Divorce Rates in Texas
- Divorce rate statistics in Texas
- Factors that increase the chance of divorce
- Texas counties with the highest divorce rates
- Texas counties with the lowest divorce rates
What percentage of Texas marriages end in divorce? According to researchers, the divorce rate in Texas was 1.5% in 2020.
Every year, the divorce rate seems to drop across the country. Part of this is associated with the age at which people are getting married. More people are waiting until their middle to late-20s to get married, increasing the likelihood that they pick partners who match their interests as adults.
And some people live with their prospective partners first, using this trial period to determine if they can live together happily. It’s likely that some couples decide they aren’t a good match after living together, so they never make it to the marriage phase.
But the place you live in Texas also seems to impact the likelihood of divorce. In some counties, you could face more difficulties that could end your marriage more quickly.
Divorce rate statistics in Texas
In 1990, the Texas divorce rate was 5.5%. The 2020 rate of 1.5% represents a dramatic drop, implying more people are in happy marriages that will last.
The divorce rate throughout the United States is 2.3%. Texas has a much lower rate, suggesting that the Lone Star State is supportive of long-term marriages.
On average, women in Texas are 25.3 years old when they get married for the first time. That's about a year younger than the national average.
The percentage of divorced people in Texas peaks at ages 55 to 59 for both men and women. If your marriage lasts until you're 60 years old, you're likely to stay married.
Longview has the highest percentage of divorced people in Texas at 17%. Some counties have higher overall percentages (more on this later), but this city has the highest divorce rate of all Texas cities.
What factors increase the chance of divorce in Texas?
No one can predict whether a particular marriage will last. But researchers and demographers have some ideas about what separates successful unions from those that fail.
Your risk of a Texas divorce could be higher due to the following factors:
- Race: Rates of divorce are higher in certain racial groups, and this may be due to different stressors that are more present or how their culture tends to view divorce. For example, more than 60% of divorced people in Texas are Black.
- Age: Older couples are less likely to get divorced. If you stay married in Texas until you’re retired, you’re likely to stay married indefinitely.
- Religion: Experts say affiliation with some religious traditions is associated with a higher divorce rate. People in these traditions tend to get married younger, which could influence their likelihood of divorce.
What Texas counties have the highest divorce rates?
Texas officials keep track of all marriages and divorces and publish data for researchers and journalists. Parsing that data, we've found five Texas counties with higher-than-average divorce rates.
Those counties include the following.
Loving County is the least populous county in the United States, with just a few residents. Some journalists call this the
loneliest place on Earth," where your partner is the only person you might see on an average day. It's easy for small arguments to become big problems in a place like this, which could indicate why the divorce rate is so high.
Kenedy County is another sparsely populated corner of Texas. It's the fourth-least populous county in the United States, with residents measured in the hundreds. Again, couples might rely too heavily on one another when they call these counties home, and their marriages might fail.
Sabine County sits on the border of Texas and Louisiana. Originally dotted with cotton plantations tended by slave populations, it's now known for rich natural resources like clay, oil, and gas. After a long day of brutal work, some people in Sabine have little energy left to nourish their marriages, which could be responsible for the high divorce rate.
In the early 1980s, people in Real County were deeply involved with ranching. Nearly every home was surrounded by fields that nourished sheep, cattle, and goats. But droughts in Texas have made ranching life difficult, and income levels in this county have fallen. Poor economic circumstances could increase family stress and push some people to divorce.
With its rolling prairies and flowing rivers, Hardeman County is a picturesque part of Texas. But growing crops here is difficult. Farmers have struggled with maintaining crops since the 1800s, and that uncertainty can strain even happy marriages. When families face economic uncertainties, divorces may follow.
What Texas counties have the lowest divorce rates?
While some Texas locations seem closely associated with divorce, others tend to have higher rates of happy marriages and long unions. In parsing available data, these spots in Texas stand out for their low divorce rates.
More than 1,000 people call Glasscock County home. Most people in this county raise grains, wheat, beef, and sheep. Unlike some other Texas counties, Glasscock is heavily irrigated, making crops slightly more reliable. A lack of crop failures and less financial instability could mean fewer divorces.
McMullen County is sometimes called the richest county in the United States. It's a tiny spot, but many wealthy people call this county home. While money can't guarantee a happy marriage, wealth can alleviate stress, as it could keep people from fighting over expenses and finances. A lack of disagreement could help couples to stay together longer.
Tomatoes put Yoakum County on the map in the 1920s, and packing plants popped up almost everywhere. Manufacturing jobs are still plentiful in the county, ensuring that most residents can find and keep jobs. This stability could ensure marriages last longer too since couples are less likely to deal with the stress of unemployment and financial hardship.
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ReferencesDivorce Rate in Texas from 1990 to 2020. (February 2022). Statista.
Median Age at First Marriage (Women). (January 2021). Population Reference Bureau.
Marital Status in Texas. Statistical Atlas.
Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates. (January 2014). Council on Contemporary Families.
Not-So-Loving County. (October 1997). Texas Monthly.
Richest County in U.S. Is 5 Counties Away, but You Probably Can't Name It. (May 2017). Austin American Statesman.