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Divorce Statistics in Texas

By Divorce.com staff
Updated Jan 09, 2024

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Divorce is widely studied nowadays, so a few aspects of it have not received attention.

Numerous researches and surveys provide all kinds of statistical data on divorce. In this article, we share the facts and trends concerning divorce, specifically in Texas, the biggest state in the union.

Let’s dive right in.

latest divorce trends in Texas

Key Takeaways

  • Overall Divorce Rate: Texas boasts one of the lowest divorce rates in the nation, with a rate of 1.4 per 1,000 population in 2021. This rate has consistently declined from a high of 3.3 in 2010.
  • Gender Differences: Women initiate 69% of divorces, possibly due to perceived gender inequalities in marital responsibilities.
  • Reasons for Divorce: The primary no-fault reason for divorce in Texas is an "insupportable" marriage, indicating mutual agreement on the marriage's unsustainability. Adultery stands out as a leading fault-based reason, with 60% of individuals citing it.
  • Divorce by County: Among the most populated counties, Johnson County has the highest percentage of divorced individuals at 12.1%, while Fort Bend County has the lowest at 7.1%.
  • Children and Divorce: Nearly half of Texas divorces involve children under 18. In 2021, 42.7% of women were granted child guardianship, compared to 18.7% of men.
  • Ethnicity and Religion: Divorce rates vary across ethnic groups, with Black or African Americans having the highest rate at 12.7% and Asians the lowest at 5.0%. Religious affiliation also plays a role, with Conservative Protestants having the highest divorce rate among religious groups at 17.2%.
  • Marriage Rate: Contrary to popular belief, Texas's marriage rate is moderate compared to other states, with a rate of 5.8 per 1,000 inhabitants.

Divorce Rate in Texas

Texas is among the three states with the lowest divorce rates nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021, the divorce rate in Texas was 1.4 per 1,000 population.

divorce rate in Texas

Divorce Rate by Year in Texas

The divorce rates in Texas from 2010 to 2021 clearly show a consistent decline. In 2010, the divorce rate was 3.3 per 1,000 population, marking the highest rate in the observed period. By 2021, it had reached its lowest at 1.4.

divorce rate by year in Texas
  • 2021 – 1.4
  • 2020 – 1.5
  • 2019 – 2.1
  • 2018 – 2.6
  • 2017 – 2.2
  • 2016 – 2.6
  • 2015 – 2.6
  • 2014 – 2.7
  • 2013 – 2.9
  • 2012 – 3.0
  • 2011 – 3.2
  • 2010 – 3.3

The percentage of divorced men in Texas is lower than that of divorced women. Let’s look at the gender differences:

The percentage of divorced men and women in Texas

Who Files for Divorce More in Texas

More than half of all divorces are started by women — not just in Texas but all over the country. According to the American Sociological Association study, women initiate 69% of divorces.

Some researchers believe that the reason for this may be gender inequality regarding the husband’s and wife’s responsibilities in marriage. For instance, while working full-time, women also take on a considerable bulk of household chores, including childcare.

What is The Most Common Reason for Divorce in Texas

The most common no-fault reason for divorce in Texas is an “insupportable” marriage. It means that both parties agree that their marriage is broken, and there’s no possibility of reconciliation.

As for fault-based grounds, adultery (or cheating) is a leading cause of getting a divorce in Texas. It also may influence the alimony and property division orders during the divorce process.

The study published in the Couple and Family Psychology journal reports that 75% of individual participants cited lack of commitment as a reason for marriage dissolution. In comparison, the next most common reason mentioned is adultery at nearly 60%.

Percentage of the Population that is Divorced in Texas Counties

Let’s take a look at the percentage of the divorced population in the largest counties in Texas:

  • Harris County – 9.7%
  • Dallas County – 10.2%
  • Tarrant County – 11.1%
  • Bexar County – 11.5%
  • Travis County – 10.5%
  • Collin County – 9%
  • Denton County – 10.1%
  • Hidalgo County – 8.1%
  • Fort Bend County – 7.1%
  • El Paso County – 10.4%
  • Montgomery County – 9.5%
  • Williamson County – 10.2%
  • Cameron County – 8.1%
  • Brazoria County – 9.9%
  • Bell County – 11.2%
  • Galveston County – 11.5%
  • Nueces County – 12.0%
  • McLennan County – 11%
  • Brazos County – 8.2%
  • Johnson County – 12.1%
  • Comal County – 10.7%

A County with the Highest Percentage of Divorced Population

A County with the Highest Percentage of Divorced Population

Among the most populated Texas counties listed above, Johnson County has the highest percentage of the divorced population at 12.1%. The percentage of divorced men is lower than that of women: 10.1% versus 13.7%.

The majority of men and women in Johnson County are divorced between the ages of 54 and 65 for both genders. Some researchers believe the higher percentage of divorces among women is because they tend to live longer.

For instance, in Johnson County, women live on average five years longer than men.

A County with the Lowest Percentage of Divorced Population

A County with the Lowest Percentage of Divorced Population

Fort Bend County has the lowest percentage of the divorced population in Texas at 7.1%.

The percentage of divorced men is lower than that of women: 5.5% compared to 8.6%.

When analyzing the age groups in Fort Bend County with the lowest percentage of marriage dissolutions for both genders, the 20 to 34 years range is notable.

Only 2% of divorces occur within this age group.

Divorce Statistics for Families with Kids in Texas

Almost half of the divorces in Texas involve children under 18, who typically stay with either their mothers or fathers after the divorce. Currently, a significant number of children remain in their mother’s care.

For instance, in 2021, 42.7% of women were granted child guardianship, compared to 18.7% of men.

Now, let’s look at the share of single-parent families in Texas in 2021 by county:

  • Harris County – 33.7%
  • Dallas County – 35.7%
  • Aransas County – 56.8%
  • Tarrant County – 31.4%
  • Austin County – 25%
  • Bell County – 39.5%
  • Bexar County – 35.9%
  • Zapata County – 52.5%
  • Fort Bend County – 18.2%
  • Zavala County – 53.9%
  • El Paso County – 37.1%
  • Denton County – 21.1%

Divorce Statistics by Ethnicity in Texas

The racial composition of Texas is mostly White (69.16%) and also includes Black or African-American (12.10%), Asian (4.94%), and other races.

Divorce Statistics by Ethnicity in Texas

The highest share of divorces occurs in Black or African-American ethnic groups.

By contrast, the Asian group demonstrates the lowest percentage of the divorced population:

  • White – 10.8%
  • Black or African American – 12.7%
  • Asian – 5.0%
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives – 8.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino origin – 8.0%
  • Two or more races – 8.7%
  • Other races – 7.9%

Divorce Statistics by Religion in Texas

Texas couples who attend religious services together have lower divorce rates.

But the likelihood of staying together also varies, depending on the religious group to which the spouses belong. Currently, the Texas population is mostly Christians (77%). Others are non-Christians or Atheists.

Divorce Statistics by Religion in Texas

The percentages of the divorced population for some religious groups are presented below:

  • Catholics – 12.4%
  • Mainline Protestants – 12.5%
  • Conservative Protestants – 17.2%
  • Black Protestants – 15.7%

Marriage Statistics in Texas

Contrary to the widespread belief that Texas has the lowest marriage rate, it actually occupies a middle position among other states. Its current marriage rate stands at 5.8 per 1,000 inhabitants, a decrease from 10.5 in 1990.

Marriage Statistics in Texas

In 2022, in Texas, the percentage of married men was 50.8%, while that of women was a little lower at 47.6%, according to census.gov.

Below are some key takeaways from marriage trends in Texas:

  • Asian and White ethnic groups have the highest percentages of married individuals at 63.8% and 53.6%, respectively. In contrast, Black or African Americans have a lower percentage of married representatives at 33.5%
  • 18% of marriages in Texas are interracial.
  • Men in Texas get married later than women. The median age of marriage is 28.5 for men and 26.6 for women.
  • The average length of marriage in Texas is 17.5 years.
  • The most significant share of married men are aged 65 and over. Most women in the 45-54 age group are married.

Average Age of Marriage in Texas

On the whole, people get married in Texas slightly earlier than the average person in the U.S. For instance, the median age of Americans at their first marriage in 2021 was 30.6 for men and 28.6 for women.

Texas men typically get married at 28.5, and women start a family at 26.6 years old, according to research.

The percentage of married men steadily grows after age 35, while the share of married women decreases after they turn 50 on average. Below is the distribution of married people by age group:

The Percentages of Married People in Texas

Average Length of Marriage in Texas

The median duration of marriage in Texas is lower than the national average. For example, Americans were likely to stay married for an average of 21 years if it was their first marriage.

However, the duration was shorter for the second and third marriages - 17 and 13 years, respectively.

Texas has one of the lowest median marriage duration, together with Utah, Colorado, and Nevada. According to research, the length of marriage in Texas is only 17.5 years.

Marriage Statistics by Year in Texas

The percentage of the married population in Texas has remained relatively stable over the past decade, fluctuating around 48%. It only rose to 52.3% in 2020 but dropped again in subsequent years.

  • 2022 – 49.2%
  • 2021 – 49.7%
  • 2020 – 52.3%
  • 2019 – 48.4%
  • 2018 – 48.2%
  • 2017 – 48.9%
  • 2016 – 48.7%
  • 2015 – 48.8%
  • 2014 – 49.0%

Source: data.census.gov

Marriage Statistics in Texas Counties

Among the largest counties in Texas, Rockwall County has the highest percentage of married people at 63.8%, while Brazos County has the lowest at 38.1%.

  • Harris County – 47.1%
  • Dallas County – 45.0%
  • Tarrant County – 49.1%
  • Bexar County – 42.1%
  • Travis County – 45.2%
  • Collin County – 58.2%
  • Denton County – 55.8%
  • Hidalgo County – 48.2%
  • Fort Bend County – 58.5%
  • El Paso County – 45.1%
  • Montgomery County – 58.5%
  • Williamson County – 53.4%
  • Cameron County – 48.2%
  • Brazoria County – 54.8%
  • Bell County – 49.4%
  • Galveston County – 53.1%
  • Nueces County – 45.3%
  • McLennan County – 44.5%
  • Rockwall – 63.8%
  • Brazos County – 38.1%
  • Johnson County – 55.4%
  • Comal County – 61.2%

Source: worldpopulationreview.com

Same-sex Marriage Statistics in Texas

Same-sex marriages became legal in Texas in June 2015.

Following this change, nearly 2,500 same-sex marriages were registered by September 2015, accounting for approximately 6% of all marriages in the state.

Same-sex Marriage Statistics in Texas

The number of same-sex unions has increased by almost 51% since 2020. In 2021, there were 47,523 same-sex married couples, according to the data on household types from Census.gov.

In addition, the share of male spouses (23,016) was almost equal to female ones (24,507).

Rates for Civil Unions in Texas

Civil unions are agreements between couples to live together without getting married by state laws. However, many states do not recognize civil unions, and Texas is one of them.

If the couple represents themselves as husband and wife, they have a common-law marriage, which is legal in Texas.

Rates for Civil Unions in Texas

Statistically, there are 594,180 cohabiting couples in Texas. Of these, 5.9% are in same-sex unions, and 36% have children under 18 years.

Source: data.census.gov

Interracial Marriage Statistics in Texas

Interracial marriages are more common in large cities and populated metro areas than in rural Texas.

The median percentage of marriages outside of one’s race in Texas is 18%, which is higher than the U.S. average of 17%.

Here's a list of several Texas metro areas and their respective percentages of intermarried couples.

  • Austin-Round Rock – 21%
  • Beaumont-Port Arthur – 11%
  • Corpus Christi – 22%
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington – 19%
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land – 19%
  • McAllen-Edinburg - Mission – 11%
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels – 23%

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while Texas has a relatively low divorce rate, the reasons, demographics, and trends behind these numbers are multifaceted. Factors such as gender, ethnicity, religion, and county of residence all shape the state's marital landscape.

As society continues to evolve, it will be intriguing to observe how these statistics change in the coming years.

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