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Report Reveals States with Highest and Lowest Divorce Rates


One of the perhaps more surprising revelations this year for many Chicagoans and others across the United States is the news that the divorce rate throughout the country is on the decline. With reports going viral advising that the common belief in the United States that “more than half” of marriages end in divorce has been dispelled, it is clear that marriage and divorce culture in the United States is changing, and many marriage and divorce trends of the past are no longer applicable in 2024. However, divorce is still certainly not uncommon in the United States, and many married couples in Chicago and in other major cities and states throughout the country may decide to end their marriages. But which states in the United States have the highest divorce rates, and in which states do married couples last the test of time? To help Chicago married couples better understand the landscape of marriage and divorce throughout the country, we provide the answers to those questions here.

Top 5 States with the Highest Divorce Rates

According to Forbes Advisor, and based on data examined by Forbes Advisor regarding state divorce rates, the top 5 states with the highest divorce rates are Wyoming, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Kentucky. These states’ 2022 divorce rates (defined as “women divorcing per 1,000 married women in 2022”), according to Forbes, range from 19.52% (Kentucky) to 19.96% (Wyoming). In terms of percentage of population that is divorced, Wyoming, the state with the highest rate of divorce in the United States, has a 13.30% divorce rate statewide, while Kentucky, number five on the list, comes in with 12.60% of its population being divorced. Notably, three of the five states with the highest divorce rates in the United States are located in the southern part of the country. Forbes also notes that Wyoming, which is an outlier in terms of geography, is a state in which couples tend to marry early, a contributing factor to divorce.

Top 5 States with the Lowest Divorce Rates

In contrast, Alaska, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and California are the states with the lowest divorce rates in the U.S., according to Forbes. Alaska has a 10.49% divorce rate with only 10.90% of the population being divorced. California, which ranked last in state divorce rates has a 12.40% divorce rate with only 8.80% of the population being divorced. As for why these states see a lower divorce rate, Forbes advises, “There are many reasons why divorces are less prevalent in these states. Each has a relatively low poverty rate, and people living within them tend to get married at a later age. In California, for example, the average age of marriage is 30.9 years old – nearly half a decade later than in Arkansas, where the average age of marriage is 26.7.”

Help with Your Chicago Divorce

If you are in the Chicago area and you need legal help with your Chicago divorce, reach out to the experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC. We offer a confidential consultation to learn about your Chicago divorce case to see if we can help fight for you. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC today and speak to a lawyer about your case for free.



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