13 Devastating Children of Divorce Statistics

There is no denying that going through a divorce can impact many different people. Sure, it has an obvious impact on the couple who have decided to part ways.  But it also affects their family and friends. Children are the most likely to go through a difficult time. 

With that in mind, we are going to take a look at some eye-opening children of divorce statistics. These children of divorce stats really help us to comprehend just how such a traumatic life event can impact children.

But before digging deep into each stat, let’s have a quick look at some…

  • 36.6% of all marriages in the US end in divorce.
  • Roughly one in two children will see their parent’s marriage breakup. 
  • 21% of children are being raised without their fathers in America.
  • Children are more likely to experience behavior issues when parents divorce when the child is between the age of 7 and 14.
  • Children with divorced parents are twice as likely to end up dropping out of high school.

What Divorce Does to a Child

1. 36.6% of all marriages in the US end in divorce.

(Source: CDC)

Before we examine the most revealing children of divorce statistics and how divorce impacts children, it’s important to take a look at divorce rate statistics by year. The divorce statistics for 2018 show that one in every three marriages results in divorce.

This is a very high figure, to say the least!

Moreover, according to research published by the United Nations, the United States has the third-highest divorce rate in the world. According to the CDC, the current divorce rate in the US is 2.9 per 1,000 people.

However, while the divorce rate is dropping, the number of people getting married is also on the decline. This indicates that, for certain segments of the population, both marriage and divorce are out of reach.

2. Most people get divorced because of a lack of commitment.

(Source: Michael A. Gardner)

There are a number of different reasons why people get divorced. Of course, everyone has their own unique situation. 

However, divorced families statistics reveal that 73% of people get divorced because of a lack of commitment. After this, 56% get divorced because they argue too much, and 55% get divorced because of cheating. 

Aside from this, 46% of people say the reason that they got divorced is that they got married too young. 45% had unrealistic expectations when it came to marriage, while 44% got divorced because their partnership was not equal. 

Sadly, 25% of people get divorced because they’re in an abusive relationship. No matter your reasons for getting divorced, there is no denying that divorce can have a huge impact on children. This is something to bear in mind, as it is imperative to keep an eye on your child during this difficult time. 

3. According to statistics on children of divorce, roughly every one in two children will see their parents’ marriage break up.

(Source: Verywell Family)

Now you know the divorce rate statistics, let’s take a look at how many children have divorced parents. Statistics show that about 50% of all American children will witness the end of their parents’ marriage. Of these children, almost half will then go on to see their parents’ second marriage break up. Moreover, one in every ten children who have divorced parents will then see the break up of three or more parental marriages. 

4. 21% of children are being raised without their fathers in America.

(Source: Census.gov)

The children of divorce statistics show that it is usually the father who is absent from a child’s life.

Roughly 25% of all children live with only one parent, and that’s usually their mother.

These broken homes statistics show that around 21% of American kids are growing up without a father.

Statistics indicate that only 4.3% of children are being raised only by their father. It’s a strikingly low number and an unusual statistic.

Children of Divorce Statistics - photo

How Does Divorce Affect Children?

5. Children are more likely to experience behavior issues when parents divorce when the child is between the age of 7 and 14-years-old.

(Source: The Guardian)

According to research carried out in the University College London, children are more likely to experience behavioral and emotional problems if their parents divorce when the child is between the age of 7 and 14-years-old. These children of divorce statistics 2019 reveal that there is a 16% increase in behavioral and emotional problems amongst this age range when compared to other ages.

6. Children with divorced parents are twice as likely to drop out of high school.

(Source: Survive Divorce)

There are also some interesting children of divorce stats relating to the effects of divorce on teenagers. This stat from the Harvard University Press indicates that kids with divorced parents are twice as likely to end up dropping out of high school than their peers who have parents who have not divorced. 

This indicates that you need to pay extra special attention to your child’s performance in school if you are going through a divorce. It may even be worth talking to their teacher to explain the situation at home. 

7. Children with divorced parents are more likely to get cancer.

(Source: Marripedia)

Broken family statistics also show that children with divorced parents are more likely to get cancer. The reason for this is because they are more likely to participate in activities such as drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and having unprotected sex. These are all activities that have been shown to heighten the risks associated with developing cancer. 

8. Children with divorced parents are twice as likely to attempt suicide. 

(Source: Verywell Family)

This is one of the most worrying effects of divorce on children. Now, this does not mean that you should stay with someone you no longer love because of an increased risk of suicide. What it does mean, though, is that you need to pay extra special attention to your child and how they’re behaving. It can be beneficial for children of divorce to see a therapist during this difficult period to help them understand the situation and talk to someone who is not directly involved in the marriage breakdown. 

9. Children with divorced parents are four times as likely to have social problems.

(Source: Marriage Success Secrets)

Another of the children of divorce stats we’re going to take a look at relates to how divorce impacts a child’s life. This statistic indicates that children from broken homes tend to have more difficulty with their peers. It shows that growing up with divorced parents means that they are four times more likely to experience problems with their friends and peers than children whose parents are still together. 

When children are frustrated, confused, or unhappy with the situation at home, they can act out and take it out on their friends. They may even feel resentment towards children whose parents are still together. 

10. 70% of prison inmates incarcerated on long-term sentences grew up in a broken home, family separation statistics reveal.

(Source: Centre for Social Justice)

More than two-thirds of prison inmates who are incarcerated on a long-term basis, which indicates more serious crimes, have grown up in a broken home. 

11. There are links between divorce and a child’s academic performance.

(Source: Marripedia)

Amongst all of the children and divorce facts, you will see that there are a lot of statistics on broken families that relate to a child’s academic performance. Earlier, we mentioned that teenagers are more likely to drop out of high school when their parents get divorced. This is not simply an expression of teenagers’ rebellious spirit. It can often happen because teenagers drop out of school so they can get a job and help their family to pay for rent and food. 

Aside from this, children who were young when their parents separated are twice as likely to drop out of school later in life and have a fear of commitment and a low-paying job. What’s more, children who have been through a number of different divorces with their parents usually have lower grade scores when compared with children who have not experienced divorce in their home life. 

12. Teenagers whose parents divorce are 300% more likely to experience mental health issues.

(Source: Verywell Family)

There is no denying that there is a link between divorce and the increased risk of mental and physical health problems, as well as behavioral issues. There are a number of divorced parents statistics that show this is the case. In fact, teenagers with divorced parents are a lot more likely to experience mental health problems that will require medication, counseling, or both. 

And that’s not all…

There are some other divorce statistics in America that relate to children and their health that we should look at. Children living with both of their biological parents are 35% healthier than children with divorced parents. Moreover, children are 50% more likely to become seriously ill after experiencing their parents’ divorce. Overall, kids that come from broken homes tend to experience more speech issues, as well as headaches, asthma, illnesses, and injuries. 

13. Children are at a greater risk of living in poverty if their parents get a divorce.

(Source: MDRC)

This is one of those children of divorced parents statistics that may not come as a surprise when you consider the fact that getting a divorce can often mean that households have to make ends meet on a single income. Because of this, children with divorced parents are five times more likely to end up living in poverty than children who still live with both of their parents.

Children of Divorce Statistics - divorce

The Wrap-Up!

So there you have it: 

Some of the most astonishing children of divorce statistics that really drive home the impact a divorce can have on a child. 

You may be shocked to have learned about the sheer number of children who live in broken homes today, but the statistics on divorce and children don’t lie. As a parent, you may be able to take some comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone. 

While it can be difficult, it is vital to make sure that the issues of a divorce do not end up causing problems for your child. There is a lot of help available for you to get the support and assistance you require.

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