Every year, the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University analyzes the marriage and divorce rate for the previous calendar year, in order to track the trends and provide informative data.
This data helps form informative opinions regarding how each state and the country as a whole are trending, when it comes to the institutions of marriage and divorce.
In comparison to the data from 2015, the marriage and divorce rates for 2016 did not experience a lot of drastic change from the previous year.
The divorce rate in 2016
The divorce rate, as represented as the number of divorces per 1,000 married women ages 15 and older, continued to decline in 2016 and reached a 40-year low. The rate was at 16.7 divorces per 1,000 married women in 2016, which is a decline from the 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women in 2015 and the 20.5 divorces per 1,000 married women in 2008.
This translates to 1,098,805 divorced women in 2016, an overall drop of 11,774 from the previous year and a drop of over 210,000 since 2008 when 1.3 million women divorced. The divorce rate also experienced an overall drop from when it was at its highest in 1980, at 22.6 divorces per 1,000 married women.
In comparison to last year, Wyoming moved up from the second highest divorce rate in 2015 to the highest divorce rate in a single state in 2016, with a divorce rate of 26.3 divorces per 1,000 married women. Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Georgia rounded out the top five, respectively.
The lowest state divorce rates came from Massachusetts at 12.0 divorces per 1,000 married women. This rate was less than half of the rate of Wyoming. New Jersey, Minnesota, South Dakota, and New York rounded out the top five of the lowest divorce rates, respectively.
The marriage rate in 2016
As far as marriage is concerned, the 2016 marriage rate fell slightly to 31.9 marriages per 1,000 married women, in comparison to 2015’s marriage rate at 32.3 marriages per 1,000 married women. The 2016 rate translates to 2,286,230 married women.
The marriage rate has remained fairly stable since 2010 (when the marriage rate also was at 31.9 marriages per 1,000 married women), as it continues to maintain a 45-year low.
Utah continues to have the highest marriage rate in 2016 with 58 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women over the age of 15. However, that is slightly lower than the 2015 state marriage rate of 61 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women. Following Utah in the top five of the highest state marriage rates in 2016 list is Alaska, Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho.
The 2016 state marriage rate of Utah was more than twice as large as the state with the lowest marriage rate in the United States: Rhode Island. Rhode Island’s 2016 marriage rate was at 23.8 percent per 1,000 unmarried women over the age of 15. Rounding out the top five of the lowest state marriage rates in 2016 are Delaware, New Mexico, New Jersey, and New York.
Understanding these statistics is an important part in taking the step toward marriage or divorce. If you are given all of the facts as it pertains to the step that you are taking and the state that you are in, you are better equipped to make a more informed decision.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.