Divorce Statistics by Religion

Divorce and religion

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as of 2016, approximately 6.9 of every 1,000 people in the United States end in divorce. How these rates stack up against religious preferences might surprise you.

Christian Divorce Rates

One of the largest religious affiliations in the US is the Christian religion. However, under this general header are several denominations.

Catholic

According to research by the Pew Research Center, Catholics had one of the lowest incidences of divorce, with 19 percent having been divorced out of 4,752 interviewed. The Gospel Coalition noted there is a somewhat significant difference between those who are actively practicing Catholics and those who consider themselves nominally Catholic. The coalition found nominal Catholics are 5 percent less likely to divorce than non-religious persons, while Catholics who are actively practicing in their parishes are 31 percent less likely to get divorced than non-religious persons.

Protestant

The Pew Research Center found Protestant individuals (anyone who identified themselves as non-Catholic, but Christian) had a divorce rate of approximately 51 percent out of a sampling of 4,752 individuals. However, these were broken down by Evangelical Protestant, Mainline Protestant, and Historically Black Protestant. The highest number of divorces among this group were the Evangelical Protestants at 28 percent. The Historically Black Protestants had a divorce rate of only 9 percent according to the study.

Mormon

Mormons had a divorce rate of about 1 percent. Many studies attribute the low divorce rate among this group to the strong emphasis on families and a powerful religious affiliation.

Jehovah's Witness

According to the Pew Research Study, in a sampling of 244 Jehovah's Witnesses, 9 percent of them were divorced. However, this number was slightly smaller among this 2016 study showing 6 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses as being divorced.

Orthodox Christian

The Orthodox Christian divorce rate was less than 1 percent for all religions, including Orthodox Church in America. However, another study done by the Pew Research Center with a sampling size of 182 noted that there was a 9 percent divorce rate for this group.

Born Again Christians

The last actual research done on this group was by the Barna group in 2008. It showed the divorce rate for those born again was 33 percent. However, it should also be noted this group had the highest marriage rates at 84 percent.

Muslim Divorce Rate

The most comprehensive study on divorce among Muslims was conducted in the 1990s by Dr. Ilyas Ba-Yunas, a professor of sociology at the State University of New York. According to his research, the divorce rate among American Muslims was slightly more than 31 percent. Top reasons for divorce among Muslims, cited by a later Sound Vision survey, include pressures and issues with in-laws, adultery and harem sex, and incompatibility. However, in 2018, the Pew Research Center listed Muslims having an 8 percent separated or divorced rate out of a sampling of 234.

Jewish Divorce Rates

The most recent available study on divorce statistics among those of Jewish faith states approximately 9 percent of those surveyed have been divorced or separated. A 2017 article in The Jerusalem Post reports the divorce rate among members of the Orthodox Jewish faith is on the rise. The reasons for this include changes in society's values, the desire for instant gratification, and a disconnected world.

Hinduism Divorce Rates

Hindu had a divorce rate of less than 1 percent among a 4,752 people of all religions. Of a sampling of just 198 Hindu, about 5 percent of those were divorced. The Census in 2011 in India showed an overall divorce rate of 2 out of 1,000. However, the rate of divorce for this faith in India is lower than it is in the US.

Buddhism Divorce Rates

Pew Research Center showed that 10 percent of the sampled Buddhists in America were divorced. Based on 2011 Census data of India, about 4.8 in 1,000 Buddhists were divorced. This was much higher than both the Hindu and Muslim communities at this time in India.

Sikhism Divorce Rates

In India, the reported rate of divorce for Sikh women was 6.3 per 1,000, according to a 2011 Census. It was noted by BBC News, however, that the divorce rate among Indian religions is climbing. This is a trend that is seen due to concentration more on careers and cultural clashes.

Wicca/Pagan Divorce Rates

Finding divorce rates among new age religions like Wicca/Pagan religions can be hard. It was listed by the Pew Research that in these religions the divorce rate was less than 1 percent of their sampling. However, this information can be skewed given the number of Wicca/Pagan participants.

Atheist Divorce Rates

Atheists have some of the lowest divorce rates listed at 2 percent. However, it should be noted that the marriage rate among this group is also smaller. This was noted in a 2012 study that only about 36 percent of atheists were married compared to 54 percent of Christians.

Religion and Divorce Rates

The reasons for divorce for members of different religions vary. There appears to be a connection between strong adherence and practice of a traditional religious faith and a lower divorce rate.

Was this page useful?
Divorce Statistics by Religion