

Infidelity Statistics

  • Infidelity is the #2 most cited cause of divorce
  • Estimates of cheating partners range from 20% to 40% of divorces
  • Women cheat at nearly the same rate as men

In the digital age, emotional affairs are also a growing concern.

Substance Abuse and Divorce

  • Drug or alcohol abuse causes approximately 24% of divorces
  • Heavy alcohol use increases the odds of infidelity and financial issues

Even occasional drug use or frequent intoxication damages trust in relationships.

Marriage and Divorce Statistics

To interpret divorce data properly, we need to consider corresponding marriage rates and lengths.

Marriage Rate in the US

The U.S. marriage rate is at an all-time low. In 2020 there were only 5.1 new marriages per 1,000 people, down from 8.2 in 2000. Declining marriage rates among Millennials seem to be a primary driver.

Average Age at First Marriage

  • For women: 28.6 years old
  • For men: 30.6 years old

Delayed marriage corresponds to decreased divorce rates. Those who marry in their late 20s have greater relationship maturity.

Average Length of Marriages

  • The average length of marriages ending in divorce is 8 years.
  • Among divorces, the marriage lasted less than 5 years for 32.5% of cases.
  • The “seven-year-itch” does seem to hold true statistically.

Remarriage and Divorce Rates

Around half of marriages break up by year 10. But after divorce:

  • 60% of second marriages end in divorce
  • 73% of third marriages end in divorce
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The odds of long-term success decline with each subsequent remarriage.

Children and Divorce

Let’s look at how parental divorce impacts kids, child custody outcomes, and future relationship patterns.

Impact of Divorce on Children

Children with divorced parents are more likely to:

  • Struggle in school: lower test scores, grades, graduation rates
  • Suffer mental health issues: depression, anxiety, substance abuse
  • Become sexually active earlier
  • Be less religiously observant

Especially children under age 10 during parental divorce. The first few years are critical.

Children of Divorce and Risk of Divorce

Adults whose parents divorced have a 69% higher risk of getting divorced themselves compared to peers from intact homes. Divorce becomes more normalized.

Counseling, open communication with kids during divorce, and maintaining a stable home environment post-divorce help mitigate negative outcomes.


While divorce rates have declined in recent decades, approximately 40-50% of marriages in America still end in divorce. Data indicates infidelity, lack of commitment, constant conflict, financial strain, and substance abuse as leading causes.

We see variations across gender, age, race, income levels, and education when examining divorce rate demographics. And divorce impacts not just couples themselves, but children as well. As we look to improve relationship stability and bolster families, these insights on divorces in the U.S. are crucial guideposts.

Key Takeaways

  • The divorce rate peaked around 1980 but has fallen since
  • Women initiate most divorces
  • The black population has the highest divorce rate
  • The top causes are lack of commitment and infidelity
  • 60% of second marriages end in divorce
  • Kids of divorce are more likely to struggle in school, have mental health issues


1.What is the divorce rate in America?

The national divorce rate is currently about 2.3 divorces per 1,000 married people per year, down from 4 divorces per 1,000 in 2000.

2.What race has the highest divorce rate?

Black Americans have the highest divorce rate at 30.8 divorces per 1,000 married black people per year. The Asian American divorce rate is the lowest.

3.At what age are divorce rates highest?

People aged 25-39 consistently have the highest divorce rates. The late 20s to mid-30s are peak years for divorce.

4.What percent of second marriages end in divorce?

60% of second marriages end in divorce, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. Remarriage failure rates climb with each subsequent marriage.

5.Do children of divorce have higher divorce rates?

Yes, children whose parents divorced are 69% more likely to get divorced compared to peers from intact homes.

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