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How Many Texas Marriages End in Divorce?

Sophia Merton
December 14, 2022

If you’re getting married or contemplating divorce, you might be wondering just how many Texas marriages end in divorce. Understanding how common divorce is can help you grasp the potential risks of marriage as well as make you feel less alone when facing the dissolution of a marriage.

The divorce rate in Texas for 2020 was 1.5 divorces per 1,000 people, which is lower than the national average. Some studies pin the Texas divorce rate at 10.5%, which means that Texas has a relatively low percentage of divorces compared to other U.S. states.

How Many Texas Marriages End in Divorce?

According to the CDC, the divorce rate in Texas is 1.5 per 1,000 people for the 2019-2020 period. It’s worth noting, however, that statistics like this from 2020 could be skewed because of the unprecedented disruption caused to courts and other aspects of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2014, there were 71,988 divorces in the State of Texas, with a divorce rate of 2.7 per 1,000 people.

upset woman getting divorced in texas
In 2020, there were 1.5 divorces for every 1,000 people in Texas.

Zippia.com compiled data on the percentage of divorce by state for people at the age of 30. Texas ranks at number eighteen with 11.7%. Arkansas had the highest divorce rate using these metrics at 19.5%, and New York had the lowest at 5.0%.

According to data from World Population Review, the divorce rate in Texas calculated “based on the number of women who were divorced in 2019 per 1,000 women aged 15 and over” was 10.5%

The divorce rate in Texas reached an all-time high in 1981, with 101,856 divorces. According to a 1981 New York Times article, cities in once Texas lead the U.S. in the rate of divorce. The divorce rate in Texas fell between 1981 and 1989 and then increased until 1992. Since then, they have been steadily decreasing.

Both the marriage rate and the divorce rate has decreased in Texas since 2000.

How Does the Texas Divorce Rate Compare to the National Divorce Rate?

The divorce rate in Texas is relatively low compared to other states in the US. Of the states with available data on the CDC “Divorce Rates by State” table*, Texas has the third lowest divorce rate after Louisiana (1.4 per 1,000 people) and Massachusetts (1 per 1,000 people.)

Wyoming has the highest divorce rate in the nation (3.8 per 1,000 people), followed by Alabama (3.7 per 1,000 people) and Arkansas (3.6 per 1,000 people.)

According to the CDC, the marriage rate in the US is 5.1 per 1,000 people, and the divorce rate is 2.3 per 1,000 people out of the 45 reporting states plus Washington D.C. There were 1,676,911 marriages and 630,505 divorces estimated by the CDC during 2020. These numbers are provisional for the year 2020.

This means that the divorce rate in Texas is lower than the national divorce rate.

Comparing divorce rates between states can be a bit complicated because the marriage rate can vary significantly between states. For example, Massachusetts has a low divorce rate (1 per 1,000), but it also has one of the lowest marriage rates in the nation (4 per 1,000). With fewer marriages every year, it logically follows that there are fewer opportunities for divorce.

At the same time, Arkansas has a high divorce rate (3.6 per 1,000) but also a relatively high marriage rate (7.8 per 1,000). It makes sense that there would be proportionately more divorces in a state like Arkansas than in a state like Massachusetts, as there are far more marriages per 1,000 people.

*The CDC data table does not include divorce rates for California, New Mexico, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Indiana.

What Is the Marriage Rate in Texas?

The marriage rate in Texas in 2017 was 7.1 per 1,000 residents. This is slightly higher than the 2017 national marriage rate, which was 6.9 per 1,000 residents. In 2017, there were 2,236,496 marriages in the Lone Star State.

couple at wedding in texas holding hands
Marriage rates have been declining in the US for some time, but the Texas marriage rate is higher than the national level.

Marriage rates have been declining at the national level for some time now. The annual marriage rate in the United States was typically no less than eight marriages per 1,000 throughout the 20th century, though there was a lot of variation during this 100-year span. For example, the marriage rate declined during the Great Depression to about eight marriages per 1,000 people and peaked after the end of WWII at more than sixteen marriages per 1,000 people.

In 2019, the marriage rate was six marriages per 1,000 people. This is the lowest marriage rate in the United States since marriage records began being kept by the U.S. government in 1867. By contrast, the marriage rate in 2000 was at 8.2 per 1,000 people.

Why Do Texans Get Divorced?

There are countless different reasons that a couple might decide to get divorced.

couple fighting leading up to divorce in texas
Common reasons for divorce in Texas include arguing, infidelity, and getting married too young.

At the same time, there are a number of factors that seem to push people toward dissolving their marriage more than others. Some commonly cited reasons for divorce include:

  • Emotional or physical abuse
  • Verbal fighting/arguing
  • Infidelity
  • Married too young
  • An unequal or unbalanced relationship

Worried that your spouse is going to try and make your divorce as difficult as possible? Check out these sneaky divorce tactics that you’ll want to be aware of.

Which Texas Counties Have the Highest Divorce Rate?

Using data from 2017, we find that the Texas county with the highest divorce rate is Lamar County, with a divorce rate of 5.7 divorces per 1,000 people. This is followed by Upshur County (5.6 divorces per 1,000 people), Lampasas County (5.6 divorces per 1,000 people,) Dallam County (5.5 divorces per 1,000 people), and Tyler County (5.2 divorces per 1,000 people.)

On the flip side, the Texas counties with the lowest rate of divorce in 2017 were:

  1. Bexar
  2. Cochran
  3. Fort Bend
  4. Hildago
  5. Hudspeth
  6. Kenedy
  7. King
  8. Presidio
  9. Franklin
  10. Howard

Divorce can pose a serious financial burden, but being able to plan ahead for the cost can go a long way. This guide on the cost of divorce in Texas can help you prepare.

How Long After Marriage Do Divorces Typically Occur?

Research has found that the highest percentage of marriage dissolutions occur sometime during the first eight years of marriage. Couples that have been married for ten years or longer are much less likely to get divorced than those that haven’t reached the ten-year mark.

wedding rings on a pillow with pink ribbon in texas marriage
Most divorces occur in the first eight years after marriage. People that have been married for ten years or more are less likely to get divorced.

Interestingly, divorce rates can also vary drastically depending on the month of the year. March and August are peak months for divorce, and December experiences the lowest number of divorces.

Experts believe that people tend to try and avoid divorce during the holiday season when possible. The months of March and August both fall in between the major vacation and holiday seasons, which might account for the high number of divorces during this time.

Who Is Most Likely to Get Divorced in Texas?

According to some estimates, 41% of all marriages eventually end in divorce. Interestingly, nearly half of people that get married before the age of 18 get divorced within ten years, while those that wait until age 25 or older are more likely to stay together.

44.4% of divorces for men in Texas occurred between the ages of 30 and 44. For women between the ages of 30 and 44, this rate is nearly identical at 44.5%.

Unfortunately, there have also been a number of studies that have found that the number of prior divorces correlates negatively with the likelihood of maintaining a successful marriage after divorce. This means that the more times you are married, the less likely your current marriage will succeed.

According to some sources, 67% of second marriages end in divorce, while 73% of third marriage end in divorce.

If you’re facing divorce, researching the legal aspects of marriage dissolution might not be your top choice in how to spend your time. The reality is, though, that understanding your rights and responsibilities under the law can empower you during the process and help make divorce less stressful. On top of that, it can allow you to create a post-divorce outcome that is favorable for you and your whole family.

For more information about divorce in the Lone Star State, check out our Texas Divorce Laws resource library.

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is a researcher and writer that aims to help make the complexities of the legal system understandable to the layperson. Believing that people can be empowered by understanding their rights and responsibilities under the law, Sophia aims to offer accurate and well-researched information in straightforward and easy-to-digest legal articles.

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