Major US Cities and Their Probability to Higher Marriage Success

  • AAMFT’s
  • US Census 2020
  • WalletHub

Many couples move to different cities after marriage, whether for more affordable housing, better job prospects, or a suitable environment for starting a family. What are the chances that moving to a new city will contribute to the success of your marriage?

We looked into the marital rates of the 20 most populated cities in the United States to see which ones have the lowest and highest divorce rates. With the help of reliable information sources, we analyzed which cities have the highest rate of marriage success.

Does the environment play a role in the likelihood of a marriage ending in divorce? Not exactly, but the information we will present might interest you to look into what the cities with the lowest divorce rates have that make marriages in their areas last longer.

Without further ado, here is the list of the 20 most populated cities in the United States and where they stand in different key dimensions.

20 Major Cities: Marriage & Divorce Rates

Population City Marriage Rate Divorce Rate
902,073 Columbus 10.86% 3.52%
1,343,565 Dallas 18.54% 5.38%
1,021,786 San Jose 32.98% 5.68%
3,979,537 Los Angeles 29.24% 6.16%
885,707 Charlotte 24.27% 6.22%
8,336,817 New York 33.43% 6.48%
913,656 Fort Worth 28.66% 6.70%
881,549 San Francisco 34.20% 7.04%
705,749 Washington 24.64% 7.19%
1,423,852 San Diego 32.18% 7.25%
1,584,064 Philadelphia 25.28% 7.39%
2,693,959 Chicago 33.48% 7.66%
2,316,797 Houston 36.47% 7.68%
1,680,988 Phoenix 27.08% 8.68%
870,340 Indianapolis 27.90% 8.80%
753,655 Seattle 35.43% 8.83%
1,547,250 San Antonio 30.82% 9.15%
979,263 Austin 40.00% 9.62%
727,211 Denver 34.32% 11.08%
911,528 Jacksonville 35.89% 11.93%
The methods applied to get these data can be found here.

Do happier cities predict lower rates of divorce?

The correlation between divorce rate and Happiness Index (as determined by a WalletHub study) is only -0.06. This shows that there is an extremely minor correlation between the overall happiness of a city and the rate of divorce.

City Divorce Rate Happiest Cities in America (WalletHub)
New York 6.48% 50.91
Los Angeles 6.16% 53.99
Chicago 7.66% 55.65
Houston 7.68% 50.83
Phoenix 8.68% 50.13
Philadelphia 7.39% 45.8
San Antonio 9.15% 48.61
San Diego 7.25% 64.17
Dallas 5.38% 53.3
San Jose 5.68% 69.47
Austin 9.62% 64.13
Fort Worth 6.70% 55.76
Jacksonville 11.93% 52.41
Columbus 3.52% 52.48
Charlotte 6.22% 57.79
San Francisco 7.04% 67.11
Indianapolis 8.80% 49.14
Seattle 8.83% 64.74
Denver 11.08% 58.32
Washington 7.19% 59.59
The methods applied to get these data can be found here.

Does the number of relationship therapists lower the chances of divorce?

We looked at the number of relationship therapists for each city to see if the number of relationship therapists has any impact on the rate of divorce. Interestingly enough, the correlation between these 2 factors is -0.07, meaning there is only an extremely minor correlation between the number of relationship therapists and the rate of divorce.

City Divorce Rate Number of Family/Marriage Therapists per 10,000 Married & Divorced Capita
New York 6.48% 34
Los Angeles 6.16% 11
Chicago 7.66% 15
Houston 7.68% 12
Phoenix 8.68% 4
Philadelphia 7.39% 32
San Antonio 9.15% 6
San Diego 7.25% 24
Dallas 5.38% 34
San Jose 5.68% 4
Austin 9.62% 14
Fort Worth 6.70% 9
Jacksonville 11.93% 2
Columbus 3.52% 18
Charlotte 6.22% 42
San Francisco 7.04% 16
Indianapolis 8.80% 11
Seattle 8.83% 55
Denver 11.08% 47
Washington 7.19% 127
The methods applied to get these data can be found here.

Interesting Stats on Marital Status of 2019

8.93%

population of divorced couples across the United States

29M

approximate number of divorced couples

  • More men married in 2019 with 50.37%, while the number of women who married came close with 49.63%.
  • The average age of men last married in 2019 was 35, while women married at 33.
  • More marriages were occurring within the 26 to 30 age group in both men and women in 2019. It was observed that this age group was more likely to settle down with their love partner, starting at age 26.
  • An estimated 57.09% of women got divorced in 2019 compared to 42.91% of men.
  • Meanwhile, men and women ages 70 and older had the highest divorce rate in 2019 across all age groups with 14.87%.
  • Thousands of couples between ages 15 to 25 got divorced in the early stage of marriage that year.
  • In 2019, the average age men would get a divorce was 55 and women at 56.
  • Based on the US Census 2019 divorce population (over 29 million), the divorced population increases by 14 in every 15 seconds. This amounts to approximately 56 divorces per minute, 3,380 divorces per hour, 81,109 divorces per day, 567,766 divorces per week, and 2,441,395 in a month.

Divorce Rate per City's Married Population of 2019

Divorce Rate per City's Married Population of 2019

Age & Gender: Last Divorced in the United States

Age & Gender: Last Divorced in 2019 for the Whole Unites StatesData used in the chart above is from the US Census Bureau's record of divorces from 2019.

Marriage Rate per City's Population

Marriage Rate per City's Population

Age & Gender: Last Married in the United States

Age & Gender: Last Married in 2019 for the Whole United StatesData used in the chart above is from the US Census Bureau's record of marriages from 2019.

Methodology

In order to better understand which cities have the highest chances of a happier ending, our data scientists determined the most populated cities in the United States according to US Census Bureau then made a comparison among these cities across four important dimensions:

  1. Marriage Rate
  2. Divorce Rate
  3. WalletHub’s Happiest Cities in America
  4. Presence of Marriage/Family Therapists

The marital population of each city was pulled using the US Census ACS 1-Year Estimates PUMS (Public Use Microdata Sample).

For the marriage, & divorce rate, the number of each city’s marriages & divorces was divided by each city’s total population. These figures were then converted into percentages.

The happiness score came from a WalletHub analysis which determined how happy the people are in each major city. Their analysis involves looking into 30+ metrics and uses a 100-point system for ranking. This study was based on the following factors.

  1. Emotional & Physical Well-Being
  2. Income & Employment
  3. Community & Environment

Our data scientists also compared the prominence of marriage/family therapists to the relationship success of the cities. This was accomplished by collecting all the zip codes belonging to those 20 cities and pulling the number of therapists with the help of AAMFT’s (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy) Therapist Locator.

The sum of married & divorced cases per city was then compared with the number of therapists per city’s 10,000 population.

These key factors and data sources were inspired by the following resources, which provided great insights on how to best gather data to uncover relationship success.

  • Divorce Conflict Strains Mental and Physical Health, Study Shows (Cayla Keiser, 2020)
  • 5 Ways Marriage Counseling Can Save A Troubled Marriage (April Eldemire, 2019)
  • Marriage and Happiness (Linda & Charlie Bloom, 2018)
  • This One Thing in Your Marriage Increases the Risk of Divorce by 33% (Fottrell, 2019)

City Facts Infographic

City Facts Infographic