Divorce Rate

Divorce Rate in Canada

According to The Department of Justice, Child Support Initiative, and Evaluation Report of August 1997, the divorce rate in Canada is about 48%. What it means is, one marriage out of every two marriages end up in divorce. But remember that for many, divorces and marriages are repetitions.

Some facts about the divorce rates in Canada

  • Almost 75% of Canadian divorces are being initiated by women.
  • One year after separation or divorce, 50% of children of divorced or separated families never see their fathers again.
  • First marriages have about a 50% chances of ending in divorce. The risk becomes greater with each successive marriage (about 72% for second, and about 85% for third marriages).
Current Divorce Rate and Statistics
Source: Marriage and Conjugal Life in Canada

Are divorce rates in Canada going up or down?

Records of divorce in Canada presents us with the following rates of divorce throughout the years:

YearsNo. of divorcesRates per 100,000 populationRates per 100,000 Married Couples
1921 558 6.4 N/A
1941 2,462 21.4 N/A
1961 6,563 36.0 N/A
1968* 11,343 54.8 N/A
1969 26,093 124.2 N/A
1981 67,671 271.8 1,174.4
1985** 61,980 253.6 1,103.3
1986 78,304 298.8 1,301.6
1987*** 96,200 362.3 1,585.5
1990 80,998 295.8 1,311.5
1994 78,880 269.7 1,246.3
1995 77,636 262.2 1,221.9
* Reform of Divorce Laws
** Divorce Act ("no fault")
*** Peak year

Post the rise in divorce rates in Canada in 1987, the rate gradually dropped down, making it slowly uniform throughout the 1990s. Recently in 2007 as well as 2008, the divorce rates reported were relatively low. It had been estimated that in 2008, 41% marriages would end up in a legal separation or divorce before the couple's 30th marriage anniversary. This is a 36% rise from the divorce rates reported in 1998 (Statistics Canada 2011).

As per the divorce statistics, there were about 53,804 new divorce cases registered in the civil courts in Canada in 2010-2011, which indicates a 2% rise from 2009-2010. The rates of marriage are also dropping at a significant rate in Canada. There were 150,505 marriages that took place in 2006 which dropped down to 147,288 in 2008.

Divorce Statistics in Canada 2012
Canadian Divorce RateSource: Stats Canada
Number of divorces on an annual basis in Canada71000
Marriages not capable of reaching their 50th weeding anniversary43.00%
Divorce rates around the world
Sweden55%
US, Australia46%
United Kingdom43%
Canada40%
Israel26%
Switzerland25%
Greece18%
Singapore, Poland17%
Spain15%
Italy12%
Divorce rate by age groupStats Canada,1993 to 2003
Age group 50-5438%
Age group 55-5947.8%
Age group 60-6431.7%
Women and Divorce
Percentage of divorce that are initiated by women66%
Percentage of families headed by women living in poverty52%
Percentage of women (who are single, widowed or divorced) over 65 living in poverty49%
Percentage of divorced women who are victims of abuse50%
Children and Divorce
Couples who inform their children about their separation5%
Estimated Canadian children affected by divorce35%

Remarriage in Canada: How common is it?

Nearly 65% to 75% of men as well as women who get divorced in Canada are likely to get remarried. There exist 48% chances of remarriage for women aged between 35-50 in Canada. The chances of remarriage for men aged between 35-50 is 61%. For women who are a little younger, that is between 25-35, the chances of remarriage are 66% while the same percentage in case of men is 80%. This indicates that as age increases, the chances of remarriage for women are lower.

The best way to get proper information is to seek assistance from lawyers specializing in Divorce cases, who have real time exposure to various disputes and causes leading to divorce. One has to consider that an unknown proportion of this, i.e., 25% to 35% of men and women who do not opt for remarriage do tend to cohabit. The likelihood of opting to cohabit is more in case of younger divorced couples as compared to the older ones. Men are more likely to cohabit as compared to women. However, there is a rise in number of older divorce couples who are cohabiting.

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