10 US States With The Lowest Divorce Rates

Obtaining a divorce is very difficult and costly in some states, which may lend itself to low divorce rates.
Obtaining a divorce is very difficult and costly in some states, which may lend itself to low divorce rates.

In marriages, divorces among couples are unavoidable. In fact, data from the American Psychological Association shows that almost half of the marriages in the US end up in divorce every year. However, this does not necessarily mean that half of the couples in the US are currently divorced. Some states have relatively high divorce rates and make up the largest of these divorce rate percentages. Similarly, there are also states that have low rates of divorce in the US.

The state of Iowa has the lowest divorce rates of 1.3 couples per every 1,000 married couples. In the second place is the state of Illinois with a rate of 2.0 couples per couples with Louisiana coming in third with a similar rate. Massachusetts and South Carolina close the top five with rates of 2.3 and 2.5 respectively. The states of Maryland and New York tie in the last place with a rate of 2.7 each.

Iowa - 1.3 Divorces per 1,000 Couples 

The reason why couples in Iowa seem to enjoy a higher marriage success rate is a bit elusive. However, the economic problems that the state experienced back in 2013 could be the reason why. Data shows that the rate of divorce went down considerably as more couples decided to elude the cost of divorce proceedings due to the poor economic conditions. This recession could mean that couples are choosing to maintain their married status but elect to live apart or in a dysfunctional marriage.

Another reason why the state has such low divorce rates is the legalization of same-sex marriages that were legalized in April 2009 by the Iowa Supreme Court. After the legalization, the state saw a hike in the number of couples of the same gender who went to get marriage licenses. This reason is backed up by the fact that Iowa was the third state to legalize the marriages. 

Lastly, the rate of marriages in the state has been relatively steady for the past couple of decades. This rate is possibly higher than the rate of divorce. As such, it is entirely possible that the higher marriage rate bolsters the divorce rate and provides an impression of a state made up of happy couples. However, this does not necessarily mean that there are as many happy or satisfied couples as the numbers suggest.

Illinois - 2.0 Divorces per 1,000 Couples 

Illinois is on this list despite the relative ease and low costs of getting a divorce. Most data sources seem to point towards one fact: the people of Illinois are getting married less in recent times than they used to in previous times. From the lower marriage rates, it would appear that these fewer marriages are lasting longer than before. In addition, the average age of men getting married is also increasing compared to previous times. Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health of previous years shows that the number of marriages in 2012 stood at 74,168. In 2013, the figure dropped sharply to 69,487. Similarly, the divorces in 2012 and 2013 stood at 31,385 and 29,331 respectively. In recent times, the median age of men getting married is 27 compared to the early 20s of previous years. This statistic may be significant since data supports the theory that younger couples have higher chances of getting a divorce compared to older adults.

A Note on New York 

The presence of New York on this list has less to do with romance than it has to do with tough divorce laws. Getting a divorce in New York is extremely costly and the high costs extend all the way to the period after the divorce. For example, the state has something known as Temporary Maintenance. Essentially, this means that alimony will have to be paid during the period of the divorce proceedings, should it be asked for by a spouse. This amount is excluding the high costs of alimony after the divorce has been granted. Just like in the state of Iowa, couples simply elect to live together in an unhappy marriage or live separately if they have the wherewithal to do so.

In some of the main cities of New York such as Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, there is a new trend that has emerged among younger couples. Most people in the state have become aware of the high costs of divorce and have decided to evade marriage altogether until they are sure of having a chance of a successful marriage with their partners. These young couples move in together in their early 20s and live together until they are both satisfied by the other party. In the process, they are able to save themselves plenty of trouble and thousands of dollars that often accompany divorce proceedings.

10 US States With The Lowest Divorce Rates

RankUS StateDivorce rate per 1,000 of the population, 2016
5South Carolina2.5
8North Dakota2.6
10New York2.7

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