Every married couple walks down the aisle thinking they’ll be together forever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way, resulting in a divorce.
More than 29 million Americans, or about 11% of the adult population, have lost their spouse, according to the US Census Bureau. The census only takes into account people who are legally divorced and who have not remarried.
Those who do not have a final divorce judgment are classified as separated. Nearly 4.9 million, or 1.8% of the adult population, are separated. Married people number 127.5 million, or about 48% of the adult population. And about 91 million, or 34%, have never been married.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also monitor marriage statistics. It records the number of divorces per 1,000 inhabitants. The rate of divorces and annulments per 1,000 population was 2.7 in 2019. (The CDC notes that California, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota and New Mexico did not report that year .)
This rate represents a significant drop from 2000, when there were 4.0 divorces per 1,000 population. (California, Indiana, Louisiana and Oklahoma did not report that year.) What has happened over the past decade to drive the rate down? For the most part, more and more people are avoiding traditional marriages, although they can live together without a legal decree. In 2000, 2,315,000 people took their vows compared to 2,015,603 in 2019. With fewer people getting married – at least officially – the lower the chances of a breakup.
How does the United States position itself internationally? The World Population Review reports that Russia has the highest divorce rate in the world at 4.7 per 1,000 people. The United States ranks around the average – 2.5 per 1,000 people. (These are the shortest celebrity marriages of all time.)
Every couple’s situation is different, so there is no universal dynamic that separates couples. Ann Gold Buscho, Ph.D., author of “The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting: A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting during Separation and Divorce” writes in Psychology Today that reasons for divorce range from incompatibility and family conflict. money at age-old breaking point, infidelity. Couples who have lost the ability to communicate or be intimate are also more likely to divorce, she adds. Not surprisingly, abuse or addiction issues often lead to broken marriages.
In recent years, some unhappy couples have also stayed together to save on finances and avoid paying for a divorce. See how much it costs to divorce in each state.
To determine the 25 metropolitan areas with the most divorces and the 25 with the fewest divorces, 24/7 Tempo examined the percentage of the population 15 and older currently divorced in the 384 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas using annual estimates from the Census Bureau 2019. American Community Survey. Metros are ranked by share of divorced population.
Data on married, separated, never-married and total population also come from the ACS. All shares are for the population aged 15 and over, not the total population, and are from 2019.
If you want the best chance of happily ever after in the United States, move to the Provo-Orem, Utah metropolitan area. There, 58% of residents aged 15 and over are married, while only 5.3% are divorced.
The worst metropolitan area for marital bliss is Hot Springs, Arkansas. There, almost 17%% are divorced and about 47% are married.