where in US had highest divorce rate

What State Has The Highest Divorce Rate?

Goldberg Jones Divorce, Featured Content 1 Comment

Many factors contribute to the end of a marriage. Age, job, income, education, children, family history, and more. Just about any element you care to look at can be shown to impact divorce statistically. This includes where you live. Laws governing divorce vary a great deal from one state to the next, but a new report examines which state has the highest divorce rate.

Looking at the most current data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), career advisory website Zippia identified the states with the highest divorce rate, as well as those with the lowest. For the purposes of this report, they focus on people at 30-years-old. That’s the average age of couples going through their first divorce.

Related Reading: Should You File For Divorce First?

highest divorce rateList of States w/ Highest Divorce Rate

Here are the divorce rates from all 50 states, from highest to lowest:

    1. Arkansas: 19.5%
    2. Idaho: 17.6%
    3. Oklahoma:17.2%
    4. Alabama: 15.5%
    5. West Virginia: 15.4%
    6. Kentucky: 15.4%
    7. Tennessee: 14.6%
    8. Mississippi: 14.1%
    9. Utah: 14.0%
    10. Indiana: 13.7%
    11. Wyoming: 13.6%
    12. Kansas: 13.5%
    13. Missouri: 13.0%
    14. Montana: 12.9%
    15. Alaska: 12.5%
    16. Nebraska: 12.1%
    17. South Dakota: 11.8%
    18. Texas: 11.7%
    19. Georgia: 11.7%
    20. Maine: 11.4%
    21. New Hampshire: 11.1%
    22. Louisiana: 11.0%
    23. Iowa: 11.0%
    24. Colorado: 10.8%
    25. North Carolina: 10.7%
    26. Florida: 10.7%
    27. Nevada: 10.7%
    28. Oregon: 10.5%
    29. Arizona: 10.5%
    30. New Mexico: 10.4%
    31. Ohio: 10.1%
    32. South Carolina: 10.0%
    33. Washington: 9.7%
    34. Virginia: 9.4%
    35. Wisconsin: 8.9%
    36. Michigan: 8.6%
    37. Vermont: 8.6%
    38. Hawaii: 8.5%
    39. North Dakota: 8.1%
    40. Delaware: 7.6%
    41. Minnesota: 7.6%
    42. Maryland: 7.5%
    43. Illinois: 7.3%
    44. California: 6.9%
    45. Rhode Island: 6.7%
    46. Pennsylvania: 6.6%
    47. Connecticut: 6.3%
    48. Massachusetts: 5.5%
    49. New Jersey: 5.3%
    50. New York: 5.0%

A Look At The Numbers

  • First of all, the list of states with the highest divorce rate is top-heavy with southern territories.
  • Though there is a sprinkling of Midwest to be found, and Idaho thrown in at number two for good measure.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, the states with the lowest divorce rate all come in a tight cluster.
  • Furthermore, the six with the smallest numbers, percentage-wise, all fall in the Northeast portion of the United States.
  • New York is the lowest, with just 5%, while New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island round out the bottom six.
  • Oregon falls almost directly in the middle of the pack. The Beaver State lands at 28 on this list, clocking in at 10.5%.
  • This is a few percentage points above California to the South, but less than a single percent higher than Washington to the North.

Related Reading: How Political Differences Are Causing Divorce

What Does This Mean?

People could debate back and for hours what this data actually means. Does it say something specific about a particular region of the country? About people who live on the coasts versus in the breadbasket? About heavily urban states versus more rural locations?

In the end, the numbers are the numbers. You can also make them mean just about whatever you want them to mean. They’re noteworthy for that on their own. 

Most of all, it presents an interesting way to break down divorce in a different context. It also illustrates that many factors play a part in divorce. Just because you live in one state or another doesn’t doom your marriage to failure. However, like other elements, it can play a part and likely does in some cases.

Comments 1

  1. A very interesting article. You have surely invested in a lot of research for getting these facts.. You are right about the fact that the numbers necessarily do not mean anything. However, divorces happen in different ways in all our states. The state laws regulate divorces which mean different procedures and different processes in 50 states. These figures could indicate that some states have easier rules than others.

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