Global Divorce Rates

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Oct 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

You may find yourself in the beginning stages of divorce. Whether you are just thinking about pursuing a divorce or you are already separated and are counting the days until you can file the official paperwork, you may feel oddly alone. Yes, you might know others who have divorced, but it is still a life event that can be isolating.

But interestingly enough, two sociology researchers found that over a four-decade period, the divorce rate across the globe has more than doubled. That may not give you much comfort on the nights that you are sitting alone in your new residence, but it is an interesting phenomenon to explore.

Global Divorce Research Study

The two sociologists from the University of California at Irvine who wrote the study looked at divorce rates from 84 countries around the world from 1970 to 2008. They calculated the divorce rate by counting the number of official, legally registered divorces for every 1,000 married people. They also examined what would lead an individual to divorce, such as their income, education, and age at which they married, as well as societal factors such as a country's level of economic development and the number of women in a country's workforce.


The researchers found that from 1970 to 2008, the divorce rate went from 2.6 divorces per 1,000 people to 5.5 divorces per 1,000. Divorce rates were extremely low (as in .45) in countries like Sri Lanka and extremely high (11.49) in countries like Russia. Divorce rates in Europe were relatively high (4.03 to 6.55), with the exception of Ireland (1.94). Divorce rates were also low in many Latin American countries. It is interesting to note that the Catholic church is still relatively dominant in Ireland and Latin America.

The study also concluded that there were several common elements among countries with high divorce rates.

  • The higher the level of economic development, the higher the divorce rate. In wealthier countries, people may feel financially secure to pursue a divorce.
  • Countries with more females in their workforce had higher divorce rates. If a woman has a job, she may feel financially independent to withstand a divorce.
  • Higher educated people in a country can mean higher divorce rates. People with higher education know that they have the skills to support themselves and don't need to rely on a spouse to support them.
  • Countries that are a part of an international organization or treaty have higher divorce rates. Maybe because they are exposed to global norms, they are more aware of things like individual rights.

Experienced North Carolina Divorce Attorney

Back here in this corner of the planet, you might be considering your own divorce. A divorce can be devastating to you and your family, but it can also be empowering as you can start a new life. If you need assistance with a divorce in Raleigh, North Carolina, contact Family Law attorney Jay Jerkins. He has the experience and insight necessary to help render a positive outcome for you.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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