The States With The Highest Divorce Rates

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10. Arizona
> Divorce rate for men: 10.8 (16th highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 11.9 (8th highest)
> Median household income: $45,739 (16th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 16.5% (12th highest)

In 1998, Arizona was one of the first states to adopt a “covenant marriage” law, which gives couples access to premarital training on how to maintain a healthy marriage. Covenant marriage also gives soon-to-be-newlyweds the option to limit the conditions under which they would be able to get divorced. Although covenant marriage has been an option for nearly 15 years, less than 1% of couples applying for a license opt for it. The state also has one of the tenth highest divorce rates in the country averaged between men and women.

9. Tennessee
> Divorce rate for men: 11.4 (10th highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 11.6 (12th highest)
> Median household income: $40,517 (6th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 17.1% (10th highest)

Tennessee is the first of a long list of poor, southern states that make up the majority of this list. It falls within the top ten states for lowest median household income, highest percentage of people below the poverty line and, for 2009, highest unemployment rate. Starting September 1, getting a divorce in the state will become easier. According to Tennessee news site The Commercial Appeal, “Tennesseans without minor children or pension plans will be able to file for divorce without lawyers, using ‘plain-language’ forms” for uncontested divorces.

8. Georgia
> Divorce rate for men: 11.5 (9th highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 11.7 (11th highest)
> Median household income: $43,340 (10th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 16.5% (12th highest)

Georgia’s economy is one of the worst in a region that is already in bad shape. The state has one of the lowest median household incomes, and among the highest poverty and unemployment rates. The state also has a high divorce rate — 11.5 out of every 1000 men, and 11.7 out of every 1000 women were divorced in 2009.

7. Mississippi
> Divorce rate for men: 11.1 (11th highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 12.5 (6th highest)
> Median household income: $35,078 (lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 21.9% (the highest)

Mississippi is an extremely poor state. It has both the lowest median household income in the country and the highest share of residents living below the poverty line — over one in five. The state has extremely high rates of divorce, especially among women. It is one of the few states in which alimony is awarded only for marriages that last 10 years or longer.

6. Nevada
> Divorce rate for men: 12.3 (7th highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 12.3 (7th highest)
> Median household income: $51,434 (19th highest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 12.4% (20th lowest)

Roughly 1 out of every 100 couples were divorced in the state of Nevada in 2009. Just a decade ago, Nevada was one of the country’s fastest-growing economies, but that is no longer the case. The housing crisis has hit the state particularly hard, and unemployment jumped from 3.8% at the beginning of 2000 to 14.9% by the end of the decade. These job losses may very well have contributed to a higher-than-average rate of failing marriages. Reno and Las Vegas have been casually referred to as the “divorce capitals of the world,” due to the state’s liberal divorce laws.