Jobs with the highest divorce rates

While public perception is that half of all American marriages end in divorce, that statistic is actually much lower. The divorce rate in the U.S. peaked with those who married in the 1970s, nearly half of whom were divorced within 25 years.

Generations since then have divorced less often, though older gen-Xers and baby boomers are divorcing at twice the rates people their age were in the 1990s, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the 2015 American Community Survey. University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen examined American Community Survey data from​​ 2008 to 2016, and found that millennials are divorcing at particularly low rates.

The reasons for divorce are complicated and vary across demographics and age. But one factor shows a strong predictor for long-term marital success: occupation.

People with stable, higher-paying jobs tend to experience lower divorce rates than those who don’t earn as much money, according to research Nathan Yau compiled from the 2019 American Community Survey. A 2017 Institute for Family Studies report found less than one-third of married people in the middle and upper classes filed for divorce, while more than one-third of those in the working class had sought divorces.

Using 2021 American Community Survey data, sourced via the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Stacker ranked the 50 U.S. jobs with the highest divorce rates, breaking ties by separation rates. People who never married are excluded from these calculations. Data looks only at current marital status, so those who were previously divorced but have since gotten remarried are not counted among divorced people. Stacker only considered occupations with a sample size larger than 100.

The analysis also includes 2021 employment and wage data for occupations, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which don’t factor into the ranking.

Interestingly, unemployed people who either haven’t had a job in the past five-plus years or never worked had a divorce rate of 22.7%, which was lower than more than half the occupations on the list.

It stands to reason that married couples who are less likely to encounter financial hardships will have a better chance of staying together. If both people in a marriage have high-paying jobs, they can use their combined wealth in mutually beneficial ways. Pharmacists, lawyers, and architects—fields that offer high average annual salaries and significant job stability—will have more money to provide for a family and pay their bills, can enjoy luxuries such as vacations, and generally lead fulfilling lives.

Jobs with relatively low pay and irregular hours, like bartending or waiting tables, can cause a financial strain on a marriage. From another standpoint, those with jobs that require a lot of travel, like flight attendants or entertainers, may face marital stress because they’re forced to spend a lot of time away from home. Others with physically demanding occupations often encounter low pay, long hours, and dangerous working conditions—each of which can lead to potential complications at home.

Continue reading to find out which jobs have the highest divorce rates in the U.S.

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