The Divorce Capital of Every State

January 29, 2018 by John Harrington

Source: Krivinis / Getty Images
One of the more sobering realities of 21st-century American life is divorce. Marriages end over a host of issues, including infidelity, stress, money troubles, and personal changes by one or both partners over the course of a marriage. Divorce can be an emotionally wrenching experience and can fracture families. For many children, divorce leaves scars that never heal.

About 40% to 50% of married couples in the United States divorce, according to the American Psychological Association. The divorce rate among those who remarry is even higher.

While divorce is a fact of life in every part of the country, in some states divorce rates are higher than in others. Within all states, there is at least one city where the divorce rate tops the statewide rate.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed Census Bureau data to identify the city in each state that has the highest percentage of divorces among those 15 years and older.

Click here to see the divorce capitals of every state.
Click here to read our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library / Wikimedia Commons

1. Demopolis, Alabama
> Divorced population: 18.9%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.5%
> Married population: 33.4%
> Median household income: $25,942
> Households earning less than $10,000: 22.8%

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Source: Pixabay

2. Kenai, Alaska
> Divorced population: 18.9%
> Divorced population, statewide: 11.6%
> Married population: 48.8%
> Median household income: $58,732
> Households earning less than $10,000: 4.3%

Source: Tony the Marine / Wikimedia Commons

3. Florence, Arizona
> Divorced population: 20.2%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.4%
> Married population: 33.3%
> Median household income: $48,919
> Households earning less than $10,000: 7.7%

Source: Jma661 / Wikimedia Commons

4. Newport, Arkansas
> Divorced population: 23.2%
> Divorced population, statewide: 13.1%
> Married population: 24.8%
> Median household income: $26,853
> Households earning less than $10,000: 18.9%

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Source: Thinkstock

5. Clearlake, California
> Divorced population: 22.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 9.5%
> Married population: 33.1%
> Median household income: $25,426
> Households earning less than $10,000: 15.9%

Source: wisanuboonrawd / iStock

6. Aspen, Colorado
> Divorced population: 23.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.0%
> Married population: 34.8%
> Median household income: $67,776
> Households earning less than $10,000: 5.7%

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Source: Thinkstock

7. Putnam, Connecticut
> Divorced population: 20.8%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.7%
> Married population: 35.6%
> Median household income: $47,436
> Households earning less than $10,000: 6.0%

Source: Thinkstock

8. Elsmere, Delaware
> Divorced population: 18.8%
> Divorced population, statewide: 11.4%
> Married population: 32.0%
> Median household income: $48,021
> Households earning less than $10,000: 5.0%

Source: Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons

9. Live Oak, Florida
> Divorced population: 23.0%
> Divorced population, statewide: 13.0%
> Married population: 32.3%
> Median household income: $30,060
> Households earning less than $10,000: 16.4%

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Source: Bellemare / Wikimedia Commons

10. Garden City, Georgia
> Divorced population: 18.9%
> Divorced population, statewide: 11.4%
> Married population: 30.1%
> Median household income: $36,097
> Households earning less than $10,000: 12.4%

Source: Courtesy of Joy N. via Yelp

11. Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii
> Divorced population: 17.2%
> Divorced population, statewide: 9.4%
> Married population: 46.1%
> Median household income: $47,181
> Households earning less than $10,000: 15.5%

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Source: Pixabay

12. Sandpoint, Idaho
> Divorced population: 21.2%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.2%
> Married population: 43.1%
> Median household income: $34,662
> Households earning less than $10,000: 10.4%

Source: Max Pixel

13. Litchfield, Illinois
> Divorced population: 19.8%
> Divorced population, statewide: 9.8%
> Married population: 44.9%
> Median household income: $38,629
> Households earning less than $10,000: 12.8%

Source: David Wilson / Wikimedia Commons

14. Westville, Indiana
> Divorced population: 22.7%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.7%
> Married population: 20.2%
> Median household income: $42,250
> Households earning less than $10,000: 8.2%

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Source: Jo Naylor / Flickr

15. Fort Madison, Iowa
> Divorced population: 16.4%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.8%
> Married population: 45.4%
> Median household income: $42,448
> Households earning less than $10,000: 8.8%

Source: AbeEzekowitz / Wikimedia Commons

16. Chanute, Kansas
> Divorced population: 18.3%
> Divorced population, statewide: 11.5%
> Married population: 47.1%
> Median household income: $37,887
> Households earning less than $10,000: 12.2%

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

17. Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
> Divorced population: 22.2%
> Divorced population, statewide: 13.2%
> Married population: 50.2%
> Median household income: $51,977
> Households earning less than $10,000: 6.6%

Source: Infrogmation / Wikimedia Commons

18. Westwego, Louisiana
> Divorced population: 19.3%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.0%
> Married population: 34.0%
> Median household income: $33,898
> Households earning less than $10,000: 8.8%

Source: Rachel Winslow / Wikimedia Commons

19. Rockland, Maine
> Divorced population: 22.2%
> Divorced population, statewide: 14.1%
> Married population: 39.5%
> Median household income: $40,987
> Households earning less than $10,000: 8.5%

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Source: Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

20. Edgewater, Maryland
> Divorced population: 16.2%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.0%
> Married population: 50.8%
> Median household income: $90,718
> Households earning less than $10,000: 2.0%

Source: Thinkstock

21. North Adams, Massachusetts
> Divorced population: 16.0%
> Divorced population, statewide: 9.6%
> Married population: 38.1%
> Median household income: $32,804
> Households earning less than $10,000: 11.1%

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Source: Andrew Jameson / Wikimedia Commons

22. Greenville, Michigan
> Divorced population: 20.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 11.6%
> Married population: 41.2%
> Median household income: $32,641
> Households earning less than $10,000: 13.3%

Source: slpmn.org

23. Spring Lake Park, Minnesota
> Divorced population: 18.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.0%
> Married population: 42.4%
> Median household income: $57,993
> Households earning less than $10,000: 1.8%

Source: waveland-ms.gov

24. Waveland, Mississippi
> Divorced population: 20.0%
> Divorced population, statewide: 11.8%
> Married population: 33.1%
> Median household income: $38,207
> Households earning less than $10,000: 12.5%

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Source: B.M. Hoppe / Wikimedia Commons

25. Nevada, Missouri
> Divorced population: 19.4%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.2%
> Married population: 39.9%
> Median household income: $29,738
> Households earning less than $10,000: 15.6%

Source: RTC / Wikimedia Commons

26. Helena Valley Southeast, Montana
> Divorced population: 18.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.6%
> Married population: 44.5%
> Median household income: $50,585
> Households earning less than $10,000: 3.4%

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Source: City of La Vista Government / Facebook

27. La Vista, Nebraska
> Divorced population: 15.7%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.4%
> Married population: 47.9%
> Median household income: $59,401
> Households earning less than $10,000: 3.1%

Source: Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

28. Fallon, Nevada
> Divorced population: 23.0%
> Divorced population, statewide: 14.1%
> Married population: 38.5%
> Median household income: $37,848
> Households earning less than $10,000: 12.5%

Source: John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

29. Exeter, New Hampshire
> Divorced population: 17.8%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.0%
> Married population: 45.8%
> Median household income: $66,964
> Households earning less than $10,000: 4.6%

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Source: Thinkstock

30. Crestwood Village, New Jersey
> Divorced population: 16.4%
> Divorced population, statewide: 8.5%
> Married population: 44.1%
> Median household income: $28,282
> Households earning less than $10,000: 8.0%

Source: Laura Hertzfeld / Wikimedia Commons

31. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
> Divorced population: 24.8%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.9%
> Married population: 40.3%
> Median household income: $26,844
> Households earning less than $10,000: 18.6%

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Source: Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

32. Hudson, New York
> Divorced population: 16.7%
> Divorced population, statewide: 8.7%
> Married population: 29.6%
> Median household income: $31,042
> Households earning less than $10,000: 13.3%

Source: ci.king.nc.us

33. King, North Carolina
> Divorced population: 19.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.9%
> Married population: 51.3%
> Median household income: $54,471
> Households earning less than $10,000: 2.7%

Source: Andrew Filer / Flickr

34. Devils Lake, North Dakota
> Divorced population: 14.4%
> Divorced population, statewide: 9.5%
> Married population: 39.3%
> Median household income: $40,453
> Households earning less than $10,000: 10.5%

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Source: City of Bedford Heights / Facebook

35. Bedford Heights, Ohio
> Divorced population: 19.3%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.1%
> Married population: 32.1%
> Median household income: $37,692
> Households earning less than $10,000: 12.0%

Source: cityofgroveok.gov

36. Grove, Oklahoma
> Divorced population: 19.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 13.3%
> Married population: 54.2%
> Median household income: $39,321
> Households earning less than $10,000: 5.7%

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Source: M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

37. Sheridan, Oregon
> Divorced population: 20.8%
> Divorced population, statewide: 13.2%
> Married population: 38.3%
> Median household income: $40,882
> Households earning less than $10,000: 6.9%

Source: Wikimedia Commons

38. Butler, Pennsylvania
> Divorced population: 20.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 9.6%
> Married population: 32.9%
> Median household income: $29,477
> Households earning less than $10,000: 15.8%

Source: Thinkstock

39. Westerly, Rhode Island
> Divorced population: 15.8%
> Divorced population, statewide: 11.4%
> Married population: 48.7%
> Median household income: $57,275
> Households earning less than $10,000: 5.7%

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Source: Little River Chamber / Facebook

40. Little River, South Carolina
> Divorced population: 19.5%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.9%
> Married population: 51.1%
> Median household income: $45,833
> Households earning less than $10,000: 4.9%

Source: National Park Service

41. Yankton, South Dakota
> Divorced population: 14.6%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.6%
> Married population: 46.1%
> Median household income: $41,174
> Households earning less than $10,000: 10.1%

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Source: Brian Stansberry / Wikimedia Commons

42. McMinnville, Tennessee
> Divorced population: 24.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.6%
> Married population: 39.1%
> Median household income: $30,136
> Households earning less than $10,000: 13.0%

Source: Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons

43. Bonham, Texas
> Divorced population: 18.9%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.8%
> Married population: 39.3%
> Median household income: $33,869
> Households earning less than $10,000: 16.0%

Source: Thinkstock

44. Vernal, Utah
> Divorced population: 16.7%
> Divorced population, statewide: 9.2%
> Married population: 47.2%
> Median household income: $56,387
> Households earning less than $10,000: 9.3%

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

45. Brattleboro, Vermont
> Divorced population: 23.5%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.4%
> Married population: 33.4%
> Median household income: $49,000
> Households earning less than $10,000: 9.2%

Source: County of Henrico, Virginia - Government / Facebook

46. Dumbarton, Virginia
> Divorced population: 18.9%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.2%
> Married population: 29.9%
> Median household income: $36,808
> Households earning less than $10,000: 10.3%

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

47. Clarkston, Washington
> Divorced population: 25.7%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.1%
> Married population: 38.7%
> Median household income: $33,353
> Households earning less than $10,000: 10.4%

Source: City of Nitro / Facebook

48. Nitro, West Virginia
> Divorced population: 21.2%
> Divorced population, statewide: 13.3%
> Married population: 51.6%
> Median household income: $48,212
> Households earning less than $10,000: 7.1%

Source: WRCM / Facebook

49. Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
> Divorced population: 19.1%
> Divorced population, statewide: 10.8%
> Married population: 44.9%
> Median household income: $35,775
> Households earning less than $10,000: 4.7%

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

50. Riverton, Wyoming
> Divorced population: 16.7%
> Divorced population, statewide: 12.8%
> Married population: 46.5%
> Median household income: $50,020
> Households earning less than $10,000: 4.7%

Detailed Findings & Methodology

The cost of a divorce can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands. The average cost of a contested divorce ranges from $15,000 to $30,000, according to Forbes.com. This figure varies depending on the type of divorce and how contentious it is.

Some researchers estimate divorced spouses would, on average, need more than a 30% increase in their income to maintain the same standard of living they were accustomed to before their divorce.

Though child support payments are calculated by the state in which the divorce is granted, most state guidelines try to account for factors such as the income of both parents, the number of children involved, custody, and the amount of time each parent spends with the children.

Despite a parent’s legal obligation to pay court-ordered child support, about half of all court-ordered child support in the United States are actually paid.

Another financial obligation in a divorce may be spousal support or alimony. This spousal support payment can be financially significant for the spouse receiving it, but it can also cause financial distress to the spouse paying it, especially if that spouse has lost his or her job.

Clarkston, Washington, has the highest divorce rate of any city on the 24/7 Wall St. list at 25.7%. Clarkston also has the biggest percentage-point difference between any city and its respective state divorce rate on the list at 13.6.

All of the cities on this list surpass the national average of people divorced at 11%. Clarkston is one of 19 cities where the divorce rate exceeds 20%. Divorce correlates strongly with lower income and poverty in cities where divorce rates are elevated in those cities.

In 33 states, the cities with the highest divorce rates have higher percentages of households earning incomes of less than $10,000 than the national share. In 24 cities, the percentage of total households earning less than $10,000 is greater than the statewide share. In 32 states, the city with the highest divorce rate has a poverty rate that exceeds the national rate of 15.1%. In addition, 24 cities have a poverty rate greater than their state rate. The median household income in the city with the highest divorce rate topped the national median annual household income of $55,322 in just eight states.

The five cities with the highest divorce rates — Clarkston; Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; McMinnville, Tennessee; Brattleboro, Vermont; and Newport, Arkansas — all have higher percentages of households earning incomes of less than $10,000 than the national percentage, higher poverty rates than the the national rate, and lower median household income than both national and statewide medians. The exception is Brattleboro, which has a lower percentage of households earning less than $10,000 in comparison with the share across Vermont.

To identify the divorce capital of every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey to find the percentage of the 15-year-and-older population that is divorced. The population data are five-year averages through 2016. Data on household income and poverty rate also came from the ACS. The Census definition of those who are divorced includes only people who are legally divorced and who have not remarried. Those without a final divorce decree are classified as separated.