Divorce Statistics in New York

By Divorce.com staff
Updated Mar 15, 2024


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Divorce and marriage trends in the state of New York might be surprising to some extent. Although marital patterns stay relatively the same throughout the country, New York has some notable distinctions.

In this article, you’ll find more details on divorce statistics in New York State and discover how different geographical, social, and ethnic factors affect marriage and divorce rates.

Let’s dive right in.

divorce trends ny

Key Takeaways

  • Fluctuating Divorce Rates: Over the past decade, New York's divorce rate has experienced various fluctuations, generally hovering around the high 2s per 1,000 population. The rate peaked at 2.9 in 2019 but saw a notable decrease in 2020.
  • Gender Differences: Historically, women in New York have filed for divorce more often than men. Even before the introduction of no-fault divorce, around 60% of divorce filers were women, a number that later rose to 70%.
  • Predominant Reason for Divorce: Since the introduction of no-fault divorce in 2010, an "irretrievable breakdown" has become the primary reason cited by couples for divorce in New York.
  • Ethnicity and Divorce: The Native Hawaiians group has the highest divorce rates in New York, while Asians have the lowest at 5.3%.
  • Religious Influence: Regular church attendance is linked to stronger marriages and fewer divorces. A 2016 study suggested that frequent churchgoers have a 47% reduced likelihood of divorce.
  • Marriage Statistics: The current marriage rate in New York stands at 5.2 per 1,000 inhabitants, with 45.2% of New Yorkers being married. This figure is slightly below the median U.S. marriage rate of 48.1%.

Divorce Rate in New York

The divorce rate in New York is 2.2 per 1,000 population. This statistic provides a snapshot of the marital landscape in the state, suggesting that for every 1,000 residents, approximately 2.2 of them experience a dissolution of marriage.

While this figure doesn't imply that 2.2% of New Yorkers are getting divorced, it does highlight that in a sample size of a thousand individuals, two to three people are likely to undergo a divorce.

Divorce Rate in New York

Divorce Rate by Year in New York

The divorce rate in New York has seen fluctuations over the past decade.

Starting from 2010, the rate stood at 2.9 divorces per 1,000 population, and this figure remained consistent through 2011 and 2012. A slight dip was observed in 2013, bringing the rate down to 2.7, which remained stable for the next three years until 2015.

In 2014, there was a minor uptick to 2.8, but it reverted back to 2.7 the following year. The rate peaked again at 2.9 in 2019, suggesting a return to the levels seen at the start of the decade. However, a notable decrease was observed in 2020, with the rate dropping to 1.8, possibly influenced by external factors or events.

By 2021, the rate increased slightly to 2.2 but was still lower than the average rate observed over the previous years. Overall, while there have been minor fluctuations year over year, the divorce rate in New York has generally hovered around the high 2s per 1,000 population for the majority of the past decade.

Divorce Rate by Year in New York
  • 2021 – 2.2
  • 2020 – 1.8
  • 2019 – 2.9
  • 2018 – 2.8
  • 2017 – 2.7
  • 2016 – 2.7
  • 2015 – 2.7
  • 2014 – 2.8
  • 2013 – 2.7
  • 2012 – 2.9
  • 2011 – 2.9
  • 2010 – 2.9

Men and women in New York divorce at different rates, which are displayed in the table below. As the data shows, women get more divorces than men each year.

percentages of divorced men women in new york

Who Files for Divorce More in New York

The national trend throughout American history shows that women have filed for divorce more often than men. Even before the introduction of no-fault divorce, around 60% of divorce filers were women.

Subsequently, this number rose to 70%, according to studies. Today, the percentage of women initiating divorces remains just above two-thirds.

What is The Most Common Reason for Divorce in New York

After no-fault divorce was introduced in New York in 2010, married couples began citing an “irretrievable breakdown” as the predominant reason for divorce. However, to use this reason, they must demonstrate that the breakdown occurred at least six months before filing their divorce complaint.

Another frequent cause of marital dissolution in New York is infidelity.

Yet, New York State residents seldom use it as a legal basis for divorce. Firstly, it's challenging to substantiate. The accused spouse also has several defenses available, such as condonation and recrimination.

Secondly, proving adultery doesn't necessarily benefit the aggrieved spouse in terms of alimony or child custody. Thus, the most straightforward route to end a troubled marriage is to rely on no-fault grounds.

Percentage of the Population that is Divorced in New York Counties

New York comprises 62 counties, each contributing its own divorce rate to the state's overall average. The largest counties and their respective percentages of the divorced population are outlined below.

Percentage of the Population that is Divorced in New York Counties
  • Kings County – 7.4%
  • Queens County – 7.6%
  • New York County – 8.4%
  • Suffolk County – 8.7%
  • Bronx County – 9.4%
  • Nassau County – 6.8%
  • Westchester County – 8.2%
  • Erie County – 10.9%
  • Monroe County – 10.4%
  • Richmond County – 7.9%
  • Onondaga County – 11.1%
  • Rockland County – 7.0%
  • Albany County – 9.5%
  • Dutchess County – 9.7%
  • Saratoga County – 10.6%
  • Oneida County – 10.3%
  • Niagara County – 11.2%
  • Broome County – 10.6%
  • Ulster County – 11.7%

County with the Highest Percentage of Divorced Population

Ulster County boasts the highest percentage of the divorced population in New York at 11.7%. Additionally, the percentage of divorced men exceeds that of women, with figures standing at 13.2% and 10.3%, respectively.

County with the Highest Percentage of Divorced Population

County with the Lowest Percentage of Divorced Population

With a population of 1.4 million, Nassau County records the lowest percentage of divorced individuals among the largest counties in New York State, at 6.8%. Specifically, 5.2% of men and 8.3% of women in this county are divorced.

County with the Lowest Percentage of Divorced Population

Divorce Statistics for Families With Kids in New York

Nearly half of the families undergoing divorce in New York have minor children. Specifically, according to census.gov, 14.5% of these children reside with their fathers post-divorce, while 33.5% live with their mothers.

The proportion of single-parent families in New York varies widely, ranging from 17% to 60%. Below are some examples of counties, along with the percentages of children living in single-parent households.

  • Albany County – 37%
  • Bronx County – 58%
  • Dutchess County – 25%
  • Erie County – 36%
  • Monroe County – 40%
  • Montgomery County – 41%
  • Nassau County – 17%
  • New York County – 34%
  • Niagara County – 36%

Divorce Statistics by Ethnicity in New York

The ethnic composition of the population in New York is predominantly White (62.1%), Black or African American (15.4%), and Asian (8.6%).

The Native Hawaiians group has the highest divorce rates compared to others. All other ethnicities have more or less the same divorce rates, except Asians. They get the fewest divorces - 5.3%.

The 2021 U.S. Census population tables give us detailed data on the percentage of divorces in New York for different ethnic groups.

Divorce Statistics by Ethnicity in New York
  • White – 9.5%
  • Black or African American – 9.6%
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives – 9.4%
  • Asian – 5.3%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders – 15.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino origin – 9.8%
  • Two or more races – 9.4%
  • Other races – 9.8%

Divorce Statistics by Religion in New York

Religion is often linked to more resilient marriages and a reduced incidence of divorce. For instance, a 2016 study by Harvard professor Tyler J. VanderWeele indicates that regular church attendance can decrease the likelihood of divorce by 47%.

At present, the predominant religious group in New York State is Christian, making up 60% of the population. Other groups include non-Christian faiths (12%) and those unaffiliated with any religion (27%).

The percentages of divorced individuals within some of these groups are detailed below:

Divorce Statistics by Religion in New York
  • Evangelical Protestant – 13%
  • Mainline Protestant – 11%
  • Catholic – 12%
  • Jewish – 7%
  • Unaffiliated (religious “nones”) – 9%

Marriage Statistics in New York

The current marriage rate in New York is 5.2 per 1,000 inhabitants.

Only 45.2% of people in New York are married. In addition, 47.8% of them are men, and 42.8% are women. In comparison, the median U.S. marriage rate is 48.1%.

Marriage Statistics in New York

Below are a few additional facts about marriage trends in New York State:

  • New York State residents get married later in life than people in other states: at 29-31 years.
  • The average length of New York marriages is slightly below the national average - 20.2 years.
  • 18% of marriages in New York are between people of different races.
  • 20-40% of people get married between 20-34 years old.
  • Asian (55.4%) and White (49%) ethnic groups have the most marriages, while Black or African American marry the least often (28.3%).

Average Age of Marriage in New York

The state of New York has one of the highest ages at first marriage for men and women. For instance, men get married at 31.4 years, which is approximately one year later than men in the U.S. on average (30.6 years).

Women living in New York State also start their married lives relatively late - at 29.7 years, which is higher than the U.S. average age at first marriage for women (28.6 years).

20%-25% of marriages in New York State happen between 20-34 years for both men and women. And more than half of the residents are married by 44 years. Most women who are 45-54 years old are married, while most men continue to stay married after 65.

Here’s a table presenting the number of married men and women depending on their age.

percentages of married people new york

Average Length of Marriage in New York

The median duration of marriage in New York is slightly below the U.S. national average.

Currently, couples in New York stay married for approximately 20.2 years. In comparison, first marriages in the U.S. last for 21 years, as a report by Bowling Green State University suggests. Second and third marriages are usually shorter - 17 and 13 years on average.

Average Length of Marriage in New York

The length of the marriage can influence alimony duration in some cases. For instance, spousal support for marriages shorter than 15 years will last for 15% to 30% of the actual time. On the other hand, spouses married for 15 to 20 years can expect the length of alimony payments to be 30% to 40% of the marriage duration.

Marriage Statistics in New York State Counties

Below are the marriage statistics for the most populous counties in New York. From the data provided, Bronx County has the lowest percentage of married individuals in the state, standing at 32.3%. In contrast, Saratoga County leads with a marriage rate of 54.4%.

  • Kings County – 41.2%
  • Queens County – 46.8%
  • New York County – 35.3%
  • Suffolk County – 51.2%
  • Bronx County – 32.3%
  • Nassau County – 54%
  • Westchester County – 50.3%
  • Erie County – 44.2%
  • Monroe County – 44.2%
  • Richmond County – 51.4%
  • Onondaga County – 45.1%
  • Rockland County – 53.4%
  • Albany County – 42.2%
  • Dutchess County – 48.2%
  • Saratoga County – 54.4%
  • Oneida County – 46.7%
  • Niagara County – 48.1%
  • Broome County – 44.1%
  • Ulster County – 45.4%

Same-Sex Marriage Statistics in New York

Same-sex marriages became legal in New York after the Marriage Equality Act was enacted on July 24, 2011. During the first year, approximately 12,285 were reported in the state, according to Pew Research.

Many more same-sex marriages have been registered since then. The U.S. Census provides more detailed statistics for same-sex marriages in 2020-2021, listed below.

Same-Sex Marriage Statistics in New York


  • Total same-sex couples – 51,750
  • Male spouses – 27,501
  • Female spouses – 24,249


  • Total same-sex couples – 40,908
  • Male spouses – 21,348
  • Female spouses – 19,560

The number of same-sex married couples in New York has increased by 26% between 2020 and 2021. Also, the gap between all-male and all-female marriages widened. Earlier, male pairs outnumbered all-female married couples by 1,700; this gap has increased to 3 thousand.

Rates for Civil Unions in New York

As of 2021, Census.gov reported 568,652 cohabiting partners in New York. 94% were opposite-sex partners, and 6% were same-sex couples. In addition, 29% of them also had children under 18 years old.

Rates for Civil Unions in New York
  • Cohabiting couples in total – 568,652
  • Opposite-sex – 530,142
  • Same-sex (male) – 21,196
  • Same-sex (female) – 17,314

Civil marriages (or unions) do not give the same perks as the couples enjoy during the marriage. New York laws either recognize civil marriages formed in another state or offer the cohabiting couples to enter a domestic partnership.

It gives the partners several rights similar to those that married people have.

Final Thoughts

New York's marital landscape is a tapestry of diverse patterns influenced by various factors, from ethnicity to religion. While the state's divorce rate has seen fluctuations over the past decade, it generally hovers around the high 2s per 1,000 population.

Notably, religion plays a significant role in marital stability, with regular church attendance linked to a reduced likelihood of divorce. The state's ethnic composition and religious affiliations further add layers of complexity to the divorce statistics.

With a current marriage rate of 5.2 per 1,000 inhabitants and only 45.2% of New Yorkers being married, it's evident that the dynamics of marriage and divorce in the state are ever-evolving, shaped by a myriad of socio-cultural influences.

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