Divorce Capital of Every State

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When a couple gets married, they typically expect the union to last forever. Yet this is not always the case. Among all Americans age 15 and older, 10.9% are divorced and have not remarried. An additional 2% of people in that age group are separated but not divorced from their spouse.

Couples get divorced any number of reasons, but there are several relatively common causes. A study published in the journal Couple Family Psychology found that lack of commitment was the most often cited reasons for divorce, listed by 75% of individual participants. This was followed by infidelity at 59.6%, too much arguing at 57.7%, and marrying too young at 45.1% as the most common causes of divorce. Money problems, substance abuse, and domestic violence were also cited as common reasons for divorce.

Divorces happen all across the country, but the percentage of the population that is divorced can vary from city to city. In some places, more than 20% of residents 15 and older are divorced. Every state has at least one city in which the share of the population that is divorced exceeds the U.S. divorce percentage. In one state’s divorce capital, just 13.3% of people 15 and over are divorced. Yet in another, the divorce rate is more than double that at 26.8%.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of residents who are divorced in each major U.S. city using the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to determine the divorce capital of each state.

We included the median household income for each state, as financial issues are among the most commonly cited causes of divorce. Those struggling with money are more likely to split up, while people in difficult relationships may be more reluctant to leave if they have a level of financial security that could be jeopardized by a divorce. In all but four state divorce capitals, the median household income is lower than the respective state value.

To identify the divorce capital of every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of the 15-year-and-older population that is divorced from the Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey. Population figures are five-year averages through 2017. Data on household income also comes from the ACS. The Census definition of those who are divorced includes only people who are legally divorced and have not remarried. Those without a final divorce decree are classified as separated.