What Is The California Divorce Rate?

What Is The California Divorce Rate?

by | Feb 21, 2018 | Divorce

Everybody knows that the national divorce rate is about fifty percent, right? Most of us have heard that statistic at some point, and many assume that if that’s the national average, the California divorce rate is likely to be a little higher, because we’ve got the most people. The thought passes through our minds and few of us bother to dig any deeper.

What if we told you that the real California divorce rate was between about eight and seventeen percent, depending on which county you lived in? That’s a far cry from fifty percent, so what’s going on?
 

The National Divorce Rate Is Not Fifty Percent

First of all, the national divorce rate is nowhere near fifty percent. According to the United States Census Bureau, the estimated national divorce rate was just eleven percent in 2016.

So where does the mythical fifty percent figure come from? As the saying goes: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Data regarding marital status and divorce rates is commonly manipulated in a wide variety of ways to fit a desired outcome.

The idea that every second marriage in the United States ends in divorce is, on the face of it, difficult to believe. While it may be that high for movie stars and pop musicians, the rest of America is doing a much better job of finding ways to make marriage last.
 

The California Divorce Rate

As previously mentioned, the divorce rate in California is between roughly eight and seventeen percent. How do we know this? San Diego divorce attorney James Scott dug into the U.S. Census Bureau data and broke down California divorce rates by county.

Here in Sonoma County, for example, the divorce rate in 2015 was 13.5%, which was a bit higher than the California average.

Surprisingly, and contrary to what many would expect, some of the lowest divorce rates in the state are found in larger metropolitan areas like San Francisco (8.30%), Los Angeles (8.44%), and Santa Clara (8.17%).
 

Factors That Affect Divorce Rates

While the primary factors that affects divorce are, usually, the strength of the marriage (or lack thereof) and each spouse’s commitment to making the marriage work, there are several secondary factors that can have an impact.

Factors that can affect divorce rates include:

  • Family Income
  • Education
  • Cultural Background
  • Age
  • Children
  • Prior Marriages

Any or all of those factors can influence the divorce rates in a given area. Generally speaking, areas with higher average incomes, a better educated population, and more cultural diversity tend to see lower divorce rates.

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