Did you ever wonder why people end their marriage? Or do you just argue with your partner wondering why people stay married? Whatever the case, taking a good look into divorce statistics may help you understand both. In this article, we will look at the different factors for ending marriage such as income, education, age, and previous experiences. In addition, we’ll briefly mention the worldwide impact COVID-19 had on the divorce rate across countries.
So, without further ado — here are 20 essential facts about divorce to satiate your curiosity.
Top 10 Divorce Stats to Blow Your Mind
- The global divorce rate has reached a whopping 44% and is rising.
- It costs about $15,000 to get divorced in the US.
- Close to 0.8 million marriages ended in divorce in 2017 in the EU.
- Divorce is still illegal in the Philippines and the Vatican City.
- Most divorces happen in January.
- The number of children can increase divorce chances.
- Divorce trends emphasize growing apart as the number one reason.
- People face their first divorce in their 30s.
- The coronavirus skyrocketed divorce filings in the US.
- Financial equality of spouses decreases the chance of divorce.
Divorce Statistics Around the World
1. The global divorce rate has reached a whopping 44% and is rising.
The average divorce rate varies greatly between regions and cultures. For instance, Luxembourg and Spain hold the unflattering title of having the highest divorce rates, with 87% and 65%, respectively. On the other hand, India and Chile’s stats show a historic low of merely 1% and 3%, respectively.
2. Divorce statistics for 2020 have been drastically altered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Fear and stress caused by the virus, combined with the financial blow to the world’s economy, caused a significant increase in domestic violence. Hence, the number of divorces across the world has also increased.
However, we won’t fully understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic until the year is over; current data indicates a 34% increase compared to divorce statistics from 2019.
3. Close to 0.8 million marriages ended in divorce in 2017 in the EU.
What’s more, when looking at the EU’s crude divorce rate (i.e., the number of divorces per 1000 individuals), the figures have risen from just 0.8 in 1965 to 2 in 2018, practically doubling the rate of divorces.
Also, divorce statistics by country show that Malta and Ireland both scored the lowest 0.7, whereas data from Latvia and Lithuania indicates that 3.1 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants happen in these countries, making them one of the highest in the region.
4. Of all religions, Christianity has the highest divorce rate at 37%.
Religion is one of the most important social factors that influence divorce statistics. As such, Christianity is closely followed by Buddhism with 30%, Judaism with 28%, Islam with 20%, and Hinduism has the lowest divorce rates by far — merely 1%!
5. Divorce is still illegal in the Philippines and the Vatican City.
(The Economist) (Library of Congress) (BBC)
Apart from Vatican City, the Philippines remain the only country in the world where divorce is illegal to this day. The country’s conservative laws only allow separation in case of violence. Moreover, the available marriage statistics show that the annulment process takes up to 10 years and includes mental health tests.
Still, in February 2020, a proposal for the legalization of divorce was approved by a committee in the House of Representatives and is subjected to further analysis.
6. GDP can be indicative of a country’s divorce rates.
Economic development and higher education result in more women entering the workforce, thus allowing them to provide for themselves and afford a divorce.
7. The average length of marriage before divorce is approximately 11–13 years.
While this is true for most countries, it doesn’t seem to be the case with Italy, where the average length is 18 years, or Qatar, where it is only 5.5 years.
8. Most divorces happen in January.
Most people avoid ruining the holiday season towards the end of the year for both their families and friends and wait until January. Hence, most divorces occur as a kind of a New Year’s resolution, ironically.
Also, couples experiencing relationship problems wait for the holidays hoping that things will get better only to face disappointment and call their lawyers as soon as they’re over.
9. The number of children can increase divorce chances.
Research shows that couples with triplets and twins are 17% more likely to get a divorce. The chances further increased depending on the gender of said children, as parents of three girls are 10% more likely to file for divorce than parents of three boys.
Considering one’s chances of becoming a child of divorced parents, statistics are a bit frightening. Namely, children of divorced parents have a 35% chance of getting divorced themselves.
10. Divorce rates in American Muslim communities are on the rise.
Islamic tradition allows for both men and women to seek a divorce, although wives have to obtain their husbands’ approval first. However, this perspective is changing.
A recent study conducted in Turkey showed that 85% of men stated that a woman should have the right to divorce without the husband’s consent. North African and Central Asian Muslim countries also point to reasonably high rates of approval with around 80%. On the other hand, Iraq holds the last spot with only 14%.
11. Divorce trends emphasize growing apart as the number one reason for separation.
Available data shows that becoming incompatible with one another is the main reason behind 44% of divorces. This is followed by infidelity with 18%, drugs (9%), physical and mental abuse (6%), and other reasons.
The Divorce Rate in America
12. The overall divorce rate was about 45% in 2019.
Unfortunately, this year we may expect a higher figure due to the Covid19 crisis.
12. The coronavirus skyrocketed divorce filings in the US.
American newlyweds took the biggest hit from nation-wide lockdowns and the stress caused by related factors, Namely, 20% of divorces that took place this year were couples who were married for less than five months according to the latest data.
In general, 31% of couples stated that lockdown, unemployment, and financial issues due to the pandemic had caused permanent damage to their relationship and marriages.
13. Before the pandemic, the divorce rate in America was actually dropping.
When it comes to divorces, America scored an all-time low in 2018 with just 2.9 divorces per 1,000 married people, which equals around 782,038 divorce procedures and annulments for that year.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 shattered the plans of many, leaving them not only broke but divorced as well.
14. 20% of marriages that end in divorce do so due to psychological or physical abuse.
What’s more, domestic violence divorce statistics indicate that, in 90% of cases, the abuser is, in fact, the male partner.
15. Northeastern states have lower divorce rates than southeastern ones.
Regional statistics show that Arkansas (13%), South Dakota (12.1%), and Oklahoma (10.8%) have the highest divorce rates in America, whereas North Dakota (4.7%), Rhode Island (4.9%), and New York (5.7%) have some of the lowest rates in the country.
16. Financial equality of spouses decreases the chance of divorce.
Almost 35% of couples claimed money and income were the main reason behind their separation. This usually happens when one of the spouses earns more; if the difference is significant, the marriage is estimated to end within the initial five years.
17. People face their first divorce in their 30s.
Divorce statistics by age show that almost 60% of people who go through a divorce do so between the ages of 25 and 39, depending on other social factors.
18. “Gray divorce” has become a prevailing phenomenon.
The number of couples who divorce after the age of 50 has doubled since the 1990s. According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, this has serious repercussions on the seniors’ quality of life.
Following the divorce, women experience a 45% decrease in their life quality and standards, whereas for men, it drops by “merely” 21%. Both divorce demographics and a comprehensive 2017 study show that people who divorce after 50 have a 27% chance of becoming poor.
19. Divorce is far more complicated if there are children involved.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Support Enforcement has recently published data indicating that merely 1 in 5 children receive child support as required by law.
The US divorce rate also points out that some 15 million children received child support in 2017, totaling a mind-blowing $33 billion. Still, over 30% of child support payments aren’t made at all.
20. It costs about $15,000 to get divorced in the US.
Attorneys are certainly the most expensive part of getting divorced. The average lawyer fee ranges from $1,000 to several thousand dollars depending on whether the divorce is contested or not.
Besides that, there are also several administrative fees that cost around $200 or $300 before, after, and during the divorce process. Owning real estate and resolving its status will add yet another $3,000 on average.
How long does the average marriage last?
As previously mentioned, the average marriage lasts anywhere from 11 to 13 years. The length average of the marriage varies on the region you live in, the profession, and the financial stability you have in life. If you live in Italy, for example, your marriage may last around 18 years (on average).
When do most divorces happen?
Most divorces happen in January, right after the Christmas season is over. Stats reveal couples wait for the holiday season, hoping it will right their wrongs. Ironically, calling their lawyer is the first thing they do in the New Year.
What age group has the highest divorce rate?
Most people go through a divorce in their 30s, which is somewhat expected given that couples who marry between 20 and 25 years of age have a 60% chance to divorce. Plus when we add that the average marriage lasts around 11 years, we get people in their 30s.
Divorce may not be the first thing you think about when you say ‘I do’ (or maybe it is, we don’t judge), but it is certainly not the worst thing that can happen. Although some of these divorce statistics may seem discouraging, we hope that it was helpful in whatever way possible.