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The Average Divorce Rate in America (Updated for 2022)

Michael Tierney
November 2, 2022

The institution of marriage has existed for over 4,000 years and has persisted into modern society as a union between loving partners. Since then, the nature of marriage has changed to adapt more progressive concepts than were previously seen. These advancements have helped revolutionize the family dynamics of married couples worldwide.

Unfortunately, this alteration to marriage dynamics has not changed the fact that some relationships cannot survive certain strains and conflicts. This has led to some marriages ending in divorce and causing married couples to restart their lives independently of their spouse. Divorce is a result that most married couples are eager to avoid, given the ramifications such a separation has on both parties.

Given the desire of most Americans to avoid divorce at all costs, one might assume we have a good idea of how likely it is to affect us. After all, if a phenomenon is such a common issue, it is important to note the likelihood of it affecting our situation. Fortunately, divorce statistics are closely monitored to determine how likely it is for modern couples to separate or divorce.

Solution Note: The statistics might be discouraging to most people struggling to keep their relationships afloat. While it might be frightening to look into the statistics of divorce in the country, that knowledge might help you avoid divorce altogether.

How Common is Marriage in America?

Marriage is one of the oldest institutions in the world and represents the ultimate commitment one can make to a significant other. While marriage has traditionally been the goal of most romantic relationships, it is not something everyone wants. A long time ago, marriage was mandatory for couples due to religious and cultural affiliation, but modern society has turned it into an optional part of the relationship. While marriage becoming optional has not stopped the practice, more people are exercising their choice and remaining in long-term relationships.

The marriage rate remains significantly high in modern society despite no longer being a requirement of society. The practice of marriage has yet to drop considerably as most Americans still view marriage as a natural part of relationships. Marriage also remains one of the most sacred institutions due to the commitment it symbolizes in your relationship.

Solution While continuously prevalent, the number of marriages per year has remained relatively consistent in the last decade.
  • In 2009, 2,077,000 marriages occurred in the United States. (Source)
  • In 2019, there were 2,015,603 marriages in the United States of America. (Source)
  • In 2020, the total number of American marriages decreased to 1,676,911. (Source)
  • In 2021, the total number of marriages in the US was 1,934,982. (Source)
  • In 2022, there is predicted to be roughly 2,500,000 weddings, the highest rate since 1984. (Source)

COVID-19 has been a minor factor affecting marriage rates in the past few years. In a survey, approximately 63% of people who said COVID impacted their wedding had to postpone it. This likely contributed to the sharp decline in 2020 and the increase in 2021 and 2022.

Couple Getting Married

A decrease in marriage does not mean fewer healthy relationships in the country. It simply means more people are exercising their modern right to choose. Unfortunately, while marriage is no longer mandatory, it has not eliminated the divorce rate. The divorce rates differ from the marriage rate, but the statistics behind divorce have a little more detail.

How Common is Divorce in America?

Marriage has had over 4,000 years to evolve for modern practices, and statistics for sustainable relationships have changed dramatically. Fortunately, some statistics on marriage have changed for the better, as current numbers point to divorces becoming less common.

Solution Roughly 40-50% of all American marriages end in divorce.

This might seem daunting due to the sheer number of people in the country and any marital issues you might face. However, a few details about this statistic need to be considered before you worry. The biggest issue is that the research supporting these numbers is slightly outdated.

The current marriage and divorce statistics hosted on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website use research from 2000 to 2020. This is not due to negligence on the CDC's part, but new research has not been conducted to see if the last 2 years have altered the data. Typically, 2 years is insufficient to meaningfully change statistics, which is why most studies use 10-year intervals. Unfortunately, the current statistics are still viable and must be taken as fact until the next study is completed.

Filing For Divorce

Solution In 2020, 630,505 American marriages ended in divorce or annulment . That same year, 1,676,911 marriages took place. This means the rate of divorce as of 2020 is 2.3 per 1,000 people, which shows a slight decrease compared to the original statistic of 50%.

Despite this promising decrease, there is another issue with the current research. The studies confirming these numbers did not have the country's full cooperation, and only 45 states and the District of Colombia participated in the survey that discovered these numbers. Meanwhile, the following states refused to provide information:

  • Indiana
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • New Mexico
  • Minnesota

While the exclusion of 5 states might seem like a minor distinction, their missing data skew the country's overall percentage of divorce. Nevertheless, the current trend suggests that divorce is decreasing nationwide but remains a prominent issue in modern marriages. This might seem like dire news, but there is more information that might change your perspective—namely, the causes of divorce.

What Contributes to Divorce?

Divorce is not spontaneous and is generally fueled by an underlying issue or conflict in the relationship. Whether or not you know of the cause, there is a reason behind the divorce, and it was not a decision made on impulse. Countless causes of divorce might apply to your situation if divorce is a current concern. We can fix some causes while others are too serious for the relationship to survive. Understanding the different causes of divorce and their commonality is crucial in helping you avoid it.

One of the lesser-known causes of divorce is a matter of career choice. People with certain professions are more likely to go through a divorce than others for various reasons. It could be because you or your spouse spend more time at work than at home or because of jealousy. According to current statistics, the 5 professions with the highest divorce rates include:

  • Dancers – 43%
  • Bartenders – 38.4%
  • Massage Therapists – 38.2%
  • Gaming Cage Workers – 34.6%
  • Gaming Service Workers – 31.3%

While your profession might keep you away from home or put you in situations your spouse finds uncomfortable, it is not the only important factor. Other causes of divorce relate to how your married life is and the circumstances of your relationship. The most common causes of divorce in the country are:

  • Commitment Issues: Despite being married, people with commitment issues fail to progress in their lives with their spouses. This could include having children or committing time to spend with their spouse.
  • Constant Arguments: Every couple will disagree about something, and these disagreements usually lead to arguments. It is when the arguments are constant that the odds of divorce increase.
  • Infidelity: Unsurprisingly, when a spouse has an extramarital affair, it can destroy the relationship and cause divorce. Discovering your spouse is cheating on you violates the sanctity of your relationship and your trust.
  • Domestic Abuse: Suffering abuse at the hands of a spouse is terrifying and a valid reason for leaving. Unfortunately, the rate of domestic abuse outnumbers the rate of subsequent divorce since the victims are often too scared to leave.

While we can resolve commitment issues and arguments with work, issues like infidelity and domestic abuse turn divorce into a more appealing prospect. There are other significant causes of divorce in the country that might be more applicable to your situation, but these major causes are among the most important. Despite the significance of these issues, other details might impact the odds of divorce.

Husband Unhappy in Marriage

Most people do not realize that one's first marriage does not carry the same divorce rate as subsequent marriages. Following a divorce, some choose to begin dating again and occasionally find someone they care about enough to remarry. Typically, subsequent marriages involve one spouse going into the relationship with preconceptions fueled by their previous marriage. As a result, statistics indicate that second and third marriages have a higher chance of divorce than the initial marriage.

Solution Specifically, 2nd marriages have a 60% chance of ending in divorce, while 3rd marriages have a 73% chance of divorce.

These subsequent unions are usually polluted by the issues that triggered the end of the initial marriage. This might not be the most pleasant revelation if your current marriage is not your first, but we cannot disregard the importance of the statistic.

When marriage issues arise, many seek counseling to save the relationship and preserve the marriage. While this is a highly effective tool for saving relationships, counseling does not have a perfect success rate. Statistics show that 38% of couples seeking counseling end up divorced 2 years later. This does not mean counseling is not worth pursuing, but that not every attempt yields the desired results.

These statistics are extremely important to determining the chances of divorce in your marriage and how to possibly minimize the risk. That said, there are other factors about subsequent marriages that you should assess before allowing these numbers to color your perception of your relationship.

How Does Divorce Affect Divorcees?

Divorce statistics are extremely important to modern American marriage, but there are supplementary statistics that people often neglect. Going through a divorce is a difficult ordeal that has serious emotional, psychological, and financial effects on the divorcees. These effects can severely damage the quality of life among divorcees but are inescapable for some.

Most of the financial impacts of divorce have been measured statistically and can be effectively applied to recently divorced individuals. One of the most significant statistics relates to divorce's effects on government entities.

Struggling Financially After a Divorce

In some situations, marriage involves people from different income brackets who might not be able to sustain themselves independently. As a result, some divorcees end up on government-sponsored financial aid programs (i.e., food stamps and public housing). While these programs are important, a study discovered that they cost state and federal governments around $30,000.00 annually. With millions of divorcees in the country, the federal government has spent $30,000,000,000.00 annually. Unfortunately, the worst statistics relate to the divorcees themselves.

A recent study assessed the death rates of divorcees and discovered troubling results. Oddly, divorce seems to have an impact on the lives of divorcees, similar to how smoking affects us. The study, Divorce and Death, discovered that divorcees have a 23% higher chance of dying than married individuals. This is perhaps the most morbid statistic associated with divorce and offers an extremely dreary insight into how divorce affects the human experience.

Learn the Law

Divorce is a major concern for married couples across the country and can be devastating when faced with the idea. While divorce is not a certainty of marriage, the odds of going through a divorce are higher than you might have thought. While the statistics are not quite as severe as they used to be, divorce is still a major concern that most couples are eager to avoid.

Unfortunately, the number of factors that impact divorce rates and circumstances can make it very difficult for couples to stay ahead of the issues that might lead to divorce. Ultimately, divorce is an issue that involves a great deal of knowledge and information to navigate successfully. These statistics are among the most important, but there is so much more information relevant to divorce that you will need to know.

Learn the Law

Information on divorce was once very difficult to come across unless you were a legal professional or had access to their resources. Nowadays, this information is relatively easy to access thanks to online information sources that allow us to assess and understand data as we need. A few taps on a keyboard give us access to law databases and statistics about legal proceedings like divorce.

We recognize that divorce is a stressful and unpleasant situation and that you are facing a difficult time. We hope that the information in this article is helpful and can give you the information you need to get through this difficult time.

If you ever have any questions about the divorce process, or anything else divorce-related, we're always here to assist you however we can. You're always free to drop a comment down below or contact us directly to ask your potential questions, and we'll be sure to answer them to the best of our ability.

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Written By:
Michael Tierney

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