The 10 Highest Divorce Rate States In The US

States With The Highest Divorce Rate

Singles, take note: Per the most recent Census Bureau report released, a shrinking number of people in the United States are getting married and according to the data it appears as if the trend will continue to decline. The findings also show that people are waiting longer before getting married, with the median age increasing from 22.5 years for men and 20.6 years for women in 1970 to 28.4 for men and 26.5 for women in 2011 (which is when the latest data is available).


Not only are people in the United States less likely to marry now and waiting longer before actually doing so, as compared to the past, but they are also more likely to get a divorce, with rates continuing to trend upwards.


A further look at the report from the Census Bureau shows that the South and the West regions of the United States had the most marriages with approximately 19 per 1,000. However, before you board a flight, hoping to find love in either of these regions, you should also be aware that states in the South and the West also had the highest divorce rates with about 10.2 per 1,000 for men and 11.1 per 1,000 for women – compare that with the national average of 9.2 per 1,000 for men and 9.7 per 1,000 for women.

The high divorce rate may come as a shock to some considering that the West, and particularly the South, are typically seen as more conservative as compared to the liberal East. A report from the Pew Center on “The States of Marriage and Divorce” explains that the reason these regions have higher divorce rates are due to youth and lack of education.

Another added factor for the higher divorce rates are due to the higher number of migrants. According to Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, “the South and West also have many migrants from other parts of the region who have left their social support networks behind. When they have marital problems, they have fewer people to turn to for help”.

On the flip side, the lower divorce rates in most of the Northeast can partially be attributed to people waiting longer before getting married, which decreased the likelihood of marital discord down the road.

So, for those who are interested in finding other divorcees or believe that living in a high divorce rate state might be bad luck for their marriage, read below for the 10 states that have the highest divorce rates in the country.


The American Community Survey questionnaire asked whether someone had been married, divorced or widowed in the previous 12 months. The survey was taken throughout 2008, so the time period covered included months in 2007 and 2008. 2. In this analysis, “married” includes all currently married adults ages 15 and older except those who are separated.

The 10 Highest Divorce Rate States In The US

The 10 Highest Divorce Rate States In The US

10. Tennessee

Percentage divorced: 13%
Percentage married: 49.1%
Percentage separated: 2.3%

Tennessee cracks our top 10 list of highest divorce rate states with 13% of its 6,459,025 residents divorced. The state can thank capital city Nashville for edging it into the top 10 as 13.7 out of 1,000 Nashville dwellers are divorced.

9. New Mexico

Percentage divorced: 13.1%
Percentage married: 46.1%
Percentage separated: 1.8%

8. Kentucky

Percentage divorced: 13.2%
Percentage married: 50.1%
Percentage separated: 2.2%

Next on the list is Kentucky, and technically tied for seventh/eighth, with 13.2% of its 4,395,295 residents divorced. About half, or 50.1%, of the people living in the state were married, and 2.2% were separated.

7. Florida

Percentage divorced: 13.2%
Percentage married:
Percentage separated:

Technically, Florida should be tied with Kentucky for seventh/eighth place because they both have a divorce rate of 13.2%, though Florida has a larger population with 19,552,860 total residents. Less than half, or 46%, of Floridians said they were married, and 2.5% said they were separated.

6. West Virginia

Percentage divorced: 13.3%
Percentage married: 49.9%
Percentage separated: 1.5%

West Virginia and Arkansas are technically tied as both states have a divorce rate of 13.3%, however West Virginia has a population of 1,854,304 while Arkansas has a population of 2,959,373. It’s because of Arkansas’ larger population that we’ve listed West Virginia as #6 on our list of states with the highest divorce rate.

5. Arkansas

Percentage divorced: 13.3%
Percentage married: 50.5%
Percentage separated: 2.3%

Arkansas has one of the longest processing times in the country, making it difficult to get a no-fault divorce. The state has an 18-month period of separation and any co-habitation during that period resets the clock making it hard to believe that the state has such a high divorce rate. A deeper look into the state’s marriage statistics shows that over half of the first-time brides are 24 or younger which most likely contributes as one of the main reasons Arkansas has such a high divorce rate, despite the difficulty in actually getting a divorce.

4. Oregon

Percentage divorced: 13.4%
Percentage married: 49%
Percentage separated: 1.9%

3. Oklahoma

Percentage divorced: 13.5%
Percentage married: 50.1%
Percentage separated: 2.2%

This state has several odd reasons that a man or woman may list as a reason for why they want to file for a fault divorce. Among the oddities on the list is a line that allows a husband to file for a divorce if the bride was pregnant by another man at the time of their marriage. Also, like Arkansas, over  half of the first-time brides in this state are 24 or younger, so it’s no wonder there are so many divorces!

2. Maine

Percentage divorced: 14.2%
Percentage married: 50.8%
Percentage separated: 1.2%

The filing fee to get a divorce is $120, which is below the national average, and the minimum processing time is 60 days, also below the national average. Both of these factors may contribute to why Maine, the only Northeast state in the top 10, has such a high divorce rate.

1. Nevada

Percentage divorced: 14.6%
Percentage married: 45.6%
Percentage separated: 2.4%

Nevada, the state whose largest city is almost synonymous with spur-of-the-moment marriages, is at the top of the list. A total of 14.6% of the state’s population were divorced as of 2012, another 2.4% were separated, and 45.6% of the state’s residents were married.

Divorce can be a difficult part of life, but is all-too-common nowadays. Despite the best of intentions, sometimes marriages come to an end. If you’re looking for details about a divorce, use our search partner which will help you find divorce records that include the full names of the individuals, county and state that the divorce was filled in, divorce filing data, and all other pertinent information related to the divorce.

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