How Many Marriages End in Divorce? The US vs The World

How Many Marriages End in Divorce? The US vs The World

As I sit quietly at Marissa’s wedding reception on the Upper East Side, the room is filled with laughter and romance. I look down at my blue, satin bridesmaid dress that I purchased for her special day — for the third time. Or is it the fourth? I can’t remember, but I pray I’m looking at her last groom of the century. Pretty dark thoughts, right? But honestly, she’s been swapping out husbands almost as often as she changes her hair color from blonde to brunette and back again.

As Etta James’ “At Last” plays softly in the background, I believe they may stand a chance — at last. He is originally from India, which has one of the lowest divorce rates in 2022, and Marissa is a huge fan of curry! So maybe they’re like peanut butter and jelly, and they’ll stick together for the long haul. Marissa’s story and my hopes for her future get me thinking, how many marriages end in divorce?

The Most Common Reasons for Divorce in 2024

All right, friend, let’s get real for a second. Divorce isn’t a party topic, but many folks go through it. So, if any of these reasons for divorce hit close to home, know you’re not alone. According to some top-notch US divorce attorneys, here are the big five reasons couples call it quits:

Lack of Commitment: Ever feel like you’re pulling all the weight in the relationship? You’re not alone! This is the Numero Uno reason for calling it quits. It turns out, that keeping that spark alive takes more than just binge-watching Netflix together.

Infidelity: Yikes, this one’s a doozy. About 15% of married women and 25% of married men have had a side hustle in the romance department. And if we throw emotional affairs into the mix, those numbers jump by about 20%. Talk about drama!

As you might guess, it’s not just men being unfaithful. Check out “The Cheating Wife Phenomenon.”

Domestic Abuse: Sadly, this is a serious and all-too-common reason for divorce. No jokes here—if you’re in this boat, seek help. You deserve better. Consider reading “Leaving an Abusive Marriage? There are Steps to Take First.”

Incompatibility: Sometimes you just wake up one day and realize you’re more like roommates than soulmates. People’s values and goals can shift over time, and that’s okay. It’s like admitting you’re more of a cat person when you’ve had a dog all your life.

Substance Abuse: When the happy hour turns into unhappy days, it’s a big red flag. Drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on a marriage, leading to financial woes, trust issues, and a whole lot of heartache.

Take advantage of a FREE consultation with a SAS for Women divorce coach. No matter what you are contending with, we will meet you right where you are and offer you healthy next steps for your future. Schedule your 15-minute chat here.

How Many Marriages End In Divorce?

Let’s chat about some risk factors that make a marriage a little shaky. Think of these as the “uh-oh” moments that can pop up. If any of these sound familiar, don’t worry—you’re in good company.

Marrying at a Young Age: Remember when you thought you had life all figured out at 18? Turns out, less experience and a bit of that youthful “I know everything” attitude can make handling a marriage tricky.

Less Education: Here’s a fun fact: people with a high school diploma tend to divorce less than those who didn’t finish high school. The more you know, right? 

Less Income: Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can help reduce stress. Low-income earners often face more financial strain, which can take a toll on a marriage. Bills, bills, bills—ugh!

Premarital Childbearing: Couples who get married after welcoming a little one are more likely to face challenges compared to those who wait until after the “I do’s” to start a family.

Premarital Cohabitation: We might think that living together before marriage sounds like a great trial run. Surprisingly, research says waiting until you’re engaged or married to move in together can be better for your marriage. Who knew?

No Religious Affiliation: Faith can play a big role in keeping a marriage strong or making you feel like you “can’t” divorce. Studies show that couples who share a religious bond and who go to church together are less likely to divorce. Maybe it’s like having a spiritual superglue (or, like being in a prison cell).

Parents’ Divorce: If your parents got divorced, there’s a fancy term called “intergenerational transmission” that suggests you might be more at risk. But don’t panic. Many factors influence marriages, and your parents’ split doesn’t seal your fate.

These are some quirky (and totally serious) factors that can throw a few curveballs into the marriage game.

What’s the Scoop on Divorce Rates in the US?

Okay, let’s dive into some juicy stats about marriage and divorce in the good ol’ USA. According to the National Survey on Family Growth, the divorce rate in 2023 was about 14.9 per 1,000 married women. Sounds pretty precise, right? That’s what they call the “refined rate,” focusing just on married folks.

Now, if we look at the “crude rate”—which includes everyone from kids to singles to married couples—that number is around 2.7 divorces per 1,000 people.

Here’s a fun fact on divorce statistics: since 2000, the USA’s crude divorce rate has dropped from 4.0 to 2.4 per 1,000 people. Yep, you heard that right! In 2022, there were 673,989 divorces, which is quite a drop from 944,000 back in 2000. This goes against a lot of cultural assumptions. Divorce is declining? YES.

Remember the COVID-19 pandemic? It didn’t just mess with our travel plans and make us all sourdough experts—it also led to fewer marriages and divorces. Talk about a plot twist!

Check out, “What are the COVID Divorce Statistics.”

The highest divorce rates ever recorded in the US were in the groovy 1970s and early 1980s, peaking in 1981 at a whopping 5.3 divorces per 1,000 people. Disco might have been hot, but apparently, so were breakups.

So, there you have it, a little snapshot of marriage and divorce trends in the United States. Whether you’re a stats geek or just curious, these numbers tell an interesting story about us as a people.

How Many Marriages End in Divorce Around the World?

Now let’s globe-trot through some fascinating (and sometimes surprising) divorce stats. Spoiler alert: the US isn’t leading the pack here. The highest divorce rates are found in Europe. Does that surprise you?


Here are the top five countries with the highest divorce rates (per 1,000 people):

Georgia (the country, not the state of peaches): 3.80

Moldova: 3.70

Latvia: 2.90

Dominican Republic: 2.70

Greenland: 2.70

And the countries with the lowest divorce rates? Drumroll, please:

Slovenia: 1.00

Montenegro: 1.10

Romania: 1.20

Croatia: 1.20

Mexico: 1.30

China’s divorce rates have more than doubled since 2005, which is pretty wild. Meanwhile, in countries like Australia, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand, the trend is going the other way with decreasing rates. It’s like a game of marital musical chairs. (Statistics culled from World Population Review). 

In the Arab world, more than one-third of marriages end in divorce, according to The Economist. New laws empowering women to file for divorce and their growing financial independence are big factors there. Go Sisters!

Africa’s divorce data is a bit patchy, but we do know that in South Africa, the rate is 0.6 per 1,000 people, while in Libya, it’s 2.5. (Statistics culled from Data Pandas). Financial repercussions play a huge role in these figures.

And where does the US stand in this mix?

We’re tied for the 13th-highest divorce rate in the world. Higher than most, but not the highest. So, there you have it, a whirlwind tour of divorce stats from around the globe. Isn’t it fascinating how different cultures and circumstances shape these numbers?

For healthy steps to take regarding your situation, consider reading “36 Things to Do If You are Thinking About Divorce.”


Let’s get real for a second. Marriage—this incredible, emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental connection—is a big part of our lives. But sometimes, it comes with its own set of plot twists, and for some, that means navigating the tough waters of divorce. If you’re thinking about it or already on that journey, there are thousands like you.

Compared to many other places in the world, US women do have options for changing their situation and finding support. You need only consult the internet for an education on what you are going through and to discover resources that advance you. There’s amazing help out there. Whether it’s due to any of the factors discussed above, or your own private (torturous?) boondoggle, divorce is a legal, acceptable, and life-changing action that can help change and yes, boost your precious experience of life. So, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, is what you are living in — and through — healthy?  Keep the question simple. Then ask yourself, what are you doing with or without your spouse to make your situation and life healthier? Don’t give up on yourself.  There are choices for you to uncover.


This article was written by Lori Ann Feeley who loves helping others find hope in the darkest corners of life. She is a freelance writer, adoption advocate, Certified Life Coach, and Founder & CEO of Faith Revolution Creative. Connect with Lori Ann at


Whether you are thinking about divorce, dealing with it, or recreating the life you deserve, one thing we see making a significant difference for women is the conscious choice to not do it alone.

 Since 2012, smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner with them through the emotional, financial, and oftentimes complicated experience of breaking up and reinventing. 

 SAS offers all women six free months of email coaching, action plans, checklists, and support strategies for you — and your precious future. 

Join our tribe and stay connected.


*SAS continues to support same-sex and nonbinary marriage. In this article, however, we refer to your spouse as husband/he/him.

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