Special Report

The States With the Most (and Least) Divorces

4. Arkansas
> Pct. population divorced: 13.3%
> Median household income: $40,511 (2nd lowest)
> Pct. never married: 27.8% (3rd lowest)
> Pct. with bachelor’s degree: 20.6% (3rd lowest)

More people get married in Arkansas than almost any other state, relative to its population. In the U.S., 66.9% of the population had been married at some point. In Arkansas, 72.2% of residents had been married, the third-highest rate in the country. However, because so many people have been divorced in the state, the percentage of people still married was just 49.9%, which is close to the national average. Low income can cause stress on a marriage, and Arkansas is one of the states where money is most likely a factor. The state had the second-lowest median income in the country, at $40,511, compared to a national median of $52,250.

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3. Oklahoma
> Pct. population divorced: 13.4%
> Median household income: $45,690 (10th lowest)
> Pct. never married: 27.9% (4th lowest)
> Pct. with bachelor’s degree: 23.8% (9th lowest)

Oklahoma residents were more likely to be married than residents of most other states. And, like other states with high marriage rates, Oklahoma also had a higher share of divorces. Fewer than 28% of adults in the state had never married, nearly the lowest percentage nationwide. Similarly, while nearly 64% of Americans aged 20 to 34 had never married, just 52.3% of Oklahomans in that age group had never married, also nearly the lowest rate. Partly as a result, the percentage of residents aged 20 to 34 who were divorced — 6.5% — was considerably higher than the comparable national rate of 3.8%.

2. Nevada
> Pct. population divorced: 13.6%
> Median household income: $51,230 (25th lowest)
> Pct. never married: 32.5% (19th highest)
> Pct. with bachelor’s degree: 22.5% (5th lowest)

People are less likely to get married in Nevada than in most other states. Just 45.9% of the population was currently married, tied with Florida for the sixth-smallest percentage in the country. The rate of people getting married is so low makes the number of divorces in the state. Nevadans are less likely to remarry — 17.1% of the state’s residents 65 and older were divorced, the highest figure nationwide and far higher than the just 12.5% of the nation’s senior citizens.

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1. Maine
> Pct. population divorced: 14.6%
> Median household income: $46,974 (16th lowest)
> Pct. never married: 28.5% (8th lowest)
> Pct. with bachelor’s degree: 28.2% (25th highest)

No state had a larger share of divorces than Maine, where 14.6% of residents 15 and over were divorced. Maine residents were also more likely to get married than most other Americans, which likely increased the probability of divorce overall. Also, like most states with large divorced populations, Maine’s median household income of $46,974 was one of the lower figures in the nation. Low incomes may increase financial burdens and lower the mutual advantages for married couples, both of which contribute to a higher incidence of divorce. Households with children are generally more stable, as unhappy parents frequently stave off the decision to divorce for the sake of their children. In Maine, just over 37% of households had children, lower than in every other state except for West Virginia.

Click here to see the states where the fewest people are divorced.

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