What are the odds you’ll get married? And what are the odds of a divorce? As it turns out, statistics on these two questions are something the National Center for Health Statistics and the US Census Bureau have spent a lot of time collecting. For decades, they've gathered information on almost every factor that can affect marriage and divorce. Here are some of the more interesting statistics about marriage and divorce:
Compared to women in 2002:
Compared to women in 1995:
More people are cohabiting (living together). Compared to 1995:
More people are attending college. Compared to 1995:
You may have heard that “50% of marriages end in divorce.” This isn't actually true - but if you also count marriages that end in separation, it’s not that far off either.
After 3 years of separation, Caucasian women are much more likely (87%) to divorce than are Hispanic women (64%) and African American women (60%).
Second marriages have a much lower rate of success than first marriages.
Many people used to think that living together before marriage greatly increased the odds of divorce. However, recent research suggests that cohabitation does not have as large of an effect on marriage failure if the cohabitors are engaged. Among women aged 15-44:
The most common trait in successful marriages is a college education. On average, these are the chances a person will still be married in 20 years, based on education level:
People who attend college also tend to marry later in life and have higher incomes, which further increases the odds of a successful marriage.
With Nevada's drive-through wedding chapels and history of some of the most lenient marriage laws around, learning the state has the highest marriage rate probably isn't a surprise.
Hawaii is a very distant second, its tropical climate and near-total lack of marriage requirements not quite enough to topple Nevada from its position.
Nevada has the highest marriage rate, but that’s not the only thing it’s known for. Maybe it's because of all the casinos, or maybe it's because the desert is depressing, but Nevada holds the honor of also being the state with the highest divorce rate.
Note: California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, and Minnesota do not track their divorce rates.
There are two divorces every minute in the United States. In the time it took you to read to this point, several people got divorced.
The younger a person marries, the more likely it is they will get divorced. As it turns out, age plays a big role in determining a marriage's fate. Those who marry under the age of 20 have the highest rate of divorce. These couples are nearly 1.5 times as likely to get divorced as those who get married between the ages of 20 to 24 years old. Those who marry after the age of 25 are even less likely to get divorced.
The divorce rate for a third marriage is 73%. When it comes to marriage, practice doesn't make perfect. In fact, it only seems to make you worse. That's why the divorce rate continues to get higher for each additional marriage. Nearly 3 out of every 4 adults who are on their third marriage end up divorced again.
Iowa has the lowest divorce rate in the US. Iowa’s divorce rate is only 2.4 per 1000 population. Iowa divorce rate has been on a steady decline for decades. In fact, Iowa’s divorce rate is now the lowest it’s been since the 1960s.
Adults who didn't attend college and have a low household income are more likely to be divorced. After 20 years, non-college educated couples are 27.5% more likely to have gotten a divorce compared to those with a college degree. Lower-income marriages also tend to be more unstable.
Protestant Christian couples have the same divorce rate as the national average. While this might sound like Protestant Christian couples are just as likely to get divorced as their secular counterparts, agnostics and atheists have a much lower divorce rate. However, couples who don’t follow any religion are also less likely to get married at all.
Arkansas has the highest rate of individuals married 3 or more times: 7.48%. Men and women in Arkansas are twice as likely to be married 3 or more times compared to the national average.