Special Report

This Is the City With the Highest Divorce Rate

The annual divorce rate in America is 14.9 per 1,000 people. That number has fallen most years over the past decade. This may be due partly to the fact that fewer people are getting married. Nevertheless, the United States still has one of the highest divorce rates in the world. And the city with the highest divorce rate is Hot Springs, Ark., where some 16.86% of the population has been divorced.

Divorce has profound effects on society. One in five women who divorce fall into poverty. Children lose critical time with parents, and children of divorced couples often lose health insurance benefits. They are also less likely to graduate from high school. (Click here to see the city in which most people get divorced in every state.)

The situation of every couple is different, so there is no universal dynamic that drives couples apart. Ann Gold Buscho, Ph.D., author of “The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting: A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting During Separation and Divorce,” writes in Psychology Today that the reasons for divorce run the gamut from incompatibility and money conflicts to the age-old breaking point, infidelity. Couples who have lost the ability to communicate or to be intimate are more likely to divorce, as well, she adds. Not surprisingly, abuse or addiction problems often lead to broken marriages, too.

To determine the metro area with the most divorce, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the percentage of the population aged 15 and older that is currently divorced in the 384 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, using annual estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Data on the married, separated, never married, and total population also came from the ACS. All are shares of the 15 and older population, not the total population, and are current as of 2019.

Click here to see the American cities with the highest divorce rate

Data about divorce also comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s library of marriage statistics. The CDC logs the number of divorces and annulments per 1,000 population. The rate in 2019 was 2.7. (The CDC notes that California, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, and New Mexico did not report that year.)

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