According to the Institute of Family Studies, divorce rates have dropped drastically since the 1980s. Between 1980 and 2019, they fell from 22.6 to 14.9 per 1,000 married couples. (These are the states where people have been married the longest.)
Divorce rates vary widely from state to state, however. To determine the states with the most – and fewest – divorces, 24/7 Tempo consulted the 1-year estimates for 2021 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which helps local municipalities and officials track community change. The married, widowed, separated, and never married populations as well as median household income for each state also came from the ACS.
According to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, money issues are one of the leading causes of divorce. The three states with the most divorces have among the 20 lowest median household incomes in the country. Conversely, the three states with the fewest divorces record a median household income that’s among the 15 highest in America. (The number of marital split-ups also varies on a more granular level, of course. These are the American cities with the highest and lowest divorce rates.)
While each geographic region is home to states with both the highest and lowest divorce rates, there are some regional trends. Three of the five states with the fewest divorces are located in the Northeast, while the South and Southwest are home to four of the five states with the most.
Four of the five most populous states have relatively low divorce rates, with three of these – California, New York, and Pennsylvania – among the 10 lowest. Florida is the outlier, ranking as the state with the ninth highest divorce rate.
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