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Statistics of Divorce

Divorce has become a common occurrence both in the United States and around the world. According to divorce statistics, it is estimated that between 40 percent and 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce in the United States. In some countries, divorce rates for first marriages exceed 50 percent. Second and third marriages in the United States have even higher divorce rates. According to statistics, second marriages fail at a rate of 60-67 percent, and third marriages fail at a rate of 73-74 percent.

Divorce statistics show that there are number of reasons why marriages fail. According to divorced couples, the number one reason that marriage fails is due to either a lack of communication or poor communication. The second most cited reason for divorce is martial conflicts and arguments. Thirdly, many divorced couples say infidelity led to divorce. While these are the primary reasons cited for divorce, statistics show that there are several underlying factors that contribute to these trends. These factors include, but are not limited to: age, education, income, religion, and cohabitation.


Statistics show that those who get married in their mid to late-twenties are less likely to get divorced that those who marry at a younger age, and that this age group tends to be more satisfied in marriage than those couple who marry later in life. For divorced couples under the age of 20, the women are more likely to initiate the divorce; whereas for divorced couples over the age of 20, the men are more likely to initiate the divorce.

Education and Income

Education and income both play a role in divorce statistics. Data shows that a married couple with a higher education and a higher income is less likely to divorce than a couple with lower education and lower income.


While several religious denominations show a slightly lower divorce rate of 21-34 percent, other data suggests that those with no religious affiliation have a lower divorce rate than those with reported religious affiliations. It has also been suggested that pastors of local congregations, for various reasons, may not be aware of how many divorced couples are actually in, or have been part of, their congregations.


Reports suggest that between 40 percent and 85 percent of couples who lived together before getting married had the marriage end in divorce.

Divorce statistics indicate that about one-fourth of adults in the United States have been divorced at least once in their lifetime. Characteristics of individuals that have a higher probability of divorce include:

o younger age at time of marriage

o lower education

o has children from a previous relationship

o cohabitation prior to marriage

o sexual activity prior to marriage

According to divorce statistics, it does not appear that only one factor contributes to a couple’s decision to divorce. Although three primary reasons have been identified by divorced couples as the leading causes of divorce, it seems that underlying factors may contribute to these issues as well.

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Divorce Rates In America And Other Western Countries

The rate at which people divorce varies from country to country. However, gathering of divorce statistics from different countries is difficult because some countries do not release their official records. Nevertheless, most divorce records show the figures three to four years ago, and despite this situation, it is possible to make comments on divorce rates in certain Western countries.

In the USA, it is generally accepted that up to 50% of all marriages fail compared to other countries such as Australia, the UK and Canada. There are different ways of looking at divorce statistics. For instance, you can read how many divorces occur per head of population. In the USA, the recent figures show that 8 people per 1000 of the population get divorced compared to the Western countries with 5 divorced people per 1000 members of the population.

In the US it is easier and more accurate to make your study on a state rather than a federal basis. Each state is required to keep marriage and divorce records and you can obtain relevant information via the appropriate government body in each particular state.

The rate of divorce has moved dramatically in some countries recently. In the UK, the rate of divorce has dropped by about 15% in recent years; Australia’s divorce rate has increased considerably. Of course the statisticians provide the raw data and the commentators provide the opinions as to why this is so. In Australia for instance, the marked increase in the rate of divorce is likely to have occurred because of changes in federal law, making it much easier to obtain a divorce. By introducing the grounds of ‘irreconcilable differences’, couples wishing to divorce simply had to separate for a set minimum period and then list the grounds for divorce as irreconcilable differences.

The rate of divorce does include information other than the overall number of divorces as a percentage of all marriages. You can discover the average length of a marriage and the age at which people are more likely to divorce. For instance there is a high dissolution of marriages in the first few years and a low number of marriage failures once a couple has entered into many years of marriage. That’s not to say couples don’t divorce at different stages of their union but that marriages are more likely to break down in the early years than if a couple has been married for a long time.

Presently, the average length of marriage in the United States eight years. This fact and many others give an interesting– if not depressing view of marriage– and its possible failure. Divorce rates also reflect the societal problems that surround marriage such as the increasing number of women in the workforce, the change in divorce legislation and the ease with which divorce can be obtained today.

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Arranged marriages or love marriages, which last longer?

Arranged marriage (also called prearranged marriage) is a marriage arranged by someone other than the couple getting wedded. The matchmaker can be the parents, an agent, a religious guide or even a dating site and account is taken of the prospective partners backgrounds, social standing, religion etc. in order to find the most compatible mates from a given population.

In an arranged marriage both parties consent to the assistance of a third party in identifying a spouse. The arranged marriage is not a forced marriage – one against the wishes of one or both individuals concerned; nor is it a love-marriage based on an individual undergoing courtship to find a mate. Sometimes in an arranged marriage the partners are presented with a pool of “possibilities” and from these candidates select their preferred choice.

Whatever we think or feel about arranged marriages the divorce statistics show that in countries where arranged marriages predominate are the countries where the divorce rates are lowest. India has one of the lowest divorce rates of the world, and it also has one of the highest rates of arranged marriages. For a listing of divorce statistics by country you can see ates-of-the-world/. On the face of it it would seem that arranged marriages carry a rosy picture of mates staying together.

However, statistics can easily be flawed. Those countries with the lowest rates of divorce also happen to be those countries where divorce tends to still carry a great social stigma; where women do not have the same opportunities to make themselves independent of a husband provider; and where there are least social services opportunities for women who do seek to separate. And those women who are abandoned or who remain in a failed relationship locked in a house do not even feature on divorce statistics.

Only if we look to the nature of those marriage relationships may we start to gain an answer to our question of whether arranged or love marriages last longer. And without doubt the arranged marriage comes up as winner. It is not just because compatibility of the partners is maximized at the start (although this helps iron out many of the common causes for divorce cutting short the duration of a relationship) but it is because of the particular understanding of marriage that the arranged marriage participants have.

In an arranged marriage at the very outset partners understand marriage as a comittment; love is something

Reasons for high divorce rates in America

Divorce rates in America are nearing 50% in 2011.  Some couples state that they simply “fell out of love” with each other.  Others are looking for their soul mates and remarry.  Sadly, second marriages have an even higher risk for divorce than first marriages.  First marriages end in divorce about 40% of the time as opposed to 60% divorce rates with second marriages.  The statistics speak for themselves; perhaps working on your first relationship will yield better results than starting a new one?  75% of all third marriages are headed for divorce.  So it seems that where marriage is concerned, practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect.

Divorce rates started falling after World War II.  Currently, the U.S. has divorce rates that are higher than those of any other country.  Why are divorce rates in America so high?  One field of thought is that Americans incorporate their liberties and freedoms as an American into their marital relationships.  When a person feels that their liberty is being taken away or that their freedom is being lessened, they sometimes opt for divorce. 

Another idea is that in America women have more options for financial success in the workplace than they do in other countries.  This makes American women confidant in their ability to provide for themselves and their children.  In America, a woman who is in an unhappy marriage is more apt to not let financial reasons hinder her decision to initiate a divorce.

Sex before marriage and cohabitation (living together) are two factors that may have an effect on the high divorce rates in American marriages.  People can feel that they are not obligated through marriage when they live with a significant other.  They may feel that they can easily leave because they aren’t married.  In not reserving the sexual bond for marriage, the marital bond is somehow diminished. 

Celebrities, athletes, politicians and other people in the public eye in American society have a higher rate of divorce.  United States police officers have the highest rate of divorce of any group today.  It also seems as if more people today are having children out of wedlock and having children with multiple partners.  Americans are not viewing marital commitment as something sacred and lasting.  Lack of religious faith can have an affect on how a person views the vows they make in front of God.  If they do not believe in God or in any kind of faith or religion, then the vows of marriage may not hold much meaning for them. 

Modern society in America seems to be taking a turn for the worse when it comes to divorce rates.  There are a variety of reasons that have impacted this downward trend.  It seems the most important thing Americans can do to reduce their chance of divorce is to take their marital vows more seriously.  It might seem old-fashioned not to live together before getting married; but, if that’s what it takes to decrease your risk of divorce, it’s worth a try.  If you haven’t been to church in awhile, maybe now is the time to go back.  Even if you live in the U.S. your marriage doesn’t have to become part of the divorce statistics.  Understanding the true meaning and power of a martial union between two people will give your marriage the best chance for a lifetime of wedded bliss. 

Sources: artling-divorce-rates-within-america%EF%BB%BF/ a/ -divorce-rate