The top 25 states with the highest divorce rates, ranked

ShutterstockSometimes it just doesn’t work out.

According to USA Today, divorce is another thing that millennials are blamed for killing, along with beer, cereal, and fabric softener.

However, that might not totally be the case. With the help of INSIDER’s Data team, and the CDC statistics on divorce, we’ve ranked the 25 states with the highest divorce rates.

The statistics are from 2017, and measured per 1,000 people since while we know the number of divorces every year, the population changes. The rates include provisional counts of divorce, annulments, and legal counts of separation for certain counties. However, five states don’t report their divorce stats to the government – California, New Mexico, Minnesota, Indiana, and Hawaii.

Here are the 25 states with the highest divorce rates in the US.


23. (TIE) Virginia, Nebraska, and Delaware — 3 divorces per 1,000 people

jacoblund/ iStockNot too high.

While divorce appears to be legal in Virginia, the state had some antiquated laws on the books, according to the Huffington Post. Under the Code of Virginia, Section 18.2-344, unmarried fornication is a Class 4 misdemeanour.


19. (TIE) North Carolina, New Hampshire, Montana, and Missouri — 3.1 divorces per 1,000 people

Denise Truscello / GettyA divorce cake.

Birthday parties are over – it’s all about the divorce party now.


17. (TIE) Maine and Colorado — 3.2 divorces per 1,000 people

Flickr/Dan BluesteinA sign for a divorce.

Colorado is one of the few states that legally allows marriage by proxy. In other words, if someone is unavailable on their wedding day, they can legally have another person stand in for them.


14. (TIE) Washington, Utah, and Oregon — 3.4 divorces per 1,000 people

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, FileJeff Bezos and his soon-to-be-ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos, who live in Washington state.

The Bezos’ live in Washington, which is considered a “common property” state. This means that any wealth acquired during the divorce (read: the billions of dollars generated by Amazon) is fair game to split between the two.

Read: Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos may split his $US137 billion fortune in half when they divorce – here’s what typically happens when billionaires break up


10. (TIE) West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and Arizona — 3.5 divorces per 1,000 people

Flickr/Raw PixelCouple arguing.

January is known as “divorce month,” since the amount of divorces filed increase significantly during the first month of the year. This could be because couples want to wait until after the holidays to break the news, or because it’s part of their fresh start to the year.


8. (TIE) Florida and Alaska — 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people

fizkes/ShutterstockCouple’s therapy.

According to John Gottman, a psychological researcher who has spent 40 years studying relationships and claims he can predict the success of a marriage with 83% accuracy, the key to success is how a couple handles conflict. Of the 130 couples he studied, those that dealt with conflict with a “harsh startup” – an upfront display of negative emotions – all divorced.


5. (TIE) Kentucky, Arkansas, and Alabama — 3.7 divorces per 1,000 people

Flickr/Mark StevensonCouple arguing.

Divorce doesn’t always have to mean the end of your relationship. INSIDER’s Angela Johnson wrote about how she divorced her husband of five years, only to end up living together and raising their children together, without the strings of marriage.


4. Idaho — 3.9 divorces per 1,000 people

To avoid divorce, you might want tighten your purse strings for the wedding – a recent study found an inverse relationship between wedding spending and marriage duration.


3. Wyoming — 4 divorces per 1,000 people

Scott Olson/Getty ImagesDivorce attorney Corri Fetman unveils her new advertising campaign.

Divorce might increase the likelihood of a heart attack in women.


2. Oklahoma — 4.1 divorces per 1,000 people

Express/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesA sign welcoming divorcees in 1940.

According to a divorce attorney INSIDER interviewed, the three biggest mistakes married couples are making are a lack of communication, ignoring red flags, and picking the wrong person in the first place.


1. Nevada — 4.5 divorces per 1,000 people

Shutterstock/Jason Patrick RossA wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Like Washington, Nevada is a common property state as well. Stephen Fife, a marriage counselor in southern Nevada, told the Las Vegas Sun that the reason for the high divorce rate in Nevada may be due to “the culture of Las Vegas that has people getting married quickly and not thinking about the probability of long-term success. They are not taking divorce seriously, either.”

Getting a divorce in Nevada is also easier than in most other places: uncontested divorces can be finalised within 10 days, and there are no waiting periods.

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