Divorce Rate by State: 2022 Stats (Highest to Lowest Rankings)

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Background Checks | October 7, 2022

Divorce rate by state shown by example state shapes surrounding a computer screen that shows a newlywed couple on a heart that has been ripped apart and a man on the left with his hand on his hip and the other on his chin.

When comparing divorce rate by state, there are some interesting facts in the latest stats. Although many people think that the rate is 50 percent in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control data, that number is grossly exaggerated.

The divorce rate by state is actually much, much less.

Although divorce rates can be difficult to calculate, most studies indicate that the latest yearly statistics for the national divorce rate in the United States achieved peak percentage in the 1980’s.

By examining the highest to lowest rankings can shed some light on what factors commonly lead to divorce in the U.S.

What Are the Divorce Rates in America?

Although it has been said for years that the divorce rate among married couples is 50% this actually hasn’t been true for some time.3

The most recent statistics on the matter indicate that people are getting divorced less and less every year. The reason for the falling divorce rate is fairly complex and is likely due to dozens of competing factors. A good way to start to get a grasp on the socioeconomic reasons for divorce is to look at divorce statistics by state.1

Highest Divorce Rate by State

When looking at the divorce rate by state, most people assume that California has the highest rate, however, Arkansas actually leads the way with California falling below the national average. For many years it was reported that many of the counties in Southern California had the highest divorce rate in the entire country.

However, studies actually show that the divorce rate tends to be higher in more rural states, rather than those with high urban populations. The reasons for this may be because of the percentage of people who actually marry, versus the percentage of the population who co-habitate.

Lowest Divorce Rate by State

Looking at urban versus rural populations is not the best way to estimate the divorce rates in the U.S. Both the state with the highest divorce rate and the state with the lowest divorce rate are both traditionally rural states: Arkansas with the highest, and North Dakota with the lowest.

Screenshot of the NCHS breakdown of Norh Dakota with arrows pointing to the divorce rate per 1000 marriages.

The list below outlines the current divorce rate in each state, based on the number of marriages in that state.

Divorce Rate in by StateDivorce Rate
Divorce Rate in Alabama (AL)19.9%
Divorce Rate in Alaska (AK)14.4%
Divorce Rate in Arizona (AZ)16.3%
Divorce Rate in Arkansas (AR)25.9 %
Divorce Rate in California (CA)13.8%
Divorce Rate in Colorado (CO)16.6%
Divorce Rate in Connecticut (CT)14.3%
Divorce Rate in Delaware (DE)15.7%
Divorce Rate in Florida (FL)16.9%
Divorce Rate in Georgia (GA)17.0%
Divorce Rate in Hawaii (HI)13.0%
Divorce Rate in Idaho (ID)14.6%
Divorce Rate in Illinois (IL)13.7%
Divorce Rate in Indiana (IN)19.7%
Divorce Rate in Iowa (IA)13.6%
Divorce Rate in Kansas (KS)16.0%
Divorce Rate in Kentucky (KY)20.3%
Divorce Rate in Louisiana (LA)16.9%
Divorce Rate in Maine (ME)16.3%
Divorce Rate in Massachusetts (MA)15.9%
Divorce Rate in Maryland (MD)15.3%
Divorce Rate in Michigan (MI)14.2%
Divorce Rate in Minnesota (MN)13.5%
Divorce Rate in Mississippi (MS)19.0%
Divorce Rate in Missouri (MO)17.9%
Divorce Rate in Montana (MT)17.0%
Divorce Rate in Nebraska (NE)13.1%
Divorce Rate in Nevada (NV)20.0%
Divorce Rate in New Hampshire (NH)16.1%
Divorce Rate in New Jersey (NJ)11.3%
Divorce Rate in New Mexico (NM)14.3%
Divorce Rate in New York (NY)12.4%
Divorce Rate in North Carolina (NC)17.3%
Divorce Rate in North Dakota (ND)8.7%
Divorce Rate in Ohio (OH)15.0%
Divorce Rate in Oklahoma (OK)21.0%
Divorce Rate in Oregon (OR)19.6%
Divorce Rate in Pennsylvania (PA)13.0%
Divorce Rate in Rhode Island (RI)11.4%
Divorce Rate in South Carolina (SC)15.6%
Divorce Rate in South Dakota (SD)23.0 %
Divorce Rate in Tennessee (TN)18.0%
Divorce Rate in Texas (TX)16.8%
Divorce Rate in Utah (UT)16.1%
Divorce Rate in Vermont (VT)12.6%
Divorce Rate in Virginia (VA)15.9%
Divorce Rate in Washington (WA)18.0%
Divorce Rate in West Virginia (WV)19.5%
Divorce Rate in Wisconsin (WI)12.0%
Divorce Rate in Wyoming (WY)17.0%

What Is the Average Length of Marriage Before Divorce in the U.S.?

Another useful statistic to examine is the demographics of divorced individuals. This should create an understanding of what factors are more likely to lead to divorce.2 One of the best things to look at to understand this phenomenon is to examine how long the average divorced couple was married before the divorce.

Just like looking at the divorce rate by state, this can help researchers examine the environmental factors that make divorce more likely.

Average Marriage Length by StateDivorce Rate by Years of Marriage
Average Marriage Length in Alabama (AL)20.2 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Alaska (AK)16.0 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Arizona (AZ)19.9 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Arkansas (AR)19.0 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in California (CA)18.8 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Colorado (CO)17.6 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Connecticut (CT)21.8 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Delaware (DE)21.2 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Florida (FL)20.3 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Georgia (GA)18.2 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Hawaii (HI)18.8 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Idaho (ID)18.7 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Illinois (IL)20.7 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Indiana (IN)19.8 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Iowa (IA)21.8 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Kansas (KS)19.7 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Kentucky (KY)19.8 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Louisiana (LA)19.4 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Maine (ME)22.6 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Massachusetts (MA)18.9 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Maryland (MD)20.4 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Michigan (MI)21.6 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Minnesota (MN)21.0 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Mississippi (MS)19.6 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Missouri (MO)20.3 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Montana (MT)21.5 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Nebraska (NE)20.4 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Nevada (NV)17.2 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in New Hampshire (NH)22.1 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in New Jersey (NJ)20.5 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in New Mexico (NM)20.5 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in New York (NY)20.0 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in North Carolina (NC)19.5 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in North Dakota (ND)19.9 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Ohio (OH)21.2 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Oklahoma (OK)18.0 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Oregon (OR)19.4 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Pennsylvania (PA)22.1 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Rhode Island (RI)20.7 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in South Carolina (SC)21.2 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in South Dakota (SD)21.3 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Average Marriage Length in Tennessee (TN)19.3 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Texas (TX)17.6 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Utah (UT)17.3 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Vermont (VT)22.0 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Virginia (VA)18.9 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Washington (WA)18.2 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in West Virginia (WV)22.6 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Wisconsin (WI)22.3 Years of Marriage Before Divorce
Average Marriage Length in Wyoming (WY)19.1 Years of Marriage Before Divorce

What Is the Average Divorce Rate by Age?

The age at which the average couple gets divorced is also an important factor. Just as many people may have suspected, the older the couple, the less likely they are to get divorced. This also means that younger couples have a much higher chance of getting divorced.

US Census webiste screenshot with arrows pointing to marital status numbers based on gender.

This also supports the idea that even for young couples that have been together for several years, the longer that the couple waits to get married, the lower the chance of divorce becomes.

Some point out that a premarital background check can do more harm than good, in contributing to the divorce rate.

U.S. Divorce Rate by Age GroupDivorce Rate per Capita
15-242.7% of the population
25-342.3% of the population
35-442.1% of the population
35-541.8% of the population
55-641.2% of the population
65+0.5% of the population

What Is the U.S. Divorce Rate by Year?

As mentioned, the divorce rate in the United States has been dropping steadily since the 1960s. There are hundreds of possible reasons for this such as economic reasons, changes in educational standards, and religious reasons.

It’s well documented that the average age of married couples has been rising steadily for many years as well. While it was fairly common for teenagers to get married 50 years ago, these days the practice is relatively rare, despite it still being completely legal.

Many people looking up divorce rates also want to know how to find divorce records online for free, or how to find my divorce date online for free, or are divorce records public? The answer to these questions largely depends on the state where the divorce occured.

But, when considering this data, it becomes clear that the age of the married couple at the time of the marriage is one of the biggest factors when it comes to the odds of a divorce occurring.

Divorce Statistics in America by YearDivorce Rate Amongst Married Couples
(# of Divorces per 1,000 Married Couples)
Divorce Rate in America 19609.2
Divorce Rate in America 196512.3
Divorce Rate in America 197015.0
Divorce Rate in America 197519.1
Divorce Rate in America 198022.6
Divorce Rate in America 198521.2
Divorce Rate in America 199020.8
Divorce Rate in America 199520.4
Divorce Rate in America 200020.2
Divorce Rate in America 200120.2
Divorce Rate in America 200220.0
Divorce Rate in America 200320.0
Divorce Rate in America 200419.9
Divorce Rate in America 200519.9
Divorce Rate in America 200619.8
Divorce Rate in America 200719.8
Divorce Rate in America 200819.8
Divorce Rate in America 200919.8
Divorce Rate in America 201019.3
Divorce Rate in America 201119.0
Divorce Rate in America 201218.7
Divorce Rate in America 201318.0
Divorce Rate in America 201417.6
Divorce Rate in America 201516.6
Divorce Rate in America 201615.7
Divorce Rate in America 201715.3
Divorce Rate in America 201815.1
Divorce Rate in America 201914.1
Divorce Rate in America 202014.0

What Are the Top Reasons for Divorce Statistics? (Divorce Rate by State)

Although looking at divorce rates amongst various demographics or looking at the divorce rate by state is useful in learning certain information, it still does not tell the reasons between the couple that led to a divorce.

US Census screenshot map of divorce and marriage rates in various states in 2019.

Numerous studies have been done on the subject with similar findings. Commonly among the top reasons is infidelity which is no surprise when considering that non-marriage relationships often end for the same reason.

More than half of the individuals involved in the study also mention age being a factor in the decision to divorce, further supporting the theory that age is one of the most important factors when it comes to a marriage ending in divorce.

Top Reasons for DivorcePercentage of Couples Who Mention as Reason for Divorce
Lack of Commitment94.4%
Infidelity88.8%
Excessive Conflict72.2%
Married Too Young61.1%
Financial Problems55.6%
Substance Abuse50.0%
Domestic Violence27.8%
Health Problems27.8%
Lack of Support From Family27.8%
Religious Differences33.3%
Lack of Premarital Education22.2%

Divorce Rate by Occupation

Examining what industry divorced couples are in also gives insight into what makes divorce a relatively common occurrence in the United States. Unsurprisingly, financial stress is a major factor in divorce and couples that hold jobs that have below-average income are more likely to get divorced.

Divorce Rate by OccupationDivorce Rate
Dancers43.00%
Bartenders38.40%
Massage Therapists38.20%
Gaming Cage Workers34.60%
Gaming Service Workers31.30%
Nurse28.90%
Entertainers28.40%
Telemarketers28.10%
Roofers26.80%
Maids26.30%
Law Enforcement14.47%
Doctors and Surgeons9.23%
Dentist7.75%
Farmers7.63%

Divorce Rate in the World

Many of those curious about the divorce rate by state in the U.S. may be wondering where the U.S. ranks in the world when it comes to divorce rates. Although it may seem like the U.S has an extremely high divorce rate, when compared to the rest of the world the U.S is not quite the highest but is still near the top.

US Census map of divorce rates by states.

Keep in mind that international divorce rates are difficult to calculate accurately due to every country reporting their divorce and marriage statistics differently.

Countries With Highest Divorce Rate

With the available statistics for international divorces, Russia currently leads the way with 4.8 individuals per capita having been involved in a divorce at one point.

Divorce Rate by CountryNational Divorce Rate per Capita
Russia4.8
Belarus4.1
Gibraltar3.2
United States3.2
Moldova3.1
Lithuania3.0
Belgium3.0
Cuba2.9
Czech Republic2.9

Divorce Rates by Age and Education

Besides age, another well-documented factor that leads to a higher divorce rate is education level. This also ties into income level as there is a clear correlation between education levels and income levels in the United States.

Statistics have shown that the less educated individuals have the more likely the marriage will end in a divorce. What many people may be surprised by is the difference between education levels being so massive. Individuals that did not complete high school tend to get divorced at nearly twice the national average and twice as often as those who have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Divorce Rate by EducationDivorce Rate
Less than High School Diploma47.8%
High School Diploma42.8%
Associates Degree/ Some College42.3%
Bachelor’s Degree or higher26.5%

Divorce statistics can help individuals learn about the common causes of divorce and environmental factors that can put a strain on a marriage. Understanding the divorce rate by state can allow researchers to better understand why divorce rates that used to be much higher are falling all over the country.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Rate by State

What Are the Divorce Rate Statistics in the U.S.?

The current divorce rate in the U.S. is at an all-time low with an average of 14.1 people per capita.

Why Does the Divorce Rate by State Vary?

The divorce rate varies substantially from state to state. Currently, Arkansas has the highest divorce rate at 25.9% and North Dakota has the lowest with 8.7% of married couples, but there could be a number of reasons for it.

What State Has the Lowest Divorce Rate?

North Dakota has the current lowest divorce rate with a rate of 8.7% amongst married couples.

What Country Has the Highest Divorce Rate?

Russia likely has the highest divorce rate in the world amongst countries that gather this kind of data.

What Is the State With the Highest Divorce Rate?

Arkansas currently has the highest divorce rate with a rate of 25.9% of marriages ending in divorce.

What State Has the Highest Divorce Rate in the U.S.?

Arkansas currently has a divorce rate of 25.9%.

Is the California Divorce Rate 75 Percent?

No, the California divorce rate is currently around 13.8% which is below the national average.


References

1Allred, C. (2019). Divorce Rate in the U.S.: Geographic Variation, 2018. BGSU. Retrieved August 18, 2022, from <https://www.bgsu.edu/ncfmr/resources/data/family-profiles/allred-divorce-rate-geo-var-2018-fp-19-23.html>

2United States Census Bureau. (2020, October 27). U.S. Marriage and Divorce Rates by State: 2009 & 2019. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2022, from <https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/marriage-divorce-rates-by-state-2009-2019.html>

3U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2022, February 18). Divorce Rates by State: 2019-2020. CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved August 18, 2022, from <https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/divorce_states/divorce_rates.htm>

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