By Divorce.com staff
Updated Apr 12, 2023
Divorce is widely studied nowadays, so there are few areas that have not had 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.
Divorce Rate in Texas
Texas is among the twenty states with the lowest divorce rates nationwide. For instance, in 2021, the average percentage of divorced people was 9.9 per 1,000 population. However, in 2022, this figure rose to 10.5%.
Apart from a relatively low divorce rate, there are a few other interesting facts about divorce in Texas:
- The Texas divorce rate has been around 10-10.5% for a decade.
- Men divorce at a lower rate (8.6%) than women (11.3%).
- 6% of Texans have divorced and remarried three and more times.
- The most common reason for divorce is insupportable marriage and adultery.
- White (10.8%) and Black or African American (12.7%) populations divorce more often than other ethnic groups.
- Families in Republican counties have higher divorce rates than those in Democratic counties.
Divorce Rate by Year in Texas
The Texas divorce rates from 2014 to 2021, taken from the American Community Survey, clearly show a more or less steady divorce trend in this state. It has fluctuated from around 10% to 10.6% over the past decade.
- 2021 9.9%
- 2020 10.2%
- 2019 10.6%
- 2018 10.5%
- 2017 10.6%
- 2016 10.6%
- 2015 10.8%
- 2014 10.9%
The percentage of divorced men in Texas is overall lower than women. Let’s look at the gender differences in the divorce rate during the same period:
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 it 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%.
Divorce Rate in Texas Counties
The Texas divorce rate of 10.5% in 2022 is calculated as an average value of divorce rates in all 254 counties. Therefore, we shall analyze the data for the largest of them.
- Harris County 9.7%
- Dallas County 10.2%
- Tarrant County 11.1%
- Bexar County 12.1%
- Travis County 10.5%
- Collin County 9%
- Denton County 10.1%
- Hidalgo County 8.1%
- Fort Bend County 7.4%
- El Paso County 10.4%
- Montgomery County 9.5%
- Williamson County 11.2%
- Cameron County 8.1%
- Brazoria County 9.9%
- Bell County 11.2%
- Galveston County 11.9%
- Nueces County 12.1%
- McLennan County 11%
- Brazos County 7.9%
- Johnson County 12.5%
- Comal County 10.7%
A county with the highest divorce rate
Of the most populated Texas counties given in the list above, Johnson County has the highest divorce rate of 12.5%. The number of divorced men is lower than women: 10.6% versus 11.3%.
Most men and women are divorced at 54-65 years for both genders. Some researchers believe women have a higher percentage of divorces because they live longer. For instance, women live five years longer on average than men in Johnson County.
A County with the Lowest Divorce Rate
Fort Bend County is the county with the lowest divorce rate in Texas - 7.4% divorces per 1,000 residents. Men dissolve their marriages at a lower rate of 5.8% compared to 9% of women. If we analyze the age groups with the lowest percentage of marriage dissolutions for both genders in Fort Bend County, it’s 20 to 34 years. Only 2% of divorces occur in this group.
Divorce Rate in Texas Cities
The largest cities in Texas have divorce rates varying from 7.6% to 12.5% per 1,000 population.
- Houston 10.2%
- San Antonio 12.5%
- Dallas 10.3%
- Austin 10.7%
- Fort Worth 11.2%
- El Paso 10.9%
- Arlington 11%
- Corpus Christi 12.3%
- Plano 9.8%
- Irving 9.6%
- Laredo 7.9%
- Garland 9.8%
- Frisco 8.1%
- McKinney 9.1%
- Amarillo 12.1%
- Grand Prairie 9.9%
- Brownsville 7.6%
- Killeen 10.9%
- Pasadena 9.8%
- Denton 9.8%
City with the Highest Divorce Rate
San Antonio has the highest divorce rate of 12.5% among the most populated cities in Texas. Evidently, San Antonio influences Bexar County’s relatively high dissolution rate (12.1%). Also, men have fewer divorces per 1,000 population than women: 10.4% compared to 14.5%.
City with the Lowest Divorce Rate
Brownsville in Cameron County has the lowest divorce rate of 7.6%. This rate hasn’t changed since 2019 when 4.9% of men and 9.9% of women were divorced. These days, the disparity between genders has slightly decreased: 5.4% of men and 9.5% of women are no longer married in 2023.
Divorce Rate for Families with Kids in Texas
Almost half of the divorces in Texas involve children under 18 who stay with their mothers or fathers after divorce. Currently, many children remain in their mother’s care. For instance, 42.7% of women received child guardianship in 2021, 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 Rate 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.
The highest share of divorces occurs in Black or African American ethnic groups. By contrast, the Asian group demonstrates the lowest percentage of divorces, according to the 2021 American Community Review.
- 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 Rate 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 rates for some religious groups are presented below:
- Catholics 12.4%
- Mainline Protestants 12.5%
- Conservative Protestants 17.2%
- Black Protestants 15.7%
Overall, Catholics and Mainline Protestants have lower divorce rates than Conservative and Evangelical Protestants.
Divorce Rates by a Political Party in Texas
The most significant share of all divorces in Texas occurs in Republican counties. However, let’s not forget that most people in Texas support Republicans, so it would be unfair to attribute high divorce rates to a political party without thorough research.
By analyzing the counties with high divorce rates, we can say that most of them are Republican:
In comparison to the divorce rates given above, a handful of Democratic counties in Texas have relatively low divorce rates:
- El Paso 10.4%
- Dallas 10.2%
- Harris 9.7%
- Fort Bend 7.4%
- Hidalgo 8.1%
- Cameron 8.1%
Marriage Rate in Texas
Despite the widespread belief that Texas has the lowest marriage rate, it actually holds the middle position among other states. Its current marriage rate is 48.9%, which is a decrease from 50% in 2010.
In 2022, men in Texas married at a 51.3% rate, while the percentage of married women was a little lower - 48.2%, according to the American Community Survey.
Below are some key takeaways from marriage trends in Texas:
- Asian and White ethnic groups have the highest marriage rates - 63.1% and 54.4%. Black or African Americans marry less than other groups, with a marriage rate of only 33.9%.
- 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.
The 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 at first marriage in 2021 was 30.6 for men and 28.6 for women.
In comparison, 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:
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 Rate by Year in Texas
The marriage rate in Texas has barely changed over the past decade, fluctuating around 48%. Only in 2020, it rose to 52.3% but dropped again in the following years.
The annual marriage rates in Texas since 2014 are shown below:
- 2022 48.9%
- 2021 49.7%
- 2020 52.3%
- 2019 48.4%
- 2018 48.2%
- 2017 48.9%
- 2016 48.7%
- 2015 48.8%
- 2014 49.0%
Marriage Rate in Texas Counties
Out of the largest counties in Texas, Rockwall County has the highest marriage rate of 62%, while Brazos County has the fewest marriages - 38.1% per 1,000 people.
- Harris County 47.1%
- Dallas County 45.1%
- Tarrant County 48.9%
- Bexar County 42.1%
- Travis County 45.2%
- Collin County 58.2%
- Denton County 53.9%
- Hidalgo County 48.2%
- Fort Bend County 58.5%
- El Paso County 45.1%
- Montgomery County 57.9%
- Williamson County 53.4%
- Cameron County 48.2%
- Brazoria County 54.8%
- Bell County 49.4%
- Galveston County 51.5%
- Nueces County 45.3%
- McLennan County 44.5%
- Rockwall 62%
- Brazos County 38.1%
- Johnson County 55.4%
- Comal County 58.4%
Marriage Rate in Texas Cities
Marriage rates in Texas also vary between the cities. Here’s a brief statistics for the largest of them.
- Houston 41.5%
- San Antonio 39.7%
- Dallas 40.6%
- Austin 41.3%
- Fort Worth 46.2%
- El Paso 44.3%
- Arlington 45.3%
- Corpus Christi 44.8%
- Plano 56.9%
- Irving 49.3%
- Laredo 46%
- Garland 49.3%
- Frisco 62.6%
- McKinney 59.7%
- Amarillo 50.4%
- Grand Prairie 49.8%
- Brownsville 47.3%
- Killeen 49.1%
- Pasadena 47.4%
- Denton 39.2%
The city with the highest marriage rate in Texas is Frisco. Conversely, the two cities with the fewest marriages are Denton (39.2%) and San Antonio (39.7%). Interestingly, San Antonio also has the highest divorce rate among other large cities, contributing to the low stability of family units.
Same-sex Marriage Statistics in Texas
Same-sex marriages in Texas became legal in June 2015. Following this event, almost 2,500 same-sex marriages had been registered by September 2015. It was approximately 6% of all marriages in the state.
The number of same-sex unions has increased by almost 51% since 2020. In 2021, there were 63,510 same-sex married couples, according to the data on household types from Census.gov. In addition, the share of male spouses (31,645) was almost equal to female ones (31,865).
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. However, if the couple represents themselves as husband and wife, they have a common law marriage, which is legal in Texas.
Statistically, there are 675,547 cohabiting couples in Texas. 5.9% of them are same-sex unions, and 36% have children under 18 years.
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 with interracial marriage rates.
- 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%
Texas divorce and marriage rates are neither shocking nor extraordinary. Its divorce rate is in the middle compared to other states and has been relatively steady for the last ten years - 10%-10.5%.
The average length of marriage in Texas, however, is among the lowest - only 17.5 years, while the median duration nationwide is 21 years.
The Black and African American population is a leader in the number of divorces. If we take religion and political views, Protestants and Republicans top the divorce rates. But, on the whole, marriage and divorce trends are still relatively stable in Texas. In the future, they will probably continue to reflect the socio-economic situation in the state and the U.S.