Divorce Rates in Illinois

Statistically, divorce rates continue to drop in the United States, hovering near the 45% mark in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But these statistics aren’t consistent throughout the country, and divorce rates can vary greatly from state to state. 

Divorce rates and statistics in Illinois

Despite being the sixth-largest state in the union by population, Illinois has the second-lowest rate of divorce of all states in the country, coming in at only slightly higher than Massachusetts (2021 data,) according to the World Population Review.

While it’s difficult to single out the specific reasons why fewer marriages end in Illinois, there are some possible reasons:

  • Safety: Statistics suggest there is a correlation between unsafe environments and divorce. While there are safety issues in Illinois’ larger metropolitan areas, most of the state is suburban and rural.
  • Income: There is also an established correlation between lower incomes and divorce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Illinois is $72,563, slightly above the national median.
  • Education: In Illinois, 89.9% of the population has graduated from high school and has some form of post-secondary education. Further, 36.2% of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. 
  • Marrying later: Couples are generally waiting longer to get married. The average age of first marriage in Illinois is 27.1 years, an age group slightly older than most other states. 
  • Cohabitation: As a general trend, especially for younger couples, cohabitation has increased as divorce trends downward.
  • Conservatism: Statistics suggest that states with larger populations of religious conservatives also have higher divorce rates

Counties with highest divorce rates in Illinois

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (2017 data), the highest divorce rates in Illinois are in the following five counties:

  • Cook County
  • DuPage County 
  • Lake County 
  • Will County
  • Kane County

It should be no surprise that Cook County topped the rankings of the highest divorce rates in Illinois, as it is home to Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city in the United States.

Counties with lowest divorce rates in Illinois

According to the same data source, the following counties report the lowest number of divorces in Illinois:

  • Alexander County
  • Scott County
  • Pope County
  • Mercer County
  • Stark County

For the most part, these figures represent counties with the highest and lowest reported populations, both spectrums of urban/suburban and rural demographics, and the highest and lowest range of socioeconomic advantages in Illinois.

What factors lead to divorce?

In Illinois and around the country, married couples seek divorce for many reasons. This study found that the following factors may increase a couple’s risk of divorce.

  • A lack of communication
  • Infidelity
  • Conflict and arguing
  • Marrying too young
  • Financial issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Health issues
  • Lack of family support
  • Religious differences
  • Lack of premarital education

The state of Illinois is considered a no-fault divorce state. The only grounds required to seek a divorce are irreconcilable differences, meaning that divorcing spouses do not need to prove fault to be granted a divorce in Illinois. 

If you are considering a divorce in Illinois, it’s important to understand state laws and your legal options. At Hello Divorce, we offer affordable flat-rate online divorce plans and professional services to help you through this time. Get more information by scheduling a free 15-minute phone call with one of our account coordinators.

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