Does Where You Live Affect Your Odds Of Getting Divorced?

divorce rates by stateAre your odds of divorcing affected by where you live?

That’s tough to say, but Find The Data compiled data from the 2013 Census’ American Community Survey regarding the percentage of the population that identifies as divorced by state. (For more information on the marriage rates, click here and then click on the individual states.)

The data shows some fairly significant variances between states, although specific trends are difficult to decipher.

Note: These are the percentages of people in each state who are divorced. That doesn’t necessarily mean they divorced in that state. Someone might have divorced in New York and then moved to California.



  • Nevada has the highest percentage of divorcees at 13.9 percent. All the way across the country, Maine comes in at second at 13.5.
  • New Jersey (8.5) and New York (8.6) tallied the lowest percentage of divorcees.
  • Curiously, there was a sizable gap between neighboring states Missouri and Illinois. Twelve percent of Missouri’s population identified as divorced while only 9.8 percent in Illinois did.
  • If there is a specific region that encompasses more divorced people than others, it might be the Southwest or Pacific Northwest. More than 12 percent of the populations of Nevada (13.9), New Mexico (12.9) and Arizona (12.3) identify as divorced. The same goes for Oregon (12.9), Montana (12.4), Washington (12.1) and Idaho (12.0).
  • There could be a connection between the percentage of a state’s population that is divorced and the percentage of the population that is married. South Carolina, Illinois, Maryland, California, Massachusetts, and New York rank in the bottom third nationally for percentage of the population that is divorced as well as percentage of the population that is married. On the other hand, Utah has the fourth-lowest percentage of divorcees (9.2) and the nation’s highest percentage of married people (56.6).
  • While this data is interesting to digest, it is important to keep in mind that – as with any large set of data – no overarching conclusions should be made without more supporting evidence. Just because a state has a high percentage of people who have divorced doesn’t necessarily mean people in these states are more or less likely to end their marriages because there are numerous other extraneous variables that could be factors.
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