Latest Divorce Statistics

Aug 8, 2012 by

There have been many different numbers tossed around as to the actual rate of divorce in the United States these days. The oft-repeated 50% number may be nearly correct for certain segments of the population, but new information in the 2009 America’s Families and Living Arrangements study from the U.S. Census Bureau shows some interesting new figures. Another source of new data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show the divorce rate in the U.S. has been dropping for the past 3 years. The CDC numbers do not include California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, and Minnesota, but they are relevant for the other 44 states.

The 2009 America’s Families and Living Arrangements study also revealed the surprising fact that as men age and their incomes increased, their rate of divorce dropped while the opposite was true for women. Women between the ages of 50 to 54 who earn over $100K per year are far more likely to get divorced than their male counterparts in the same age and income brackets..

The percentage of high income earning women that are divorced was just under 12% in the 45 to 49 age group. Add five years to the same group of women and the divorce rate jumps to a whopping 22.45%. Men between the ages of 45 to 49 in the 100K income category showed a nominal divorce rate of 8.4%. Five years later the divorce rate drops to just over 6% for the same group of men. The numbers show that for women over 50, the divorce rate grew right along with their incomes.

In further breakdowns the study also showed that ethnicity has a bearing on the divorce rate for older Americans earning over $100K per year. White (6.5%) and black men (7%) over 50 in the high income strata had relatively low rates of divorce experience, with whites coming in at 6.5% and black men at 7%. However, the rate for Hispanic males aged 50-to 54 was almost doubled at 16.7%. As if to prove the adage that “With greater income comes greater freedom,” Hispanic women earning over $100K per year had the highest rate of divorce of the whole bunch with nearly one-third, or 29.4% having been divorced.

While the new numbers are interesting, they are not truly that surprising because today, the lower income households that must struggle with housing, food, healthcare and education bills will almost certainly have different priorities than households with greater resources.


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