Federal Data: Fewer Couples are Getting Divorced, but Oklahoma’s Divorce Rate Remains High
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its latest data on marriage and divorce in the United States.
According to the CDC, fewer couples filed for divorce in 2017 than in other recent years. This is consistent with a long-term trend: the national divorce rate has declined by approximately eighteen percent in the last decade. Though, the data does show some signs that the decline in the divorce rate is slowing.
For Oklahoma, the news is not quite so good.
The divorce rate is still far above the national average. In 2017, there were 4.1 divorces per 1,000 people in Oklahoma. To put that number into the proper perspective; the state’s divorce rate is more than 30 percent higher than the national average. Oklahoma has the second highest rate of divorce of any state in the nation. Only Nevada — which, of course, includes the city of Las Vegas, an outlier — has a higher incidence of divorce statewide.
Why are divorces more common in Oklahoma?
There is no easy answer to this question. Researchers propose multiple theories. Some experts have pointed to the fact that couples in Oklahoma get married somewhat younger than they do in most other states. The average age that people get married at in Oklahoma is approximately 26 — only four states have a younger average age of marriage.
Oklahoma’s relatively high rate of divorce is of concern to public health officials.
There is an correlation between divorce and adverse outcomes; at least in the short-term. As explained by the Oklahoma City divorce attorneys at Brown & Gould, PLLC, “While getting a divorce is the right decision for some couples, going through one is always challenging. Beyond the strong emotional impact that a separation can have on the entire family, there are a number of complex legal and logistical issues need resolved. Divorcing couples must be able to find security and achieve stability.”
There is some good news for Oklahoma:
The state’s divorce rate has been falling dramatically in recent decades. Despite still having one of the highest divorce rates in the nation, divorce is down by more than than 50 percent since 1990. In fact, the divorce rate in Oklahoma is dropping faster than it is many other states, suggesting that Oklahoma may not be one of the leaders in divorce for much longer.