Divorce Stats

Divorce stats in the U.S. by age and region of the country.

Members of the Air Force lead all services for Divorce.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 25 percent of all divorces in 2007 involved couples who had been wed 20 years or more.

02-21-14:  Married 31 years Michael Jay Cohen calls 9-1-1 an hour after strangling his wife.  (Listening to the 9-1-1 tape, we understand why he didn’t want to perform CPR.)

The Census Bureau also reports divorces for couples over 65 years old have doubled since 1980.

There is a growing trend of women initiating divorce;

and getting killed for it. As was the case with former Stamford, CT.  resident,  76 year old Donald Bossa.  Bossa confessed to killing his 67 year old wife, Barbara.  They were married 23 years, and had a home in a gated community in Georgia.  Police officials said Bossa had one “domestic violence” incident long ago.

More recently California’s Judy Winter Meier was killed in a murder-suicide attack by her estranged husband, after filing for divorce. A growing trend.  Coverage by The San Diego UT chose instead however, to focus on the newspaper Meier edited in a piece focusing on how residents coped.  Seriously.

A 2004 study conducted by the American Association of Retired People showed 66 percent of divorce filings for older couples were made by women.  Who sometimes wind up

New York “initimate partner” murder rates; 2010

(New York had 144 domestic homicide cases up 10% from 2009.)

Those living in the Northeast had the lowest rates of divorce, 7.2 and 7.5 per 1,000.  The national average for divorce rates is 9.2 for men and 9.7 for women.

Southerners divorce more than those living in the Northeast

People in the south filed for divorce more often those living in other parts of the country: 10.2 per 1,000 for men and 11.1 per 1,000 for women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nine of the 14 states with divorce rates for women above the U.S. average, ranging from 10.7 to 16.2, were in the South. They included Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

By comparison, four of the 10 states with below-average divorce rates for women, ranging from 6.0 to 8.9, were in the Northeast: Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Everything’s bigger in Texas.

Texas’ marriage rate of 21.5 men per 1,000 in 2009 exceeded the national rate of 19.1. Among Texas women, the rate was 20.4, compared with 17.6 nationally.

Texas’ divorce rate of 10 men per 1,000 also was higher than the 9.2 national rate, as was the state divorce rate among women — 11.9, compared with 9.7 nationally.

Regionally, western states had the highest marriage and divorce rates, followed by the South. The Northeast had the lowest marriage and divorce rates.

Texans seem to have longer marriages in both the first and second try. Nationally, the median rate for first marriages is 20.8 years. Texas scores  21.4 years. For a second go-around, the national average is 14.5 years.  Texas squeaks by with 15.2 years.


Iowa checked in with the second lowest state divorce rate in the country, at less than half the rate of Arkansas, which has the second-highest rate of divorce – (although same-sex partners can’t marry or adopt.) Arkansas’s murder rate was  (page 8) for 2008.  2009 is still “under development.” 

Higher than average

14 states reported divorce rates higher for men than the U.S. average — ranging from 10.0 to 13.5 per 1,000 — most were in the South. They included Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.Northeaster men divorced less than the national average. Five of the nine states that had divorce rates for men significantly below the U.S. average — ranging from 6.1 to 8.5 — were the Northeastern states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey , New York and Pennsylvania.

And then there’s South Dakota.

According to the South Department of Health 2009 Vital Statistics Report, in 2006, there were 6303 marriages in our fair state. In 2009, there were only 5887.

Over the same period, South Dakota divorces increased from 2465 to 2686.

From 2006 to 2009, the number of marriages dropped faster in South Dakota than nationally.  South Dakota’s divorce rate continued to rise as the national divorce rate continued a three-decade downward trend.

South Dakota’s divorce rate surpassed the national average for the first time in 30 years in 2009.  Bottom line:

Arkansas men are mostly likely to file for divorce.
Alaska women are first to the courthouse.

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Recently, firms have sprung up which fund divorce and child custody litigation. 

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