Washington State Divorce Statistics


In January 2022, the divorce rate in Washington State was around 2.9 per 1,000 people, reflecting a gradual decline in recent years. However, divorce rates can vary over time, and it’s recommended to check the most recent data from reliable sources such as the Washington State Department of Health or the U.S. Census Bureau for the latest statistics.

While it is too early to make conclusions on the number of marriage dissolutions in WA in 2024, in this article, we will consider the data on the divorce rate in the state from recent years as well as its primary reasons.

Washington State Divorce Rate by Year

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, Washington state divorce rates steadily dropped since the ‘90s. In fact, the figure declined considerably in the first decade already, from 5.9 marriage dissolutions per 1,000 people in 1990 to 4.6 in 2000.

However, it would be more reasonable to view divorce rates against the total population size and marriage rates. In this respect, the detailed table of marriage and divorce occurrences at the state level offered by the Washington State Department of Health is more informative. It shows a steady decline in both marriage and divorce counts from 2000 to 2022.

How many marriages end in divorce these days? As of 2022, the total divorce rate in Washington State is 2.8 dissolutions per 1,000 people, keeping practically stable since 2020. Unfortunately, this data is the latest available so far.

Overall, considering Washington’s indicators against the national statistics, it can be concluded that even though it does not belong to the list of states with the lowest marriage dissolution percentage, it is still not a leader among the U.S. states by divorce rate.

Who Files for Divorce More Often in Washington State?

According to the statistics on Washington divorces, women are the ones who file for marriage dissolution most often. Moreover, this trend prevails across the whole country. One of the reasons for this occurrence can be explained by the fact that women work and earn a considerable share of household income these days, which makes them less dependent on their spouses.  

Most Common Divorce Reason in WA

The reasons for marriage dissolution in WA are generally the same as in any other U.S. state:

  • Lack of Understanding. Problems in communication and lack of mutual understanding are the most frequent reasons for marriage dissolution across the United States, and Washington is no exception. If the couple has different views on important things and does not work towards getting along and reaching a consensus, they eventually see their marriage ruining. 
  • Financial Problems. Financial issues are a real challenge for any family, often ending in a divorce if the couple cannot resolve them. Stress from financial struggles makes the household atmosphere tense and even hostile, a factor that inevitably leads to the collapse of the marriage.
  • Addictions. Any type of addiction can take a toll on relationships in the family. However, the most common form of addiction that leads to marriage dissolution is alcohol and substance abuse. Being unable to continue living with an addict who shows no willingness to improve their situation, the second spouse prefers to leave and break the vicious circle.

Washington State Divorce Rate by Cities

Divorce rates by city draw a pretty interesting picture of Washington State. The following cities are considered state leaders in marriage dissolutions:

  • Clarkston is considered “the divorce capital in Washington State.” As of 2019, its population was 7,300 people, and more than 25% of them were divorced.
  • Centralia is one of the state leaders in the rating. In it, 12% of residents over 15 years of age are divorced. The overall population is 18,234 people.
  • Hoquiam’smarriage dissolution rate is also quite impressive for the 8,500 people living in the city. According to the American Community Survey carried out by the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017, there were 17.5% and 19.2% of divorced men and women, respectively.
  • Aberdeen’spopulation is 17,113 people. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16.1% of people in the city are divorced.
  • Sumner is a city with a population of about 10,600 people and a marriage dissolution rate of approximately 10% for men and 17% for women.
  • As of 2022, the population of Kelso was 12,691, and the share of divorced individuals was 14.1%.
  • Wenatchee is among the largest cities in this rating, with 34,000 residents. The marriage dissolution rate here is 9%.
  • Sultan is a small city with only 5,200 residents. The divorce rate here is also 9%.
  • Despite being the largest city in this rating, with a population of 38,000, Longview has a relatively lower marriage dissolution rate of 8% compared to other cities on the list. However, it is still among leaders across Washington State. 
  • Moses Lake is another big city (24,000 inhabitants) with an 8% divorce rate and is the last one in the rating.

Finally, it is difficult to outline what affects divorce rates in all these cities since all couples have unique reasons to end their marriage. Possible reasons may include each party’s high level of education, financial issues in the family, the overall economic situation in the state, etc.