New York State Divorce Statistics

New York State Divorce Statistics

Where are you most likely to get divorced in New York? What is New York’s Cruelest County? NYS Divorce Statistics Tell the Tale.

If you’re worried about the potential of divorce in your future, you may want to think twice about living in New York County (Manhattan). There were over eight divorces (8.07) for every thousand people (based on 2012 population estimates) in the county in 2012, the most current year for which the New York State Department of Health has statistics. That’s the highest rate in the state by far (Jefferson County in northern New York is second at 5.16). And that’s quite a bit higher incidence of divorce than in New York City all together (3.28) or statewide (2.99). Hamilton County in the Adirondacks is lowest at 1.05.

But Manhattanites, don’t despair! If you’re looking for a long term commitment, you might want to stay in the City after all. There were also 20.8 marriages per 1000 residents of New York County in 2012, also well over the NYC rate of 8.9 and state rate of 6.9. That’s also the highest rate in the state, well ahead of western Schuyler County’s 14.4. If you don’t want to get married, move to Putnam County in the Hudson Valley, where the rate is 3.7.

Now you might be thinking, “OK, highest marriage rate with the highest divorce rate equals trouble down the road” in Manhattan. But it’s not nearly so bad in Manhattan as it is in Wayne County near Rochester. In Wayne County in 2012 there were about 0.77 divorces for every marriage. In New York County, there were only 0.39 divorces for every marriage. Sparsely populated Hamilton County may be the county of commitment: only 0.10 divorce for every marriage in 2012.

A high divorce-to-marriage ratio is only one way to define potentially bad news. In Niagara County near Buffalo, cruelty was cited as the grounds for divorce in twenty-four percent (24%) of all divorces in 2012! New York City’s “cruelty rate” of only 1.4% of all divorces in 2012 compares quite favorably (throughout the state, cruelty was cited as grounds in only 4.1% of divorces). In the age of no-fault divorce, citing cruelty as grounds for divorce suggests some, well, not so great things happening between spouses in Niagara County. (And you guessed it; not a single use of “cruelty” as grounds in Hamilton County.)

Of course we are being completely tongue-in-cheek. While the statistics are accurate, there are many important reasons to get married or divorced. Even in Hamilton County.

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    Image Source: Preus museum in Flickr Commons. Photo by Meyer, Elisabeth (En eldre mann peker på menyen. Alaska 1950 tallet)

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