Divorce Rates

Divorce is no longer taboo; it is now a commonplace legal transaction that happens with thousands of couples each year in the United States. There is no one factor that signifies a pending divorce. Couples who are both young and old and either have children or not are all on the same statistical stage.

Divorce Rates

Statistically the younger a person is the more likely they are to get a divorce. This is slightly truer for women than men. A woman who gets married under age 20 has a 27.6% chance of a divorce while a man is 11.7%. One reason for such a difference is young men and women is domestic violence happens often times in young adults. A woman married at 20-24 years of age has a 36.6% as opposed to a man’s 38.8%. This age bracket is the highest divorce rate. Each age bracket through age 39 has a slight decline.


45-50% of first marriages end in divorce. 60-67% of second marriages end in decline. For subsequent marriages, there is a failure rate greater than 70%. Couples without children are significantly more likely to divorce (66% as opposed to 40 %.)


Divorce rates rose each year through the early 2000’s. In 2002 the numbers peaked at 955,000. After 2002 there has been a steady decline in the number of divorces. In 2010 there were 872,000. It is arguable that there are fewer divorces because many people, especially of the younger generation, are choosing to cohabitate rather than get legally married.


On average it takes a full year for divorce proceedings to be finalized and agreements such as alimony and child support to be worked out. Divorced individuals typically wait slightly over 3 years before getting married again. Men are approximately 30 years old at their first divorce and 39 at the second. Women are 29 at the first and 37 at the second.


At 2% per thousand, Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the United States. On the other hand, Nevada has the highest percentage at 9. Approximately 10% of the United States population either is or has been divorced.

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