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The 25 States With The Highest Divorce Rate

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People don’t get married thinking, “This is a beautiful first wedding,” and that’s probably for the best. Anyone thinking that should probably give back the ring and head home from the planning process and call it quits. No one gets married expecting their marriage to end in divorce, but it does happen – a lot. It seems that most marriages end in divorce these days, which is why it’s always such a surprise to others to learn that my husband and I have been married 10 years in a few weeks, and that we’re among the ‘shortest’ married couples in our group of friends (all of whom are married, and for longer than 10 years) and we’re all in our early 30s. Maybe it’s because birds of a feather tend to flock together, or maybe it’s where we live or the fact that we make our marriages a priority. Either way, we do know that there are some states that have a very high divorce rate, and we think that you should know which ones are the worst for married couples.

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Vermont – 12.1%

Vermont is a lovely state, but it’s not good for those who want to stay married. Nearly half of all people who live here are married, and many of those couples file for divorce. The rest who are not divorced are separated in a legal manner, and that’s a staggering number as well. More than 1.4% of married couples have filed paperwork for legal separation, and there are many more households in which people are also separated that have not been made official with the state.

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Kansas – 12.2%

A staggering number of residents here are divorced or separated. It seems almost impossible to stay married for some couples around here with approximately 1.6% of the 52% of married couples also separated. There is no statistical information provided as to why so many people here are unable to stay married, but we expect common factors such as financial worries and infidelity play a role in the separations and divorces of many couples.

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Washington – 12.3%

While many people think that the area is lovely, many people find that they don’t want to stay married here. It might be the rainy days causing people to want to explore their options outside their marriage or work, and make changes. It might be the lack of financial stability, the fact that people married too young or anything in between. We don’t know what makes people more likely to divorce in Washington than in other states, and it’s just not an answer we have.

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New Hampshire -12.3%

The people of New Hampshire aren’t living in a very large state, but more than half of them are married. That’s why it’s shocking the percentage of couples living here that do end up divorced or separated. The number is quite large, and it does seem to grow each year. They say the number one cause of divorce in many homes is financial stress. In New Hampshire – and elsewhere – the number one cause of divorce and separation is actually marriage.

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Montana – 12.3%

Perhaps the lifestyle here is a bit too much for many couples to take. The lack of big cities, the sheer number of people living on large plots of land and working their ranches could be quite stressful on a marriage. It’s long days and long nights, it’s a lot of solidarity and it’s a lot of boredom for those who aren’t located in an area that offers much to do. Perhaps that’s why so many of the people who decide to get married in Montana turn around and make the decision to divorce or separate.

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Louisiana – 12.3%

The poverty rate in Louisiana is quite high, and we wonder if that affects the divorce rate. It seems maybe some residents would decide to leave their marriages in search of something better. However, divorce is not an inexpensive option, so it would see more likely that people in low-income communities would stay married simply because they cannot afford otherwise. We don’t know, but we do know the divorce rate here is quite high.

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Colorado – 12.4%

A beautiful state with a lot to do in terms of outdoor activity almost all year, it’s a shame that the people who live here are so unhappy in their marriages. We do wish we knew what it was the causes so many people who live here to get divorced, but we guess that somewhere has to be among the list of most divorced states in the country, and Colorado just took that honor. Again, the most common reasons around here for divorce range from finances to infidelity, and all that those imply.

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Alaska – 12.4%

When the sun is gone all day, every day half the year and out all day long the other half of the year – and it’s almost always cold – it’s no wonder that people here are not happy together. It takes a very special kind of person to live without seasons so much as the people of Alaska, and it’s something that we just can’t imagine. Maybe those who live here just can’t take the heat and they end up divorced, leaving them out in the cold (bad jokes, I know, but I couldn’t help it).

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Ohio – 12.5%

Perhaps the departure of LeBron James a few years ago caused a number of Ohio households to become torn apart, we don’t know. Time will tell now that James is back. We will wait until next year’s results are in so we can see whether or not his departure and imminent return has changed the marital statistics in the state. We think not, however. Rather we think that the poor job market and the effect of the poor economic crash in 2008 played a big role in this divorce rate.

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Missouri – 12.5%

The people of Missouri are apparently living in “misery” (get it?). Approximately half of the people that call this state home are married, and more than 12% of those people decide to end their marriage before too long. Another large percentage of residents here make the decision to put their marriage on hold and separate and it’s just a staggering statistic in all areas of the map.

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Idaho – 12.5%

Nearly 13% of the population of Idaho is divorced, and the percentage of people separated is quite high as well. It’s just not the kind of place in which marriages go to live successfully. Though almost half the people in the state are married, the statistic is quite high in comparison to other states in the country. What causes the lack of marital success in Idaho is relatively unknown, though like much of the country it seems that financial issues are among the top reasons for people to go through divorce in this area.

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Arizona – 12.5%

When you have such beautiful weather so often, it seem as if the divorce rate would be a bit lower, but it’s not. Arizona residents are among the most likely to divorce in the country, which is a staggering number of people. When half are married and more than a tenth are divorced, it does not say much for the success of marriage here. And many of the residents that live here are older retired couples looking for nicer weather.

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Indiana – 12.7%

Half the people who live here are married, but it seems that a large number of those who are married will end up divorced. It’s a staggering factor when you think about the fact that half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. There are so few couples that are able to make it last with their partners, and it is not uncommon to realize that many people are happily married to a second spouse. It’s almost the norm these days, particularly in Indiana.

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Alabama – 12.7%

With divorce stats this high, it makes you wonder how many of the people who live here that are married are married to a second or third spouse. In fact, we assume that at least a portion of the almost 50% of married couples in Alabama have been married more than once. We don’t know for certain, and not everyone is willing to make it public knowledge when their marriages end and separation is imminent, but it does seem as though most people have been married a few times.

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Wyoming – 12.8%

The population of Wyoming is relatively small. There are just over a half million residents in the state, making it the least populated of the 50 United States. Yet it’s one with one of the biggest divorce rates in the country. This is a staggering number that never fails to shock people. Out of half a million people, 12.8% are divorced. That’s a huge number of people that aren’t married that were. In fact, it seems that the nationwide stats here would make it one of the worst places to live if you want your marriage to survive.

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Tennessee – 13%

This lovely southern state has some serious issues in terms of crime and poverty, particularly in the larger cities such as Memphis, which might have something to do with the high divorce rate here. Perhaps financial difficulties faced in extreme poverty has led to the end of many marriages. Of course, there are always factors that differ, but Tennessee has a very high divorce rate considering it’s not one of the states with the highest population.

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New Mexico – 13.1%

With just over 2 million residents calling New Mexico Home, understanding that more than 13% of them are divorced is such a large number. The number of people here that are married constitutes nearly half, which would be around a million. The area has such a nice climate and a lot of outdoor activity, a lot of entertainment and it’s considered a very relaxing location, but that does not appear to have any effect on the success of marriages in the area.

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Kentucky – 13.2%

Kentucky residents are not lucky in love. Well, about half of them are. However, approximately half of all marriages end in divorce, so it might seem that the current number of divorced people in Kentucky will grow substantially over the years. It’s like the people who live here get married thinking that their marriages will last forever, but they don’t last as long as they might have anticipated after all.

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Florida – 13.2%

So it’s not living in our state that makes us and our friends stay happily married for so long. Florida is one of the states with the highest divorce rate, and we have several thoughts on this one. It’s a hotspot for tourists. I once read that more people cheat on their spouses in Florida because so many of the people who are here are leaving and never coming back. Or maybe it’s just that some people can’t stand the humidity and want out; who knows.

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West Virginia – 13.3%

There’s a long standing joke in the south that people in West Virginia are primarily inbred (and don’t jump down my throat for that one. I didn’t make it up; I heard it from a friend from West Virginia and she made the joke first). Perhaps that’s why the divorce rate is so high? People aren’t sure they’re not related to their spouse? I’m kidding, of course. The divorce rate here is high for reasons I just don’t know. Ask the people who decided to get a divorce.

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Arkansas – 13.3%

Yet another southern state on the list of most divorced areas in the world. It seems strange to me to think that the people who live in such slow-paced states with big front porches, great sweet tea and rocking chairs poised in front of beautiful sunsets could be so unhappy, but it seems to be the general rule of thumb around here. Arkansas residents are more likely than residents of most other states in the country to call it quits on their marriages for various reasons unknown to us.

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Oregon – 13.4%

With cold, dreary weather so often, you’d think that the beautiful views and amazing activities available for people would keep couples healthy and active and happy, but it is just not the case. More than half the people who reside in Oregon are married couples, but many of them make the decision to end their marriage for some reason or another. Asking residents in the area, some say they were married too young and grew apart, others say they had financial issues that they could not get over and others said that infidelity played a role in their marital decisions.

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Oklahoma – 13.5%

The people of Oklahoma are quite happy, and they do have a life that far extends outside the typical image of Midwestern life. People aren’t all stuck on farms living simple lives and looking for more. There are plenty of big cities here, some seriously good football and some great fun to be had. But a lot of people who live here are divorced and it’s very likely for the same reasons as people across the country. It’s not location-specific by any means.

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Maine – 14.2%

Maine is such a beautiful state with so much to offer, but not to all married couples. It seems that if you want  your marriage to die, you should move to Maine, where more marriages die than almost any other state in the country. With a divorce rate so high, it’s a wonder that more people don’t make the conscious decision not to get married. Chances are good, however, that the couples divorcing are doing so primarily for the most popular reasons in the country.

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Nevada – 14.6%

Perhaps the allure of Vegas is just too much for the residents of Las Vegas, and the divorce rate is a reflection of that. There are probably a lot of people living here that have gambling issues, too much access to places they should not go, and too much access to people they know they’ll never run into ever again when out with their spouses. Who knows what’s going on here other than the fact that divorce rate is very high.

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Written by Tiffany Raiford