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Divorce Statistics in Florida
By Divorce.com staff
Updated Apr 12, 2023
Florida is famous for its golden beaches and sunny weather. However, the state is also known for its divorce and marriage rates, which vary from the country’s median rates.
In this article, we’ll get into details and see how the latest divorce and marriage trends are connected to Florida’s major demographic data.
Let’s start with the divorce rate in Florida.
Divorce Rate in Florida
The divorce rate in Florida is among the highest in the U.S. at 13%. In fact, it has the sixth-highest divorce rate after Maine, Nevada, and four other states.
This high rate isn’t new. Florida’s divorce rate has been roughly the same throughout the past decade. For instance, it was 12.9% in 2011 and 13.2% per 1,000 residents in 2015.
Here are some more interesting statistics regarding divorce in Florida:
- The divorce rate in Florida has been more or less the same since 2014 - 13% on average.
- Men’s divorce rate in Florida is usually lower (10.7%) than women’s (14.3%).
- Among all ethnic groups, the White and American Indian populations divorce more often than other races. By contrast, Asians and Hawaiian Native groups have the lowest divorce rates.
- Of most widespread religious groups, divorce is more common for Mainline Protestants (19%) and Historically Black Protestants (22%).
- 30-40% of divorced families in Florida have underage children.
- The divorce rate for family units in Republican counties is slightly higher (13%) than in Democratic counties (11.4%).
Divorce Rate by Year in Florida
The Florida divorce rate hasn’t changed significantly since 2014 and stayed around 13% on average. The American Community Survey data on the number of divorces from 2014 to 2021 shows that there was only one year (2021) when the divorce rate decreased lower than usual to 12.5%:
- 2014 13.0%
- 2015 13.2%
- 2016 13.1%
- 2017 13.0%
- 2018 13.2%
- 2019 13.2%
- 2020 13.0%
- 2021 12.5%
There is also a difference in divorce rates between the genders in Florida. For instance, men usually have fewer divorces than women in the same year.
Below is a detailed table showing Florida’s men’s and women’s divorce rates since 2014.
Who Files for Divorce More in Florida
Women initiate more divorces than men - around 69%, and for a few reasons. A Florida couples therapist Gilza Fort-Martinez believes that women have a higher emotional intelligence level and often feel unsupported in marriage. They are also more perceptive and, thus, are the first to notice red flags in relationships.
Fort-Martinez notes that women shoulder more responsibilities in marriage than men, who usually benefit from marriage. Instead, women often feel overwhelmed by child-rearing and housework on top of their full-time job, making the idea of a single life more appealing.
What is the Most Common Reason for Divorce in Florida
Florida laws allow only two reasons to get a divorce, and both are no-fault: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and mental incapacity. So, even if one spouse has cheated on the other, it won’t be a legal ground for divorce.
However, adultery is a prevalent reason for marriage dissolution. For instance, researchers from Florida State University estimate that 20-25% of married couples experience infidelity at some point.
Divorce Rate in Florida Counties
Florida consists of 67 counties, each with its own divorce rate. The statistics show that the percentage of divorces varies significantly from county to county. Let’s look at the most densely populated ones.
- Miami-Dade County 12.8%
- Broward County 13.4%
- Palm Beach County 12.7%
- Hillsborough County 12.7%
- Orange County 11.3%
- Duval County 14.1%
- Pinellas County 15.0%
- Lee County 13.0%
- Polk County 12.4%
- Brevard County 14%
- Pasco County 13%
- Volusia County 14.9%
- Seminole County 11.8%
- Sarasota County 13.6%
- Osceola County 12.6%
- Manatee County 13.2%
- Lake County 12%
- Collier County 12.4%
- Marion County 13%
- St. Lucie County 13.2%
- St. Johns County 11.7%
- Alachua County 9.9%
County With the Highest Divorce Rate
Pinellas County in Florida has the highest divorce rate of 15.0%, with around 958 thousand residents. Additionally, men in this county get divorced less often than women—12.8% compared to 17.1%.
Plenty of factors may influence divorces in this county. Several theories suggest that the divorce rate may be affected by ethnic composition since some ethnic groups get divorced more often than others. For instance, Pinellas County is home to 80% of White people and 10% of Black or African Americans, with the highest divorce rates among other races.
County With the Lowest Divorce Rate
Alachua County in Florida has the lowest divorce rate - only 9.9% per 1,000 people, which is considerably lower than Florida’s median rate of 13%. Men and women get divorced at different rates: 8.6% and 11.1%, respectively.
Also, the age group with the fewest divorces in Alachua County is 20 to 34-year-olds. This lower rate could be because people at this age marry half as often as people in other age groups.
Divorce Rate in Florida Cities
The divorce rates for the largest cities in Florida vary from around 9% to 15%. Detailed data on selected cities in Florida is provided below.
- Jacksonville 14%
- Miami 13.5%
- Tampa 13.5%
- Orlando 12.8%
- St. Petersburg 15.3%
- Hialeah 14.6%
- Port St. Lucie 12.6%
- Cape Coral 13.3%
- Tallahassee 10%
- Fort Lauderdale 15%
- Pembroke Pines 11.8%
- Hollywood 14.5%
- Gainesville 8.7%
City With the Highest Divorce Rate
St. Petersburg in Pinellas County has the highest divorce rate in Florida at 15.3% per 1,000 population. It’s the largest city in this county and the fifth largest in Florida, with 2.7 million residents. Men and women here divorce at different rates. In particular, there were 12.8% of divorced men and 17.1% of women in 2021.
City With the Lowest Divorce Rate
Gainesville in Alachua County has a notably low divorce rate, only 8.7% per 1,000 residents. Gainesville is the county seat and is home to the University of Florida. The city’s low divorce rate can be partly explained by the age and social status of its residents. Half of the population of Gainesville are students (70,641 people) who marry and divorce later in life.
Divorce Rate for Families With Kids in Florida
According to the 5-year estimates tables provided by the American Community Survey, 14.5% of divorced men and 32.7% of women had minor children in their household in 2021. Although Florida laws are gender-neutral when awarding child custody, women are twice as likely to get primary guardianship than men.
Let’s also look at the number of single-parent households in Florida in selected counties in 2021. On the whole, the data shows that 30 to 40% of families in Florida are single-parent ones.
- Alachua County 33%
- Baker County 33%
- Bay County 36%
- Brevard County 31%
- Broward County 36%
- Hillsborough County 36%
- Jackson County 40%
- Jefferson County 26%
- Liberty County 50%
- Orange County 33%
- Osceola County 36%
Divorce Rate by Ethnicity in Florida
The dominant ethnic groups in Florida are White (71.6%), Black or African American (15.9%), and Asian (2.78%). Each has its own divorce tendencies, influencing the state’s overall divorce rate.
The 2021 survey by U.S. Census collected exact percentages for each ethnic group in Florida. It turned out that the American Indian population, although not numerous, had the highest divorce rate. The lowest rates are among Native Hawaiians and Asians.
- White 13.2%
- Black or African American 12%
- American Indian 13.9%
- Asian 6.8%
- Native Hawaiian 5.6%
- Hispanic or Latino origin 11.9%
- Two or more races 12.2%
Divorce Rate by Religion in Florida
Religious affiliation can be another factor influencing divorce. The religious composition in Florida is 70% Christians, most of which are Evangelical Protestants and Catholics. Conservative Protestants usually have high divorce rates. Some researchers explain it by lower incomes and earlier family formation among them.
Divorce rates for selected religious groups are as follows.
- Catholics 14%
- Evangelical Protestants 15%
- Mainline Protestants 19%
- Historically Black Protestants 22%
- Unaffiliated (religious nones) 13%
Divorce Rates by the Political Party in Florida
Florida is currently a Republican state overall. Still, the difference between the Republican and Democratic voters is tiny. That’s why almost half of the counties in Florida are Democratic. For this reason, there isn’t a clear distinction as to which political views influence divorce rates more.
Here are the six counties topping the divorce rate list and their political situation.
On average, Republicans median divorce rate is 13%in Florida, while Democratic counties’ is 11.4%.
Marriage Rate in Florida
The marriage rate in Florida is among the ten lowest in the U.S. Its current marriage rate is 46.5%, which is a slight drop from 47.4% in 2021, according to the U.S. Census. Overall, the percentage of married people in Florida has stayed the same since 2010 (around 46% on average).
In 2022-2023, men in Florida married more often than women. For instance, the marriage rate for men is currently 48.7%. However, the percentage of married women in Florida is around 44.5%.
Here are a few interesting facts about marriage in Florida:
- The average length of the first marriage in Florida is 20.4 years.
- Men get married more often (49.7%) than women (45.3%) in Florida.
- Asian (60.2%) and Native Hawaiian (51.1%) groups have the highest marriage rates among other ethnicities. Black or African Americans marry the least often - 31.7%.
- Same-sex marriages constituted 1.2% of all married people in Florida.
- The rate of interracial marriage in Florida is 19% on average.
Average Age of Marriage in Florida
Residents of Florida get married at ages similar to the U.S. medians. For instance, the U.S. average age at first marriage is 30.6 for men and 28.6 for women. In comparison, men in Florida start a family at 30.4 years, and women marry at 28.5, according to research.
The percentage of married men is the highest after they get 35 years old. On the other hand, the share of married women is rising during their 50s and decreases in their 60s and 70s, which can be partly attributed to women’s higher life expectancy.
Here’s the distribution of married people in Florida by gender and age.
Average Length of Marriage in Florida
The median length of marriage in Florida is close to the national average. For instance, the average U.S. marriage lasts for 21 years if it’s the first time for both spouses. The second marriage averages 17 years, while the third lasts 13 years.
Florida’s couples live in marriage for 20.4 years on average. The length of the marriage is essential for alimony calculations in case of divorce. In particular, if the marriage lasts more than 17 years, the courts may award permanent alimony to one spouse.
Marriage Rate by Year in Florida
The Florida marriage rate hasn’t changed significantly since 2010 when there were 47% of divorced people older than 15 years.
The detailed statistical data from the American Community Survey suggests that the average divorce rate during the last decade varied from 45.5% to 47.4%.
- 2021 47.4%
- 2020 46.4%
- 2019 45.9%
- 2018 45.8%
- 2017 46.1%
- 2016 45.8%
- 2015 45.5%
- 2014 45.8%
The difference between the men’s and women’s marriage rates by year is noticeable in Florida. In particular, men get married more often than women.
Marriage Rate in Florida Counties
If we analyze the percentage of marriages in the largest counties in Florida, we’ll see that Sumter County has the highest marriage rate at 62%. Conversely, Alachua County has the lowest marriage rate in Florida - 36.1% per 1,000 people.
- Miami-Dade County 42%
- Broward County 43.2%
- Palm Beach County 46.4%
- Hillsborough County 44.7%
- Orange County 43.2%
- Duval County 42.6%
- Pinellas County 44.6%
- Lee County 50.9%
- Polk County 46.1%
- Brevard County 49.6%
- Pasco County 50.4%
- Volusia County 47.1%
- Seminole County 49.9%
- Sarasota County 54.4%
- Osceola County 43.8%
- Manatee County 51.1%
- Lake County 53.7%
- Collier County 54.3%
- Marion County 49.8%
- St. Lucie County 49.5%
- Sumter County 62%
- St. Johns County 56.8%
- Alachua County 36.1%
Marriage Rate in Florida Cities
Florida’s marriage rate varies considerably from city to city. Below is a brief data regarding the percentage of married people in the most populated Florida cities.
- Jacksonville 42.3%
- Miami 36.8%
- Tampa 38.5%
- Orlando 37.1%
- St. Petersburg 40.1%
- Hialeah 42.3%
- Port St. Lucie 52.2%
- Weston 59%
- Cape Coral 52.9%
- Riverview 53%
- The Villages 76%
- Tallahassee 28.8%
- Fort Lauderdale 36.4%
- Pembroke Pines 47%
- Hollywood 42.1%
- Gainesville 23.5%
The city with the highest marriage rate in Florida is The Villages in Sumter County. Conversely, the city with the fewest marriages per 1,000 people is Gainesville (23.5%), located in Alachua County.
Same-Sex Marriage Statistics in Florida
Same-sex marriages became legal in Florida on January 6, 2015. At the time, same-sex couples constituted 1.2% of coupled households in Florida.
The number of same-sex married families in 2021 was 63,127. It’s a significant increase compared to 2020 when there were 46,552 same-sex married couples. According to Census.gov tables, 59% of unions are all-male, and 41% are female spouses.
Rates for Civil Unions in Florida
Unregistered civil unions are not recognized in Florida, and people in such couples do not receive any rights similar to married spouses. However, Florida provides an option of a domestic partnership for those who do not wish to marry in a traditional way but want to stay in a committed relationship.
Below are a few brief statistics for people living outside of bonds of traditional marriage in Florida.
- Cohabiting couples in total - 639,028
- Opposite-sex - 599,734
- Same-sex (male) - 21,928
- Same-sex (female) - 17,366
Interracial Marriage Statistics in Florida
Since Florida laws have allowed interracial marriages, their share rose to 19% on average. The percentage varies between the metro areas. Below is a list of eleven major Florida metro areas and their interracial marriage rates.
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers 11%
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach 15%
- Gainesville 22%
- Jacksonville 16%
- Lakeland-Winter Haven 15%
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 24%
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton 13%
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford 24%
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville 29%
- Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent 18%
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 22%
The Florida divorce rate is among the highest in the country, at 13%, while the marriage rate is among the lowest compared to other states, at 46.5%. In addition, the average length of the marriage is 20.4 years, almost the same as the median marriage duration in the U.S.
Divorce and marriage rates vary significantly between ethnic groups. For instance, Asian and Native Hawaiian ethnicities marry more often and divorce less than others. Conversely, Black or African Americans marry less and divorce more often than other groups.
As for people with different religious and political views, Protestants and Republicans have higher divorce rates than people in other groups.