Statistics on divorce are as varied as there are reasons for getting divorced. One of the basic sources for divorce statistics is the United States Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau does not keep yearly statistics; however, their statistics can give you a view for trends in 10-year cycles. For instance, in 1990 there were 2,443,500 marriages and 1,182,000 divorces.

Divorce statistics are gathered on a yearly basis by the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics. The divorce statistics collected by this agency is broken down by state and region.

It is estimated that 50% of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. The statistics are worse for second and third marriages. 65% of second marriages end in divorce, and the divorce statistic for third marriages is higher than that.

Nevada has the highest rate of marriage and divorce, while the District of Columbia has the lowest rate of divorce. Statistically, city dwellers are more likely to get divorced than people living in the country. A racial breakdown of divorce statistics indicates that 11% of African-Americans, 10% of Whites and 8% of Hispanics have been through a divorce. Statistics also show that the younger a couple is when they marry, the more likely they are to divorce. Differences in ethnic background as well as religion also contribute to a higher divorce rate.

Two out of three marriages ending in divorce have minor children. American children are the least likely to grow up in a home with biologically related parents.

One-third of American households have two parents in the home. Statistically it is unclear what long-term effects divorce has on the mental health of the children because there are as many studies that show no long-term adverse affects as there are statistics showing that there are adverse long-term effects.

It is clear that divorce has a negative impact on children’s financial well-being because of the problems involved with the collection of child support. Children of divorce are more likely to be at or below the poverty line than children with married parents.

Couples who have premarital counseling are less likely to get divorced; and surprisingly, the more money and education a woman has, the higher the likelihood of divorce. 80% of divorced men and 75% of divorced women are likely to remarry regardless of whether there are children in the home.

The divorce rate was at its highest in the United States during the 70’s and 80’s. Statistics show that it began to level off during the 90’s. Current divorce statistics actually show a decline in the rate of divorce.


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