Divorce Rate in America

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Divorce rates can be defined as the number of married couples taking legal separation to the total number of marriages. This is an estimated figure that is used to know the details about the current conditions of the society. This rate reflects the mentality and approach of the common people towards family system and traditional values. The rapidly increasing rate in America has been a matter of discussion in many research groups.

It is said that out of the total number of marriages in America, 50 percent end in separation. This figure is not accurately correct as there are constant changes in statistics. But, it is an approximate prediction. Following are the complied figures of such rates.

Type of marriage Divorce rate
First marriage 41 percent
Second marriage 60 percent
Third marriage 73 percent

The data validates the general opinion that most second and third marriages end up in the dissolution of a union. Thus, the quality of relationship goes on decreasing after the first divorce.

It can be seen that from 1900 onwards, the divorce rate in the United States gradually increased and it reached a summit in 1970s. Since this peak, the rate has been slightly declining. The following table endorses this view.

Year Number of divorces per 1,000 women above the age of 15
1950 5
1978 23
2008 20

Factors for increase in the Divorce Rate in America

There are many factors, which can be held responsible, for the continuous increase in the rates. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • The interdependency between males and females to be with one another for economic survival has lessened.
  • Due to the sophistication in birth control methods, males and females have begun to view sexual activity and giving birth to children as two disparate issues. Marriage is not considered as a mandatory bond to have physical relations.
  • In marital life, if couples do not produce a child, the couple's life becomes weary and lonely. In such a condition, the thought of legal separation arises. It has been recorded that of all the separated couples, a minimum of 66 percent are childless.

State-wise Rate in America

Though the overall rates are high in the country, the state-wise rates show minor differences as the state laws differ. The following tables are related to the state-wise rate in the US in the decreasing order.

1990 2000 2005
State Divorce Rate per 1,000 population
Nevada 11.4
Oklahoma 7.7
Arizona 6.9
Arkansas 6.9
Wyoming 6.6
Idaho 6.5
Tennessee 6.5
Florida 6.3
Alabama 6.1
Washington 5.9
Kentucky 5.8
Alaska 5.5
Colorado 5.5
Georgia 5.5
Mississippi 5.5
Oregon 5.5
Texas 5.5
West Virginia 5.3
Missouri 5.1
Montana 5.1
North Carolina 5.1
Utah 5.1
Kansas 5.0
New Mexico 4.9
New Hampshire 4.7
Ohio 4.7
Hawaii 4.6
South Carolina 4.5
Vermont 4.5
Delaware 4.4
Virginia 4.4
California 4.3
Maine 4.3
Michigan 4.3
Nebraska 4.0
Iowa 3.9
Illinois 3.8
Rhode Island 3.7
South Dakota 3.7
North Dakota 3.6
Wisconsin 3.6
Minnesota 3.5
Maryland 3.4
Pennsylvania 3.3
Connecticut 3.2
New York 3.2
New Jersey 3.0
Massachusetts 2.8
Indiana no data
Louisiana no data
State Divorce Rate per 1,000 population
Nevada 9.6
Vermont 8.6
Arkansas 6.9
Tennessee 6.1
Wyoming 5.9
New Hampshire 5.8
Alabama 5.4
Idaho 5.4
Kentucky 5.4
Florida 5.3
New Mexico 5.3
Mississippi 5.2
West Virginia 5.2
Oregon 5.0
Missouri 4.8
North Carolina 4.8
Washington 4.7
Maine 4.6
Utah 4.5
Alaska 4.4
Arizona 4.4
Ohio 4.4
Virginia 4.3
Delaware 4.2
Texas 4.2
Kansas 4.0
Michigan 4.0
Georgia 3.9
Hawaii 3.9
Nebraska 3.8
Oklahoma 3.7
South Carolina 3.7
South Dakota 3.6
New York 3.4
Iowa 3.3
Maryland 3.3
Wisconsin 3.3
Illinois 3.2
North Dakota 3.2
Pennsylvania 3.2
Minnesota 3.1
New Jersey 3.1
Rhode Island 3.1
Massachusetts 3.0
Montana 2.4
Connecticut 2.0
California no data
Colorado no data
Indiana no data
Louisiana no data
State Divorce Rate per 1,000 population
Nevada 7.7
Arkansas 6.0
Alaska 5.8
Oklahoma 5.6
Wyoming 5.3
West Virginia 5.1
Alabama 4.9
Idaho 4.9
Florida 4.6
New Mexico 4.6
Tennessee 4.6
Kentucky 4.5
Mississippi 4.5
Colorado 4.4
Oregon 4.3
Arizona 4.1
Utah 4.0
Washington 4.0
Delaware 3.9
Virginia 3.9
Montana 3.8
North Carolina 3.8
Missouri 3.6
Ohio 3.6
Maine 3.5
Michigan 3.4
Nebraska 3.4
New Hampshire 3.3
Vermont 3.3
Texas 3.2
Kansas 3.1
Maryland 3.1
South Dakota 3.0
Wisconsin 3.0
New Jersey 2.9
Rhode Island 2.9
South Carolina 2.9
New York 2.8
Connecticut 2.7
Iowa 2.7
Illinois 2.5
North Dakota 2.4
Pennsylvania 2.3
Massachusetts 2.2
California no data
Georgia no data
Hawaii no data
Indiana no data
Louisiana no data
Minnesota no data

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