What Class of People Have the Highest Divorce Rates?

Written by beverly bird
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What Class of People Have the Highest Divorce Rates?
Couples who earn less than £13,000 a year have the highest divorce rate. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

According to the Barna Group, which conducts and analyses social research, more than 75 per cent of American adults have been married at least once. Approximately a third of those have been divorced. In some demographics, however, that figure is even higher. Every state now allows no-fault divorces, making it easier than ever for spouses to part ways. According to Thomas Marvell, an attorney, sociologist and director of a Virginia-based research firm, no-fault divorce laws increased the divorce rate in the United States from 20 to 25 per cent through 2005.

Religious Affiliation

Non-Christians have a 38 per cent divorce rate, according to the Barna Group. This includes 30 per cent who classified themselves as agnostic or atheists, although the researchers admit that this statistic might be distorted because atheists and agnostics also have a much lower marriage rate . Protestants divorce more than Catholics, which the Barna Group found to be the least likely faith to divorce. The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance indicates that those of the Jewish faith have a 30 per cent divorce rate.


African-Americans are somewhat more likely to divorce than Caucasians, 36 per cent to 32 per cent. Those of Asian ethnicity have the lowest divorce rates, only 20 per cent. The Hispanic divorce rate is 31 per cent.

Political Orientation

The Barna Group found that those who consider themselves liberal have higher divorce rates than conservatives. Among liberals, the divorce rate is 37 per cent. Among conservatives, it is only 28 per cent.


Financial difficulties appear to contribute to divorce. Only 22 per cent of couples earning £48,750 a year or more divorce, but 39 per cent of those with incomes less than £13,000 a year break up. College graduates have a lower divorce rate than partners who did not attend college, and among college-educated couples, women initiate the divorce 90 per cent of the time.

Geographical Location

Those who live in the south and Midwest portions of the United States divorce more often than those in the northeast. The northeast has only a 19 per cent divorce rate. According to Assisted Divorce, the states with the highest rates are Nevada, Arkansas, Wyoming, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont average about 3.5 divorces per 1,000 of their populations.


Those who marry under the age of 30 are more likely to divorce than those who are over 30 when they marry. Baby boomers born between 1945 and 1955 have a 38 per cent divorce rate.

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