Marriage and Divorce by the Numbers

Passaic County NJ Divorce LawyersIt is an often cited statistic that “half of all marriages end in divorce”, but this is simply not true. In fact, the divorce rate in the U.S. has declined in recent decades, due to many social and other factors. The myth of the 50 percent divorce may stem from a report written in 1980 by the National Center for Health Statistics, which incorrectly predicted that half of all marriages taking place between 1976-77 would end in divorce and that this number would only continue to rise. Today, our divorce attorneys will discuss some of the real statistics of marriage and divorce in the U.S. and in the state of New Jersey.

Passaic County, NJ Divorce Lawyers: Marriage and Divorce Statistics

The 1980 government study referenced above is indicative of our “things just get worse and worse” attitude which is often not reflective of reality. The truth is that divorce rates did in fact peak right around 1980, only they were closer to 40 percent. With this in mind, we will look at some of the numbers behind marriage and divorce according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • In 2014, there were 2,140,272 marriages in the U.S.
  • The marriage rate was approximately 6.9 individuals per 1,000 population with 49 states and Washington D.C. reporting results
  • The divorce rate was 3.2 individuals per 1,000 population with 45 states and Washington D.C. reporting
  • Total divorces numbered 813,862
  • Since the year 2000, marriage rates have steadily declined from 8.2/1,000 in 2000 to 6.9/1,000 in 2016
  • Meanwhile, divorce rates have also been steadily going down from 4.0/1,000 in 2000 to 3.2/1,000 in 2016
  • New Jersey divorce rates have hovered between 2.7/1,000 and 3.4/1,000, with 2016 following the national trend and being the lowest rate of this millennium
  • Marriage rates in our state are also relatively low, with rates generally a full point below the national average

Paterson Family Law Attorneys Identify Contributing Factors to Divorce Rate

Now that we have an understanding of the big picture, our Paterson divorce attorneys will examine the contributing factors which may impact divorce rates across our nation. While all individuals are responsible for their own decisions and behavior, it is interesting to observe trends in data and glean what we can from the numbers.

Age – marrying before the age of 25 may increase risk of divorce, and interestingly, so may waiting to get married until your 40’s. According to recent analysis of marriage and divorce statistics, those who are married for the first time between the ages of 25 and 35 have the lowest chance for divorce.

Education – Individuals with a college educations are about ten (10) percent less likely to get a divorce. Interestingly, it could be implied that as our population becomes more educated, that may have had something to do with diminishing divorce rates.

Location – New Jersey has amongst the lowest divorce rates in the nation, alongside New York, California, and North Dakota. On the other side – Nevada, Florida, Oregon and Kentucky have some of the highest divorce rates. Current trends also show that the already small gap in divorce rate between urban (slightly higher) and rural areas is closing.

Sexuality – a study published by The Williams Institute in 2014 showed that same-sex divorces and/or civil union dissolutions were slightly less common than in heterosexual marriages. However, it has been pointed out by other institutions that the small sample size and even smaller statistical difference point towards same-sex and opposite-sex marriages carrying similar divorce rates pending additional studies.

Contact our Woodland Park Divorce Attorneys Today

The divorce and family law attorneys of The Montanari Law Group understand that statistics can be fascinating, but each one of our clients facing the realities of a divorce is anything but a statistic. We take pride in offering individualized solutions to cater to the unique needs and circumstances of each one of our clients from local New Jersey communities including Paterson, Clifton, Wayne, Woodland Park, West Milford, Little Falls, and the greater Passaic County region. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your divorce proceedings including alimonychild custodychild support, and division of assets, we are here to protect your legal rights and seek a positive outcome to your case.

Call our Woodland Park offices today by dialing (973) 233-4396 or contact us online to speak with a member of our qualified legal team in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce or any other family law concern.


To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.