Five Traits that Countries with High Divorce Rates Share

Five Traits that Countries with High Divorce Rates ShareStudies on the likelihood of divorce often look at factors on a personal level, such as an individual’s income, education, employment, and maturity at the time of marriage. A recent study from the University of California at Irvine instead looked at how society as a whole affects the likelihood of divorce. The researchers collected divorce data from 84 countries from 1970 to 2008. They did not include the U.S. in the study because they considered its statistics to be an outlier, but the findings of the study can still be applied to the U.S.

The global divorce rate more than doubled during the study period, increasing from 2.6 divorces per 1,000 marriages to 5.5 divorces per 1,000 marriages. Countries in Northern and Western Europe generally had the highest divorce rates, while divorce rates were lowest in Southern Europe, Latin America, and Eastern Asia. Divorce rates greatly varied amongst countries in regions such as Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Some countries bucked their regional trends, such as Cuba having a high divorce rate and Ireland having a low divorce rate. Researchers found five common characteristics in many of the countries with high divorce rates:

  1. High Economic Development: Countries with higher gross national incomes also had higher divorce rates. People with higher incomes may feel more secure in leaving their spouses and financially supporting themselves. They may also be less worried about the expense of divorce.
  2. High Education: High levels of education often go along with economic development. The study measured education levels by the number of people who received secondary education, such as college. A more-educated person may be more capable of obtaining a well-paying job.
  3. Female Independence: Countries with higher divorce rates tended to have more women who were members of the workforce. Unemployment can be an obstacle for a woman considering divorce because she is dependent upon her husband. Working women may have more confidence in themselves.
  4. International Organizations: Membership in international organizations and treaties corresponded with higher divorce rates. The researchers believe that being part of these groups encourages countries to accept modern principles on individual rights, such as the right to divorce.
  5. Fewer Catholics: The Catholic Church does not recognize divorce, though this does not prevent some Catholics from divorcing. However, a country with a predominantly Catholic population, such as Italy or Ireland, may be more likely to adhere to the rules of the church.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

The U.S. shares all of the qualities that are associated with higher global divorce rates. As a nation, we are accepting of divorce and give individuals the confidence that they can support themselves after divorce. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can help you after your decision to divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800. 


Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

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