Marriage-to-Divorce Ratio in the U.S.: Geographic Variation, 2018

Family Profile No. 24, 2019
Author: Valerie J. Schweizer

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Marriage to Divorce Ratio, 2018

  • In 2018, there were approximately two marriages per every one divorce in the United States (ratio = 2.2), a total of 2,268,129 marriages and 1,050,599 divorces.
  • The ratio has remained stable since 2017 when it was also approximately two marriages for every one divorce.

Figure 1. Women’s Marriage to Divorce Ratio, 1970 to 2018

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Source: NCFMR analyses of 1970-2000, National Center for Health Statistics; 2008-2018, U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 1-yr est.

Five Highest and Lowest Marriage to Divorce Ratios, 2018

  • All states have a greater number of marriages than divorces. North Dakota (4.5), the District of Columbia (3.9), and Vermont (3.0) were the top three states in the marriage to divorce ratio in 2018. There were at least three marriages per every one divorce in these states.
  • The states with the lowest marriage to divorce ratio were Arkansas (1.4), South Dakota (1.5), and West Virginia (1.6).

Figure 2. Women's Highest and Lowest Marriage to Divorce Ratio, 2018

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Source: NCFMR analyses of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2018 1-yr est.

State Rankings and Geographic Variation in Marriage to Divorce Ratios, 2018

Figure 3. State Variation in Women’s Marriage to Divorce Ratio by Quartile, 2018

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  • Approximately 42% of states experienced an increase in the marriage to divorce ratio from 2017 to 2018. North Dakota had the largest increase from 2.6 in 2017 to 4.6 in 2018. Rhode Island also had a notable increase from 1.5 to 2.9.
  • Over one-third of states (34%) saw a decrease in the marriage to divorce ratio. The District of Columbia experienced the largest decrease, dropping from 5.9 in 2017 to 3.9 in 2018.
  • Almost one-quarter (24%) of states had almost the same marriage to divorce ratio in 2018 as they did in 2017. These states were California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Figure 4. Geographic Variation in the Marriage to Divorce Ratio Among Women Aged 15+, 2018

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Source: NCFMR analyses of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2018 1-yr est.

References:
  • Clarke, S. C. (1995). Advance Report of Final Marriage Statistics, 1989 and 1990. Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 43(12), Supp. National Center for Health Statistics. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv43_12s.pdf
  • National Center for Health Statistics (1974). Summary Report Final Marriage Statistics, 1970. Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 23(2), Supp. 1. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv23_02s1acc.pdf
  • National Center for Health Statistics (1983). Advance Report of Final Marriage Statistics, 1980. Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 32(5), Supp. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv32_05s.pdf
  • National Center for Health Statistics (2001). Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for January-December, 2000. National Vital Statistics Reports, 49(6). Associated Table 3. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nsvr/nsvr49/49_06_12_03.pdf  
Suggested Citation:

Schweizer, V. (2019). Marriage to Divorce Ratio in the U.S.: Geographic Variation, 2018. Family Profile, (FP-19-24). National Center for Family & Marriage Research. https://doi.org/10.25035/ncfmr/fp-18-24

This project is supported with assistance from Bowling Green State University. From 2007 to 2013, support was also provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as representing the opinions or policy of any agency of the state or federal government.