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Posted on July 13, 2017 in Divorce

Divorce Rates Within California: How Does Your County Compare?

While divorce rates have gradually gone down over the past twenty to thirty years, it still tends to be a very popular topic of conversation. Recently, many articles have come out disputing the very common belief that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. While there are many different ideas surrounding the subject, it does seem to appear that the divorce rate is declining. In this article by the NY Times, they compare divorce rates over the past forty years. It is clear that divorce rates were lower in the 1990s than in the 1980s, and have been even lower in the 2000s compared to the 1990s. In fact, it is believed that if these divorce rate trends continue, two-thirds of those married in the 2000s will never get divorced.

Regarding divorce rates within California, it may seem to many that California would be among the states with higher divorce rates, but it’s not. States like Maine, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Arkansas come in with divorce rates of 13.3% to 14.6%, while California is actually one of the states with the smallest divorced populations, coming in at 9.7%, according to this source. New York actually has the smallest percentage of population divorced at 8.7%.

Even though California has an average divorce rate that is lower than many other states, not every county within California can claim such low rates. That’s why we compared the divorce rates by county and created this interactive map. Every county provides divorce rate data, the percentage of the population 15 years and older that are divorced, from the years 2009 to 2015. This data was collected from the United States Census Bureau.

To break some of this information down even further, we’ve listed the counties with the highest and lowest divorce rates by population, based on the 2015 percentages.

We also found the county with the overall highest divorce rate, as well as the county with the overall lowest divorce rate:

  • Highest divorce rate with a population less than 100,000: Trinity County at 16.5%
  • Lowest divorce rate with a population less than 100,000: Colusa County at 8.2%
  • Highest divorce rate with a population between 100,001 – 250,000: Shasta County at 14.7%
  • Lowest divorce rate with a population between 100,001 – 250,000: Madera County at 8.4%
  • Highest divorce rate with a population between 250,001 – 500,000: Marin County at 13%
  • Lowest divorce rate with a population between 250,001 – 500,000: Monterey County at 8.2%
  • Highest divorce rate with a population between 500,001 – 1,000,000: Sonoma County at 13.5%
  • Lowest divorce rate with a population between 500,001 – 1,000,000: San Francisco County at 8.3%
  • Highest divorce rate with a population greater than 1,000,000: Sacramento County at 12.1%
  • Lowest divorce rate with a population greater than 1,000,000: Santa Clara County at 8%
  • Highest divorce rate in California: Trinity County at 16.5%
  • Lowest divorce rate in California: Santa Clara County at 8%

There are many factors that contribute to these divorce rates, including education, income, race, and age. For example, it has been reported that those with a college degree are about 10% less likely to get divorced, the best age to be married without divorcing appears to be between 28 and 32, and Asian women have the lowest rates of divorce, followed by Hispanic and white women, with Black women have slightly higher rates than white women. Another report found that having a collective annual household income of $50,000 or more is associated with a 30% lower divorce risk. With so many different factors, it’s understandable why the divorce rates vary so widely from county to county.

If you are in need of a divorce lawyer in the San Diego area, contact Scott & Matteson Family Law today at (858) 974-4900 or visit us online. Mr. Scott has been practicing family law for over 35 years, and strongly believes in standing up for the rights of his clients. He guides his clients through the divorce process with understanding and compassion, taking all of the confusion out of the proceedings. Call today to get an attorney that will fight for you and your rights.