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Divorce Statistics in Ohio

By Divorce.com staff
Updated Feb 14, 2024

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Ohio divorce rates depend on many factors, including geographical areas, age, gender, etc., which you’ll find in this article. You’ll also see how divorce statistics change for different ethnic groups, religions, and political views.

Let’s dig in.

divorce trends in Ohio

Key Takeaways

  • Declining Divorce Rates: Over recent years, Ohio has gradually declined divorce rates, suggesting increased marital stability or changing societal attitudes.
  • Religion's Role: While a significant portion of Ohio's population identifies as Christian, religious affiliation doesn't directly correlate with lower divorce rates.
  • Ethnic Influence: Different ethnic groups in Ohio showcase varying divorce rates, indicating that ethnicity plays a role in marital dynamics.
  • Age of Marriage: The average age at which individuals marry in Ohio aligns closely with national averages.
  • Marital Trends: Ohio's marital landscape is influenced by a combination of factors, from societal norms to individual choices.
  • Future Dynamics: As societal values and norms evolve, Ohio's marital statistics and trends are likely to see shifts, reflecting the changing priorities of its residents.

Divorce Rate in Ohio

The divorce rate in Ohio currently stands at 2.6 per 1,000 people. This metric offers a glimpse into the marital dynamics of the state, indicating that for every 1,000 Ohio residents, approximately 2.6 individuals experience a divorce.

Divorce Rate in Ohio

Divorce Rate by Year in Ohio

The divorce rate in Ohio over the past decade reveals a discernible trend of gradual decline.

Starting in 2010, the rate was consistent at 3.4 divorces per 1,000 population, and this figure remained stable for the next two years through 2012. From 2013 onwards, there has been a consecutive annual decrease in the divorce rate.

The rate dropped slightly each year, moving from 3.3 in 2013 to 2.5 in 2020. However, a minor uptick in 2021 brought the rate to 2.6.

Overall, the data suggests that the frequency of divorces in Ohio has been on a downward trajectory over the past decade. The rate has decreased by approximately 0.8 divorces per 1,000 population from 2010 to 2021, indicating a potential shift in marital stability or societal attitudes towards marriage and divorce in the state during this period.

Divorce Rate by Year in Ohio
  • 2021 – 2.6
  • 2020 – 2.5
  • 2019 – 2.8
  • 2018 – 2.9
  • 2017 – 2.9
  • 2016 – 3.0
  • 2015 – 3.1
  • 2014 – 3.2
  • 2013 – 3.3
  • 2012 – 3.4
  • 2011 – 3.4
  • 2010 – 3.4

Now, let's examine the figures for divorced women and men. Interestingly, men experience 2% fewer divorces annually compared to women.

percentages of divorced men and women in Ohio

Who Files for Divorce More in Ohio

According to the 2015 American Sociological Association survey, women initiate more divorces than men, and despite the higher risk of poverty and child-rearing responsibilities, 70% of women still choose to end their marriages.

Why do they do it? Some authors believe that women are more likely to file for divorce because of disproportional duties around the house and unmet expectations, both in financial and emotional support from men.

Another reason could be professional success, which decreases wives’ economic dependence on their husbands.

What is the Most Common Reason for Divorce in Ohio?

Ohio operates under a no-fault divorce system, meaning spouses can obtain a divorce without needing to prove any party's wrongdoing. As a result, couples often cite incompatibility in their divorce petitions.

While they can also list reasons such as infidelity or cruel treatment, these fault-based causes are less common. However, the prevalent reasons for divorce often don't align with the legal terminology used in family law.

Thomas G. Pappa, author of The 8 Reasons for Divorce, posits that even the term "irretrievable breakdown" typically encompasses multiple issues within a marriage. In practice, couples part ways for a myriad of reasons, with financial and sexual issues, loss of respect, cultural and age disparities being among the most common.

Percentage of the Divorced Population in Ohio Counties

Ohio ranks as the seventh most populous state, boasting a population of nearly 11.8 million residents. The state is divided into 88 counties, each with its own divorce statistics.

The following data presents the most populous Ohio counties and their corresponding percentages of divorced individuals.

Percentage of the Divorced Population in Ohio Counties
  • Franklin County – 11.5%
  • Cuyahoga County – 12.0%
  • Hamilton County – 11.1%
  • Summit County – 12.4%
  • Montgomery County – 13.5%
  • Lucas County – 12.9%
  • Butler County – 10.7%
  • Stark County – 13.1%
  • Lorain County – 12.1%
  • Warren County – 9.8%
  • Lake County – 12.5%
  • Delaware County – 9.2%
  • Clark County – 14.0%
  • Mahoning County – 12.9%
  • Ross County – 14.3%
  • Clermont County – 11.7%
  • Trumbull County – 13.5%
  • Medina County – 10.4%
  • Licking County – 11.6%
  • Geauga County – 8.0%

County with the Highest Percentage of Divorced Population

Ross County boasts the highest percentage of divorced individuals in Ohio, standing at 14.3%. Reflecting the state's gender disparities in divorce rates, men in Ross County divorce less frequently, with a rate of 14.0%, compared to women at 14.6%.

County with the Highest Percentage of Divorced Population

County with the Lowest Percentage of Divorced Population

Geauga County records the lowest percentage of divorced individuals in Ohio, standing at 8.0%. Furthermore, the proportion of divorced women (8.7%) marginally exceeds that of divorced men (7.3%).

According to the data, both genders in the county most frequently dissolve their marriages between the ages of 60 and 64.

County with the Lowest Percentage of Divorced Population

Divorce Statistics for Families With Kids in Ohio

Based on the American Community Survey data from 2021, approximately 20.7% of divorced men and 37.5% of divorced women in Ohio reside with children under the age of 18.

Thus, despite both parents (male and female) having equal rights to child custody in Ohio, a larger number of children tend to live with their mothers post-divorce.

Let’s look at how many children live with only one parent. Below are several Ohio counties and their percentage of single-parent families.

  • Cuyahoga County – 44%
  • Delaware County – 17%
  • Erie County – 45%
  • Franklin County – 39%
  • Hamilton County – 41%
  • Lake County – 32%
  • Lorain County – 36%
  • Montgomery County – 44%
  • Holmes County – 9%

Divorce Statistics by Ethnicity in Ohio

In 2021, 80% of people in Ohio were White, according to World Population Review. Other ethnicities included Black or African Americans (12%), Asians (2%), and Native Americans (0.2%). Additionally, about 4% of people belonged to two or more races.

Divorce rates are usually drastically different for different races. For instance, Asians traditionally have fewer divorces than Black or African Americans. So, let’s look at how divorce rates are distributed for different ethnic groups in Ohio.

Divorce Statistics by Ethnicity in Ohio
  • White – 12.0%
  • Black or African American – 13.2%
  • Asian – 4.4%
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives – 17.0%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders – 10.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino origin – 9.7%
  • Two or more races – 10.9%
  • Other races – 8.6%

Divorce Statistics by Religion in Ohio

The Pew Research data on Religious composition in Ohio suggests that most adults are Christians (73%). Non-Christian Faiths, such as Muslim and Jewish, cover 4% of the state residents. The rest are unaffiliated (religious “nones”).

Despite the widespread belief that religion strengthens marriage, the same survey results paint a different picture. As it turns out, several Christian denominations, such as Evangelical and Mainline Protestants, have a higher percentage of divorces than people who don’t follow any religion.

Divorce Statistics by Religion in Ohio

Here are the percentages of divorced individuals for religious groups in Ohio:

  • Christian – 14%
  • Evangelical Protestant – 12%
  • Mainline Protestant – 18%
  • Catholic – 10%
  • Unaffiliated – 11%

Marriage Statistics in Ohio

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

Ohio couples get married at a moderate rate of 47.5%, according to the World Population Review. The percentage of married men is 2% higher than the women’s marriage rate in Ohio.

Marriage Statistics in Ohio

Let’s consider a few useful statistical facts about marriage in Ohio:

  • Ohio residents enter their first marriage at 27-29 years old.
  • Interracial marriages make up 11% of marriages in Ohio.
  • Almost a third of Ohioans are married at 20-34.
  • Asian and White ethnic groups have the highest marriage rates among other races - 61.3% and 50.8% per 1,000 people, respectively.

Average Age of Marriage in Ohio

The median age when people in Ohio get married for the first time is 29.4 years for men and 27.5 for women. Let’s compare these figures with the national average age at first marriage.

According to research, the median age when American women get married is 28.6. As for men, they start families at 30.6 years.

About a third of people get married in their 30s, and around 60% are already married at 35-44 years old. However, if the share of married men consistently grows with age, the number of married women starts shrinking after they reach 55 years old.

Here’s a Census.gov table showing the percentage of married men and women depending on the age group.

percentages of married people in Ohio

Average Length of Marriage in Ohio

The average length of marriage in Ohio is close to the national median duration of marriage. For instance, U.S. couples are married for 21 years on average before they might get a divorce. Second and third marriages last for 17 and 13 years.

In Ohio, the median length of a marriage is 21.1 years.

Average Length of Marriage in Ohio

Marriage Statistics in Ohio Counties

Below are the marriage statistics for the most populous counties in Ohio.

From the provided data, Cuyahoga County records the lowest percentage of married individuals in the state at 39.7%. On the other hand, Delaware County tops the list with a marriage rate of 61.2%.

  • Franklin County – 42.4%
  • Cuyahoga County – 39.7%
  • Hamilton County – 43.2%
  • Summit County – 46.8%
  • Montgomery County – 43.7%
  • Lucas County – 41.8%
  • Butler County – 50.1%
  • Stark County – 48.3%
  • Lorain County – 48.2%
  • Warren County – 59.4%
  • Lake County – 49.8%
  • Delaware County – 61.2%
  • Clark County – 46%
  • Mahoning County – 44.5%
  • Ross County – 46.5%
  • Clermont County – 54.0%
  • Trumbull County – 46.3%
  • Medina County – 57.3%
  • Licking County – 52.9%
  • Geauga County – 61.0%

Same-Sex Marriage Statistics in Ohio

Same-sex couples in Ohio were granted the right to marry on June 26, 2015. While detailed information and statistics on same-sex marriages remain limited, it's evident that the number of these unions is on the rise.

Let's examine the available data concerning the number of married households with same-sex partners for 2019 and 2021.

Same-Sex Marriage Statistics in Ohio

2019

  • Total same-sex couples – 14,260
  • Male spouses – 5,887
  • Female spouses – 8,373

2021

  • Total same-sex couples – 19,196
  • Male spouses – 7,915
  • Female spouses – 11,281

As observed, the number of same-sex married couples saw a 35% increase between 2019 and 2021.

Rates for Civil Unions in Ohio

Ohio does not recognize civil marriage, which was previously the only option for forming same-sex unions. However, those who do not want to get married officially can choose to register a domestic partnership in some state areas.

Another option is to enter a cohabitation agreement.

According to Census.gov, Ohio had 379,155 cohabiting couples in 2021. Of this number, 5% were same-sex partners. Information regarding how many of these couples are in a civil union or domestic partnership is not available.

  • Cohabiting couples in total – 379,155
  • Opposite-sex – 362,532
  • Same-sex (male) – 7,884
  • Same-sex (female) – 9,739

Final Thoughts

Ohio's marital trends reflect a mix of age, ethnicity, and religious influences. While divorce rates have been declining, religious affiliation doesn't always equate to marital stability. The age of marriage in Ohio aligns with national averages, and ethnicity plays a notable role in divorce patterns.

As societal values evolve, it will be interesting to see how these dynamics change in the future.

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