But what’s behind these numbers? In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at Florida’s divorce rate, including county, city, and demographic statistics on divorce and marriage trends in the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the most reliable statistics on marriage and divorce in America. According to the CDC, the overall divorce rate is around 2.5 divorces per 1,000 people. This translates to a divorce rate of about 40-50%.
The peak divorce rates in the U.S. occurred between 1979-1981 when they reached almost 23 divorces per 1,000 married women. Since then, the divorce rate has been steadily declining. Some reasons for the overall drop in divorce include:
- People delay marriage until they are older and more mature
- Increased awareness of the impact and challenges caused by divorce
- More couples seeking counseling or therapy before deciding on divorce
- Fewer couples getting married overall
While the divorce rate has declined in recent decades, divorces are still commonplace. Around 828,000 divorces took place in the U.S. in 2019 alone.
The divorce rate in Florida has hovered around 13% over the past decade. In 2011, it was 12.9%, and in 2015, it reached 13.2% per 1,000 residents.
Here are some other key facts about divorce in Florida:
- The divorce rate has remained steady at 13% on average since 2014.
- Men’s divorce rate is lower at 10.7% compared to women’s at 14.3%.
- Among ethnic groups, Whites and American Indians have the highest divorce rates. Asians and Native Hawaiians have the lowest.
- Mainline Protestants (19%) and Historically Black Protestants (22%) have higher divorce rates than other religious groups.
- 30-40% of divorced families in Florida have minor children.
The divorce rate in Florida has not changed significantly since 2014, fluctuating between 12.5% and 13.2%:
There is also a gap between men’s and women’s divorce rates each year. Men consistently have fewer divorces than women:
|Year||Men’s Divorce Rate||Women’s Divorce Rate|
Florida only allows two grounds for divorce: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and mental incapacity. However, statistics show the most common actual causes are:
- Adultery – Estimates suggest 20-25% of married couples deal with infidelity.
- Lack of commitment – Partners may grow apart over time and no longer wish to remain married.
- Finances – Money issues like debt, unemployment, or disagreements over spending can strain marriages.
- Substance abuse – Drug and alcohol addiction often damages relationships.
- Physical/emotional abuse – An abusive spouse can make it impossible to sustain the marriage.
Women initiate approximately 69% of divorces in Florida. There are several reasons behind this:
- Women tend to have higher emotional intelligence and are more likely to recognize relationship problems.
- Women often feel overwhelmed by household and childcare responsibilities on top of full-time work. This makes the prospect of a single life more enticing.
- Women may feel unsupported in the marriage or perceive that men benefit more from the union.
Divorce rates range substantially between Florida’s 67 counties. Here are the percentages for some of the most populated counties:
- Miami-Dade County: 12.8%
- Broward County: 13.4%
- Palm Beach County: 12.7%
- Hillsborough County: 12.7%
- Orange County: 11.3%
- Duval County: 14.1%
- Pinellas County: 15.0%
- Lee County: 13.0%
- Polk County: 12.4%
- Brevard County: 14%
Highest – Pinellas County has the highest divorce rate at 15.0%. Men’s and women’s rates are 12.8% and 17.1% respectively. The large white population (80%) may impact divorce trends.
Lowest – Alachua County’s divorce rate is much lower than the state median at 9.9%. The lowest rates are among 20-34-year-olds, possibly because this age group marries at half the rate of others.
Here are the divorce rates for some of Florida’s largest cities:
- Jacksonville: 14%
- Miami: 13.5%
- Tampa: 13.5%
- Orlando: 12.8%
- St. Petersburg: 15.3%
- Hialeah: 14.6%
- Cape Coral: 13.3%
- Tallahassee: 10%
- Fort Lauderdale: 15%
Highest – St. Petersburg has the highest rate at 15.3% overall, with 12.8% for men and 17.1% for women.
Lowest – Gainesville’s divorce rate is notably low at 8.7%. The sizable student population likely impacts this figure.
In 2021, 14.5% of divorced men and 32.7% of divorced women in Florida had minor children.
Single-parent households make up 30-40% of families in Florida:
- Alachua County: 33%
- Broward County: 36%
- Hillsborough County: 36%
- Jackson County: 40%
- Orange County: 33%
- Osceola County: 36%
In contrast to the high divorce rate, Florida’s marriage rate is among the lowest nationally at 46.5%. The marriage rate has held steady at around 46% since 2010.
Some key marriage statistics:
- Men’s marriage rate is 48.7% compared to 44.5% for women.
- Asian (60.2%) and Native Hawaiian (51.1%) groups have the highest marriage rates.
- Blacks have the lowest marriage rate at 31.7%.
- Same-sex marriages account for 1.2% of marriages.
- The interracial marriage rate is 19%.
The median age at first marriage in Florida is 30.4 years for men and 28.5 years for women. This is close to national figures.
The average length of a first marriage is 20.4 years in Florida, also in line with the U.S. median of 21 years.
Understanding the divorce statistics and trends in Florida can provide helpful context for family law cases. However, every divorce is unique. If you are facing the end of your marriage in Florida, the skilled divorce lawyers at Vasquez de Lara Law Group in Miami can advise you on the best legal strategies and options for your specific situation.
Our family law attorneys can handle all aspects of your divorce smoothly and cost-effectively. They assist with divorce mediation, filing paperwork, asset division, child custody arrangements, alimony calculations, child support negotiations, and more.