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Myth Of Divorce Rate In The US

Updated on October 21, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.


The current accepted stat is that divorce rate in the U.S. Is around 50%. That number seems high to me. By doing some simple analysis, we can try to dispel this myth.

- December 2015


Apparently, this is one of those statistics that are difficult to compute. The divorce rate in America is not an exact science.

I am proposing a reasonable estimate process. I am asking everyone to take stock of their extended network of friends, colleagues and family. Make a list of all your contacts that are either married or widowed or divorced. Count up all the people who have only married once and add the widowed. Then count all the ones divorced, only one per person. Multiple divorces don't count additonally. Now, divide the total divorced by the sum of the married and divorced and multiply by 100 to get the result. Please round it to the nearest 10% and take the poll at the end. With sufficient people responding, we will be able to compute the average for all.

I started with my own circle of relations and came up with 100 individuals. They range in ages from 23 to 90. The percent I came up with was 22%. Granted that I am Asian and a Roman Catholic. I expected my number would be on the low side but it was still a surprise. My group of people included many races and religions and atheists and across generations. Please help me with this simple survey. My contention is that if enough people responds, we will have a pretty accurate number across the whole population.

Another Estimate

Another way to estimate divorce rate is calculation using the divorce stat per year.

Assume the divorce rate is 4.34 per 1000 per year. Assume 70 years total of life span.

The calculation should be 4.34 x 70 = 303.8 which translate to 30%.

Popular Poll

What is your personal experience on divorce rate among your circle?

See results

Current Results

Date: 12/17/2015. Number voted: 1. Average Percent: 20 %

Date: 07/09/2016. Number voted: 7. Average Percent: 37 %


I hope to dispell the myth that divorce rate in America is near 50%. It is a detriment to our society when people decides to live together rather than form a foundation of marriage. I plan to update this hub periodically as more people take the poll.

© 2015 Jack Lee


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    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 

      3 years ago

      Since I have no idea about the divorce rate so didn't vote. I appreciate your spirit.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 years ago from Yorktown NY


      It does a make a difference. I personally belief the real number is closer to 35% rather than 50%. Please help by voting.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      3 years ago

      In my persona circle of friends I would say the rate is 40 percent. Whether it's 40 or 50, it is still very, very sad.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 years ago from Yorktown NY

      m abdullah javed, thanks for your comments. I didn't see you voting. I would like to know what's your personal experience. I'm not really trying to solve the divorce problem. I'm just trying to obtain a more accurate statistics on divorce in America. If we had a more accurate picture, perhaps people will make better decisions.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 years ago from Yorktown NY


      I assumed you had voted the 70% and I appreciate that. As I indicated in my hub, I included all the people in my circle from ages 23-90 that are either married or have been married or widowed. I came up with 100 persons (individuals). Counting only divorce once per person, I came up with the 22% (rounded to 20%). There were a few that were divorced a few times but as I explained, I only count those as one person. That being said, from your summary description, it does seem awful high. That is why I'm asking for input. Let's hope others will chime in.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 

      3 years ago

      Hi Jack Lee... I admire your pragmatic approach towards one of the most sensitive social issues, divorce. Hope you would do even better next time.

      But we need to understand the psychie behind such a detached attitude and it's repercussions on the overall development of a society. If we delve with the solutions for this problem, it would be a great service to the cause of humanity. Thanks for sharing.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      3 years ago

      You said:"Looking forward to see your personal number and thanks."

      I thought had posted it but does not appear to be here.

      I have personally gone through one divorce.

      My ex wife had been divorced prior to marrying me.

      My current wife was divorced prior to our marriage.

      Both of my parents have been married twice and divorced twice.

      Two of my best friends have been divorced

      My only aunt on my father’s side has been divorced.

      Seven out of eleven of my mother’s siblings have been divorced at least once.

      I have numerous cousins from both sides of the family who have divorced.

      My real estate agent has been divorced once.

      My wife’s two best friends have been divorced.

      My boss has been divorced.

      I suspect if I asked other people whom I’m in contact several of them probably have been divorced.

      As I noted I in your survey about 70% of the people I know over the age of 40 have been divorced.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 years ago from Yorktown NY

      The reason I count the person once after divorce is so that the stat will not be distorted. Suppose a person divorce 100 times, it would not make sense to count that. It would be conceivable to have A final stat over 100% on average. In the case when a person married to a divorcee, I only count 1 as divorced and the other as married. Looking forward to see your personal number and thanks.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      3 years ago

      You said: "Multiple divorces don't count additionally".

      However the reality is every marriage is considered a new marriage!

      Every divorce should be considered a new divorce.

      My guess is you're looking to count the number of (people) who have been divorced and (not the number of divorces) for your stats.

      When a count is done for married couples those on their second, third, fourth or how many ever marriage are still considered to be married at the time. The correlation should be the number of weddings versus divorces in any given year when a nation looks at the statistics.

      If you have 2 million weddings and 1 million divorce filings in the same year that would give you an idea of the average ratio per year.

      You also are likely to have some people who married for the first time to a person who was previously divorced. Should they get divorced it would be that individual's first divorce and the second or whatever time for their mate.


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