What Is the Divorce Rate in Utah?



As of 2024, Utah’s divorce rate shows constant fluctuation but is generally consistent with previous years at 3.3 per 1000 people. While specific statistics may vary, factors such as cultural influences, socioeconomic changes, and evolving family dynamics contribute to these trends.

In the article below, we will try to answer the question “What is the divorce rate in Utah in recent years?”, highlight the main reasons for divorces, and provide more statistics on the different aspects of marriage dissolutions in the state.

Utah’s Divorce Rate by Year

According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past 15 years, Utah’s average divorce rate is about 3.6 for every 1000 people. Also, based on the data from the Public Health Indicator Based Information System, during the last 10 years, the peak in the number of marriage dissolutions was in 2018, when 3.7 per 1000 people divorced.

Since then, the rates have become lower; in 2019, for example, this number was around 3.5, while in 2020, it was in the 3.2-3.3 range. The divorce rate for 2023 and early 2024 is about 3.3. Similar numbers were also relevant throughout 2021 and 2022.

Of course, these figures are much lower than those seen in Utah in the 1990s. Back then, these rates reached virtually 5.3. Nevertheless, the state is still among the top US states with the highest divorce rate.

Who Files for Divorce More Often in Utah?

In Utah, as in many other American states, since about the 1940s, the initiators of divorce have been predominantly women. Practically 70 Utah divorces out of 100 are filed by females. Sociologists explain that the main reasons for such a phenomenon are:

  • Different expectations of marriage for men and women.
  • Feminism factor, as more and more women become financially independent and want more equality in marriage, while some men still do not accept it.
  • Marriage at a young age due to social or family pressure. Quite often, as soon as a woman becomes more emotionally mature and realizes that she is unhappy in the marriage, she files for divorce.

Another interesting fact is that, according to the research by the American Sociological Association, there is no significant difference between men and women in initiating the breakup of non-marital relationships, even if parties cohabitated.

Utah’s Most Common Divorce Reason

In Utah, one of the states with the highest divorce rates, the majority of divorces are granted under no-fault grounds. It is due to the fact that such dissolutions are typically resolved quicker and cheaper if they are uncontested, compared to the fault-based procedure.

It is since 1987 that spouses can start a marriage due to irreconcilable differences, which means parties cannot get together anymore, and marital life is unbearable. A similar trend can be seen in the other US states where no-fault divorces are allowed.

Though there may be other reasons behind ending a marriage, like adultery, which is quite common, many couples may not want to start a fault-based case since it will likely be more expensive, require collecting evidence of spouse’s misconduct, and take more time to resolve.

Utah’s Divorce Rate by Cities

Although divorce rates by city in the state fluctuate greatly, it is worth noting that the top cities with the highest rates are Provo-Orem and Logan. The percentage of the divorced population there varies between 6-6.5% of residents. At the same time, Salt Lake City’s divorce rate, despite the fact that it is the capital of the state with a population of over 200,000 people, is not a leader in terms of divorces.

Utah’s Divorce Rate by Counties

There are 29 counties in Utah with different numbers of residents, living conditions, and, accordingly, divorce rates. Since 2021 and up to now, the indicators in the counties have remained practically the same. The top 5 counties with the highest divorce rates are:

  • Grand County –21%
  • Carbon County – 17%
  • Weber County –14%
  • Uintah County –13,2%
  • Kane County – 12,5%

The lowest rates are present in:

  • Morgan County – 5,9%
  • Utah County – 6,9%
  • Cache County – 7%
  • Wayne County – 8,3%

The exact reasons for such variations are difficult to predict. They mostly depend on the number of people residing in the region. Also, the lower rates of divorces may be the result of economic conditions. In areas with a high job availability, many couples are less likely to face the stress of financial problems, which frequently lead to marriage dissolutions.

Utah’s Divorce Rate for Families with Children

It is challenging to find detailed information about the divorce rate of couples with children over the past few years, but earlier statistics showed that approximately 60% of divorces in Utah involved children. In most cases, the kids stay with their mothers, and the number of divorced women living with a child under 18 is 38.6%. For men, it is 20.9%.

Utah’s Divorce Rate by Ethnicity

The recent divorce statistics on the correlation between ethnicity and divorce rates or interracial divorce rates are rather scarce. The data from the 2006 American Community Survey shows that the highest number of divorced people was among Whites – around 140,000 people, followed by Hispanics, African Americans, and other groups. However, due to the significant difference in racial representation in the state, the divorce rate based on the group size was the highest for African Americans – 15.7%; for Whites, it stood at 12.3%.

Utah’s Divorce Rate by Religion

According to The Daily Universe publication, divorce rates among religious couples are lower than in non-religious families. It is potentially due to the educational interventions aimed at reducing divorce cases and teaching young people on how to sustain a marriage. It is challenging to find specific data on Mormon divorce rate or IDS divorce rate. As for Christians, the Pew Research Center survey showed that among the sample of 233 people, 7% were divorced.