Divorce, although complicated and stressful, is incredibly common among American couples. Shocking statistics show that about half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce with 20% of first marriages expected to end in within the first five years.
The U.S. is in 12th place worldwide for its percentage of marriages that end in a divorce, but some states are contributing to those numbers more so than others. As divorce rates continue to climb, certain cities stand out with sharper increases in divorces.
Arizona’s ABC 15 reported findings from a study that revealed the 25 cities where divorce is on the rise. Using statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, a genealogy research engine called MooseRoots calculated the percent change of each state’s divorced population between 1970 and 2010 to generate their results.
Every state saw a rise in divorce rates from 1970. Nationwide, the population of divorced people spiked from 3.4% of the population to a staggering 10.5% — nearly a three-times increase.
There is only one exception: a town in Nebraska saw a 1.8% decrease in the 40 year span from 1970 to 2010.
Although the divorce rate increased overall, there were certain cities that experienced larger percent changes in population of divorced people. MooseRoots compiled a list of the top 25 cities with the most dramatic increase; Arizona appears on the list twice, but North Carolina claims three of the top ten spots.
The top ten cities are as follows:
10. Raleigh, North Carolina
9. Charlotte, North Carolina
8. Tuscon, Arizona
7. Lincoln, Nebraska
6. Colorado Springs, Colorado
5. Corpus Christi, Texas
4.Greensboro, North Carolina
3. Plano, Texas
2. Buffalo, New York
1. Virginia Beach, Virginia
There are a few theories that suggest why divorce rates have increased so dramatically over the past 40 years. Some people blame societal changes, saying traditional marriage values aren’t as important as they once were.
Cathy Meyer, a relationship expert says that couples lack negotiation skills and do not know how to fight fairly. They give up on the marriage instead of working through the inevitable problems.
No matter the reason, the upward trend in divorce rates continues across the United States.