Dominic Nguyen

Dominic is one of Sydney's leading property lawyers with over 10 years experience in this area of law. Dominic has outstanding knowledge and extensive experience in family law, conveyancing, buying…
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Divorce is becoming more and more common in this day and age. It’s not unusual to see headlines of our favourite celebrity couples throwing in the towel on their marriage and divorce stories on our social media feeds, news networks, and television.

We’ve taken a closer look at the divorce rate by country across the globe and it appears that overall, marriage is becoming less popular, yet divorce and separation appears to be on the rise, see below.

Divorce Rate by Country infographic cartoon

After taking a closer look at the divorce rate of countries across the globe, marriage is becoming less and less popular. On the contrary, divorce continues to rise each year. So, what’s causing wedded couples to give up on their marriage?

Every year, world organizations such as the UN record global divorce rates. According to the data, the marriage and divorce statistics are changing significantly due to several reasons. The most common reasons for divorce include:

  • Lack of commitment
  • Excessive arguing
  • Infidelity
  • Marrying too young

These reasons above can take a toll on a marriage, and this doesn’t include the other factors that cause couples to give up and end their lifelong covenant.

The Most Divorced Countries in The World

Throughout the years, marriage rates have grown unstable and are dropping each year. This does not include the figures of marriages that ended through legal separations. Below, we’ve listed countries that have the most divorces per 1,000 people.

Russia: 4.7 Divorces per 1,000 People

Russia is made up of 145,912,025 people, making it a large country with a booming population. Although Russia may seem like a thriving country, poverty is considered high in the nation. According to Statista, one-third of Russians get divorces because of having no or not enough money. The second popular reason is the lack of mutual understanding between spouses.

There are two types of divorces in Russia: judicial and administrative. According to the law, you don’t need to be legally separated to apply for divorce. Unlike most countries, the Russian divorce process is cheaper, and divorcees are allowed to handle specific issues such as division of property, finances, and child custody arrangements separately from divorce proceedings.

Guam: 4.2 Divorces per 1,000 People

Surprisingly, Guam is also one of the countries with the most divorces. Due to its alarming divorce rate, catholic churches have decided to step up their efforts to help keep marriages together.

In Guam, you can file for a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. A no-fault divorce is usually due to irreconcilable differences and doesn’t mention that your spouse is responsible for the dissolution of the marriage. A fault-based divorce is when your spouse is responsible for the end of a marriage. This is usually due to a variety of factors such as:

  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Inability to provide for the household

Moldova: 3.7 Divorces per 1,000 People

Throughout the years, Moldova’s divorce rate has risen significantly. Although it did decrease in 1999-2018, it began to rise again in 2019 and after. According to statistics, the number of children born has reduced, and couples forming families are declining. The divorce rate in the country is also 50% of all marriages.

Data also shows that fewer couples have chosen to get married, and more choose to get divorced instead. The Registry Office data showed that more than 10,000 couples divorced and 22,000 couples married in 2016, with the shortest marriage lasting only one day.

Belarus: 3.4 Divorces per 1,000 People

Belarus has been dubbed the land of broken marriages due to its high divorce rate, with money issues as one of the main culprits. The unstable economy has affected the marital choices of Belarusians.

However, we shouldn’t blame it entirely on money problems. Many Belarusians, especially women, have opted to marry foreigners outside of the country, explaining why marriage in Belarus has declined dramatically.

Latvia: 3.1 Divorces per 1,000 People

According to statistics, the number of divorces is relatively high in Latvia, with more couples choosing not to have children, and the share of single-parent families has risen.

The reason for the country’s high divorce rate is unexplainable. However, it may be due to instabilities in marriages and Latvians choosing to marry at an older age. Getting married at 18 used to be the norm, but today, Latvians prefer to marry close to 30.

The Least Divorced Countries in The World

Now that we’ve covered some of the most divorced countries let’s check out the least divorced locations in the world.

Guatemala: 0.4 Divorces per 1,000 People

Guatemala has the lowest divorce rate out of all the countries globally, boasting only 0.3 divorces for every 1,000 population. The law in Guatemala allows marriages for girls of 14 and boys of 16-18 years old. Despite the young ages Guatemalans get married at, forced marriage is illegal.

Qatar: 0.4 Divorces per 1,000 People

Over the last decade, the divorce rate in Qatar has increased by 70%. Despite the sharp increase, The Qatari divorce rate is still one of the lowest globally, with only 0.4 divorces per 1,000 people. Getting a divorce in Qatar requires many decisions and can differ based on your religion.

Peru: 0.5 Divorces per 1,000 People

can be due to a variety of factors such as religion and family values. In Latin America, family unity is highly valued. Couples are taught to avoid divorce and remain together despite their hardships.

Ireland: 0.6 Divorces per 1,000 People

Compared to the rest of Europe and the world, Ireland’s divorce rate is considered remarkably low, with only 0.6 divorces per 1,000 people. Despite being a predominantly Roman Catholic country, the divorce rate among Catholics was 4.1%. This is deemed high compared to other Catholic European countries such as the UK, Poland, and Spain, with divorce rates of 1.9%, 1.8%, and 2.1%.

Malta: 0.8 Divorces per 1,000 People

Malta has the lowest divorce rate in the EU, with only 0.8 divorces per 1,000 people. The low divorce rate in Malta can also be due to the restrictive criteria for obtaining divorces. According to the law in Malta, spouses have to live apart for at least four years since the date of their legal separation to be eligible for divorce. Couples must also convince the court that reconciliation isn’t possible, making divorce less accessible.

Divorce Is Still a Pressing Issue Worldwide

There’s no denying that divorce is still a very prominent issue in this day and age. As the years go by, divorce rates continue to rise, especially in well-developed countries like Russia and Latvia.

With marriage rates plummeting, most governments are aware of the issue and are actively working to improve marriage rates, so divorce isn’t the first option when couples have a hard time with their marriage.

If you’re in Sydney, Melbourne or anywhere in Australia for that matter and you are going through a separation or divorce, you can always count on us for all your family law needs.

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