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Divorce Stats

Here's a sampling of some of the most recently available statistics on marriage and divorce in the United States of America:

  • There were approximately 2,230,000 marriages in 2005 -- down from 2,279,000 the previous year, despite a total population increase of 2.9 million over the same period.
  • The divorce rate in 2005 (per 1,000 people) was 3.6 -- the lowest rate since 1970, and down from 4.2 in 2000 and from 4.7 in 1990. (The peak was at 5.3 in 1981, according to the Associated Press.)
  • The marriage rate in 2005 (per 1,000) was 7.5, down from 7.8 the previous year.
  • In 2004, the state with the highest reported divorce rate was Nevada, at 6.4 (per 1,000). Arkansas was a close second, with a divorce rate of 6.3, followed by Wyoming at 5.3. The District of Columbia had the lowest reported divorce rate, at 1.7, followed by Massachusetts at 2.2 and Pennsylvania at 2.5. (Figures were not complete for California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, or Oklahoma.)
  • 8.1% of coupled households consist of unmarried heterosexual partners, according to The State of Our Unions 2005, a report issued by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. The same study said that only 63% of American children grow up with both biological parents -- the lowest figure in the Western world.
  • As of 2003, 43.7% of custodial mothers and 56.2% of custodial fathers were either separated or divorced. And in 2002, 7.8 million Americans paid about $40 billion in child and/or spousal support (84% of the payers were male).
  • Americans tend to get married more between June and October than during the rest of the year. In 2005, August had the most marriages at about 235,000 or a rate of 9.3 per 1,000 people. The previous year, July was the highest month at 246,000, or a rate of 9.9; this doubled the lowest month in 2004, January

Other Marriage and Divorce Facts (2002)

Percentage of population that is married:      59% (down from 62% in 1990, 72% in 1970)
Percentage of population that has never married:   24%
Percentage of population that is divorced:      10% (up from 8% in 1990, 6% in 1980)
Percentage of population that is widowed:   7%
Median age at first marriage:   Males: 26.9
Females: 25.3
Median age at first divorce:   Males: 30.5
Females: 29
Median age at second marriage:   Males: 34
Females: 32
Median age at second divorce:   Males: 39.3
Females: 37
Median duration of first marriages that end in divorce:   Males: 7.8 years
Females: 7.9 years
Median duration of second marriages that end in divorce:   Males: 7.3 years
Females: 6.8 years
Median number of years people wait to remarry after their first divorce:   Males: 3.3 years
Females: 3.1 years
Percentage of married people who reach their 5th, 10th, and 15th anniversaries:   5th: 82%
10th: 65%
15th: 52%
Percentage of married people who reach their 25th, 35th, and 50th anniversaries:   25th: 33%
35th: 20%
50th: 5%
Percentage of people who have ever been married by the age of 25:   Males: 32%
Females: 50%
Percentage of people who have ever been married by the age of 35:   Males: 77%
Females: 84%
Percentage of people who have ever been married by the age of 45:   Males: 87%
Females: 90%
Percentage of people who have ever been married by the age of 55:   Males 95%
Females: 95%
Number of unmarried couples living together:   5.5 million