An In-depth Analysis of the Top 10 Countries with the Highest Divorce Rates

June 29, 2023 | 


Joanna Newman



Divorce is a social issue that has significantly impacted the global community. It is not just the dissolution of a marriage contract but a complex occurrence with far-reaching impacts on the individuals involved, their families, and society at large. This article delves into an examination of the top ten countries with the highest divorce rates, providing a percentage of each and exploring the possible reasons behind these startling numbers. It’s not the cheeriest topic, but sometimes we have to face the facts and take a closer look at things we’d rather not.

1. Russia

Topping our list is Russia, with a divorce rate of approximately 60%. The high divorce rate in Russia is attributed to factors such as poverty, alcoholism, and the cultural acceptance of divorce. The economic struggles faced by families increase the pressure on marriages, contributing significantly to breakups. With drinking being a rampant social issue, it also acts as a catalyst for marital disputes leading to divorce.

2. Belarus

Second on the list is Belarus with a divorce rate of 56%. Economic hardships, alcoholism, and a shift in societal norms contribute to this elevated divorce rate. The increasing trend of cohabitation over marriage also plays a role, as it leaves relationships less stable and more susceptible to breakups.

3. United States

The United States follows closely with a divorce rate of 53%. Many factors contribute to the high divorce rate, including changes in societal norms that have reduced the stigma associated with divorce, lack of premarital counseling, and financial disagreements. The US also boasts a high rate of remarriages, which are statistically more likely to end in divorce than first marriages.

4. Latvia

With a divorce rate of 52%, Latvia takes the fourth spot. Issues such as economic instability, low wages, and high unemployment rates create a stressful environment that affects family life, leading to a high divorce rate. The transition from Soviet societal norms also factors in, as individual freedom and independence are now more highly valued.

5. Lithuania

In fifth place, Lithuania has a divorce rate of approximately 51%. Much like its Baltic neighbor, Latvia, economic struggles and changing societal norms contribute to the high divorce rate. The country´s ongoing transition from a Soviet-era mentality and increasing emphasis on individualism over familial cohesion further stress marriages.

6. Hungary

Hungary has a divorce rate of around 50%. Factors contributing to the high divorce rate include the changing societal attitudes towards marriage and divorce, economic pressures, and a lack of supportive services for struggling families. The trend towards urbanization and the accompanying shift in lifestyles have also led to increased marital instability.

7. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has a divorce rate of 47%. Increased financial independence, especially among women, coupled with changes in societal attitudes towards divorce, are the primary contributors to the high rate. An increase in the acceptance and practice of cohabitation also contributes to relationship instability.

8. Belgium

Belgium reports a divorce rate of 44%. The reasons include changes in societal norms that have made divorce more acceptable, financial pressures and the rise in cohabitation. Belgium´s law also provides for a relatively easy and quick divorce process, which contributes to the high divorce rate.

9. Finland

Finland has a divorce rate of 43%. Common reasons include economic pressures, changes in societal attitudes, and an increase in mental health issues. Additionally, the growth of women´s financial independence and societal acceptance of divorce contribute to Finland´s high divorce rate.

10. Sweden

Rounding out our top ten, is Sweden, with a divorce rate of 40%. Swedish society´s liberal attitudes towards divorce, coupled with high levels of gender equality that foster financial independence, contribute to the high divorce rate. The country´s generous welfare system also lessens the economic impact of divorce, making the option more viable for many couples.


While divorce rates are just one measure of societal health and stability, they are indicative of underlying pressures and societal trends. Economic hardship, alcoholism, changing societal norms, and the rise of individualism appear as common threads in the fabric of these countries with high divorce rates. However, it is crucial to remember that every divorce is a personal story and that behind these statistics are real people with their struggles and triumphs. So, let´s not get too lost in the numbers, because after all, statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

Note: The divorce rates presented here are estimates based on available data. Actual rates may vary due to differences in data collection methods and cultural definitions of divorce. In addition, divorce rates are influenced by a complex interaction of factors, and the reasons provided in this article should not be viewed as exhaustive or definitive.