Countries With the Highest Divorce Rates
You may be surprised at which countries dominate when it comes to divorce.
In the United States, it's commonly touted that half of all marriages end in divorce. And there's truth to that maxim; estimates for 2012 predict that the probability of a marriage eventually ending in divorce is between 40 percent and 50 percent.
While westernized countries are typically associated with higher divorce rates, you actually have to travel east to find the countries that dominate when it comes to divorce.
In the most recent version of the United Nations Demographic Yearbook, it's revealed that Russia has the highest divorce rate, with five divorces for every 1,000 people. The UN reported that Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova are the top four countries where divorce is most common. Divorce is also high on the Cayman Islands, where 3.4 divorces for every 1,000 people. Some statistics also show that Aruba tops the list, with a divorce rate of 4.99, though that figure is from 2004. Still, it is a somewhat surprisingly high number.
Tied with the Cayman Islands, the United States also ranks fifth on the UN's list of countries with the highest divorce rates. Bermuda, Cuba, Lithuania and the Czech Republic rounded out the list.
(Please note: "of every 1,000" refers to the general population, not the married population. As explained by the United Nations Populations Division: "The crude divorce rate is the annual number of divorces per 1,000 population.")
In the United Kingdom, divorce rates have increased by 5 percent in recent years, with some experts blaming the recession. In 2011, a study from the Centre for Social Justice found that 48 percent of children in the UK were likely to see their parents split by the age of 16.
Over the past few decades, divorce has become increasingly common, as the stigma surrounding it has been shed. The Heart Beat talked to marriage counselor and psychotherapist, Mel Schwartz, who has written extensively on the topic of divorce.
While past trends show that a declining economy has predicted an increase in divorce rate, (as was speculated in the U.K.), Schwartz says that in our current economy, it may actually be the opposite.
"The current economic conditions may force many people to remain unhappily married due to financial constraints," he tells us.
Related video: 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship
In a piece for Psychology Today, Schwartz wrote about the "Wrong Reasons for Staying Married." He argued that fear often keeps people trapped in unhappy marriages. That being said, Schwartz is not advocating divorce unless it becomes completely necessary, he says.
"Divorce should not be considered unless each person can say they have individually done all they can reasonably do," Schwartz explains. He added that couples must ask: "Have they looked into themselves, have they worked on communications skills, have they engaged in therapy."
What do you think? Are you surprised by the global divorce rates?
Photo: Image Source/Getty Images
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6.8/year.....over 50 years, 340 people out of 1000 will be divorced. When you factor in that of those who don't get divorced, many never married, this sounds about right.
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