The States With The Highest Divorce Rates

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5. Kentucky
> Divorce rate for men: 12.6 (5th highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 13.5 (4th highest)
> Median household income: $42,664 (9th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 18.6% (3rd highest)

Kentucky falls within the top ten states for worst-off in the three main economic indicators looked at in this list: unemployment, median household income and percentage of people living below the poverty line. It is also in the top five for divorce rates among both men and women. A growing trend in the state is now is to become unmarried partner households. According to Census data, unmarried households have increased 54% in Kentucky since 2000, while married households have decreased slightly.

4. Alabama
> Divorce rate for men: 12.7 (4th highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 13.9 (3rd highest)
> Median household income: $39,980 (3rd lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 17.5% (6th highest)

Alabama has some of the worst economic conditions for families in the country. In 2009, it was among the worst in poverty, income and unemployment. Possibly as a consequence of these poor conditions, the state has the fourth highest incidence of divorce in the country. Alabama is also one of just nine states to still legally recognize common-law marriage. This means that a couple can be considered legally married and must obtain a legal divorce, if they consummate the marriage, live together and publicly acknowledge their marriage.

3. Alaska
> Divorce rate for men: 12.5 (6th highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 16.2 (highest)
> Median household income: $61,604 (5th highest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 9% (2nd lowest)

Alaska has the fifth highest median household income in the country, due in large part to the state’s rapidly growing petroleum and mining industries. Despite this, the state has one of the highest divorce rates in the country. The rate among men is the sixth highest, and for women it is the absolute highest.

2. Arkansas
> Divorce rate for men: 13.5 (highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 12.8 (5th highest)
> Median household income: $36,538 (2nd lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 18.8% (2nd highest)

Arkansas has the second highest divorce rate in the country. Yet another extremely poor southern state, Arkansas has the second highest poverty rate in the U.S., as well as the second-lowest median household income. Arkansas is another state with covenant marriage law, although the number opting for the stricter form of marriage is only in the hundreds.

1. Oklahoma
> Divorce rate for men: 12.8 (3rd highest)
> Divorce rate for women: 14.1 (2nd highest)
> Median household income: $45,878 (18th lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 16.2% (15th highest)

Oklahoma has extraordinarily high rates of divorce among both men and women compared to the rest of the country. According to the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, 32% of Oklahoma adults who have ever been married have been divorced. The association lists financial troubles as one of the leading causes of divorce in the state.

Charles B. Stockdale, Michael A. Sauter, Melly Alazaraki