Countries With the Lowest Divorce Rate

There are plenty of reasons married couples get divorced. Some of the most common reasons for divorce are:

  • lack of commitment
  • lack of equality in a relationship
  • excessive arguing
  • infidelity
  • marrying too young
  • domestic abuse or violence

While these things happen all over the world, some causes of divorce are more common in some countries than in others.

Divorce laws vary drastically by country and are frequently updated and amended. At the time of writing, the only two countries in the world where divorce is illegal are the Vatican and the Philippines. In this post, we’ll look at the 16 countries with the lowest divorce rates in the world and learn about each of them.

CountryDivorce Rate (per 1,000 population)
Bosnia & Herzegovina0.60
French Guiana0.80
North Macedonia0.80
Countries with the lowest divorce rate, Source: Statista

16. Mexico

A black and white photo of a bride and groom holding hands in front of an old church entrance in Mexico.
Wedding photo shoot in Mexico

Divorce Rate: 1.2 per 1,000 people

Mexico has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world, and there are likely several reasons this is true. The country is one of the most populous in the world, and the marriage rate in the country has been declining while the population continues to rise. Additionally, the country’s population is predominantly Catholic, a religion that heavily discourages divorce.

Another consideration with regard to marriages and divorces in Mexico is that many couples may separate but avoid getting an official divorce. There are also many couples, especially those that are younger, that will be in long-term relationships but avoid getting married.

15. Jamaica

Divorce Rate: 1.2 per 1,000 people

Jamaica is number 15 on this list of countries with the lowest divorce rate in the world, but it would have had an even lower rate not too long ago. In 2001, the divorce rate per 1,000 people in Jamaica was only 0.65, a number that doubled by 2018.

Dropping marriage rates and rising divorce rates have changed the social landscape in Jamaica over the last couple of decades. Between 2009 and 2018, there was a 23% decrease in the number of marriages in Jamaica.

Among the reasons people list for getting divorced in Jamaica are poor communication, age differences, extramarital affairs, financial troubles, and simply growing apart. Another cause of divorce is gender-based violence in marriages.

14. Panama

Divorce Rate: 1.1 per 1,000 people

Panama has had a consistently low divorce rate for years. In 2018, there were 1.1 divorces per 1,000 people in the country. This figure ties Panama with three other countries with low divorce rates and puts it at number 14 on this list.

While divorce rates have remained fairly steady over the past ten years, climbing slightly, there has been a bigger change in the country’s marriage rate. In 2019, there were 2.6 marriages per 1,000 people, down from 3.3 in the previous year and down from around 4 per 1,000 people in 2011.

13. Slovenia

Divorce Rate: 1.1 per 1,000 people

With a divorce rate of 1.1 per 1,000 people, Slovenia is tied with Panama and Tajikistan. This statistic has fluctuated over the past 20 years in Slovenia, generally increasing, but the country still has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world. There were just over 34 divorces for every 100 marriages in 2020.

On average, marriages last for 14.1 years in Slovenia. Very few marriages end in divorce after less than a year, and marriages of 20 years or more are those that have seen the largest increase in divorces in recent history. As with most other countries around the world, the number of marriages per year has been steadily decreasing in Slovenia since World War II.

12. Tajikistan

Divorce Rate: 1.1 per 1,000 people

Tajikistan had a reported 1.1 divorces per 1,000 people in 2018, which puts it among the countries with the lowest divorce rates in the world. While it’s number 12 on this global list, it ranks as the country with the second-lowest divorce rate among others in Central Asia. Countries in this region generally have low divorce rates because of strong traditions of family unity.

As is the case with many countries around the world, the number of divorces per year has steadily been rising in Tajikistan. From 2000 to 2018, the number of divorces in the country grew by nearly five times. Early marriages caused by family pressure are thought to be common causes of later divorce in Tajikistan.

11. Uzbekistan

Divorce Rate: 1 per 1,000 people

Uzbekistan had the lowest divorce rate of countries in Central Asia in 2018 with just 1 divorce per 1,000 people. The rate of 10.4 divorces per 100 marriages in the country is also very low. Traditional values of family unity are likely one of the reasons divorce rates are low.

Marriage in Uzbekistan usually happens between two people who have been on two to three dates with each other. These couples are often introduced by family members, and it’s generally expected that women will be married before the age of 25. Some divorce-causing factors mentioned in Uzbekistan are irresponsibility in household management, family interference, and domestic abuse.

10. Martinique

Divorce Rate: 1 per 1,000 people

Martinique had the same divorce rate per 1,000 people as Uzbekistan in 2018, making it the country with the tenth-lowest divorce rate. Martinique is one of the five overseas departments of France, so its statistics are linked to that of France as a whole, which has a significantly higher divorce rate of 1.9 per 1,000 people.

Marriage rates are lower in Martinique than in most of France, and this could influence the department’s low divorce rate. Divorce rates saw a significant decrease in Martinique between the years 2006 and 2013.

9. North Macedonia

Divorce Rate: 0.8 per 1,000 people

At number nine on this list of countries with low divorce rates is North Macedonia. This is the first country on this list with fewer than one divorce per 1,000 people. In recent years, the number of overall marriages in North Macedonia has been decreasing, which is a trend seen in countries all over the world. The overall number of divorces in the country has also been decreasing, though the rate of divorce per marriage has increased.

Conservative views on marriage and gender roles in society likely influence the relatively low divorce rate in North Macedonia. For instance, women are sometimes discouraged from seeking education and careers, leaving them financially dependent on a spouse.

8. French Guiana

Divorce Rate: 0.8 per 1,000 people

As an overseas region of France, French Guiana shares the same marriage and divorce laws as France. However, the divorce rate per 1,000 people in French Guiana is less than half of what it is in France as a whole. Interestingly, the most commonly cited reasons for divorce differ between mainland France and its overseas departments. “Abandonment of the marital home,” for example, is a reason for divorce cited much more often in French Guiana than in the rest of the country.

7. Ireland

Divorce Rate: 0.7 per 1,000 people

In recent years, Ireland has had a divorce rate of about 0.8 per 1,000 people. That’s a low rate on the global scale, but it’s one that has actually been on the rise in the country. In the last couple of decades, the perception of divorce has changed dramatically in the country. While it was once something heavily stigmatized and looked down upon, it has become much more normalized.

One of the reasons the divorce rate has probably increased is that the law has changed. It was previously required for couples to have been separated for four of the past five years in order to get a divorce, but this has changed to allow couples who have been apart for two of the past three years to seek a divorce.

6. Malta

Divorce Rate: 0.7 per 1,000 people

Not only does Malta rank among the ten countries with the lowest divorce rates in the world, but it also has the lowest rate in the European Union: 0.7 per 1,000 people. In addition to its low divorce rate, Malta has one of the lowest marriage rates in Europe, tied with France in 2020 at 2.2 marriages for every 1,000 people.

Divorce didn’t become legal in Malta until 2011, a fact that has influenced the changing divorce rate in the country. It’s worth noting that divorce is often not sought out by married couples that have decided to separate. This is especially true if the individuals do not plan on remarrying. Separated couples will also often move in with new partners without ever getting officially divorced or remarried.

5. Venezuela

Divorce Rate: 0.7 per 1,000 people

Venezuela has the same divorce rate of 0.7 per 1,000 people as Malta and Ireland, landing it in fifth place on this list of countries with low divorce rates. The country is predominantly Catholic, which historically made divorce a rare occurrence, though it is legal in the country and has become much less stigmatized. Many people who divorce in Venezuela eventually get remarried. Each spouse has an equal right to initiate a divorce.

The dating and marriage culture in Venezuela is very similar to that of other Western nations. Couples generally meet organically instead of through arrangements, and dating begins to happen in the teens and early twenties, often without expectations of marriage. This is especially true in urban areas. Many Venezuelans intend to get married before the age of 30.

4. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Divorce Rate: 0.6 per 1,000 people

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in the Balkans with one of the lowest divorce rates of any on Earth. In 2018 there were 0.6 divorces per 1,000 people and 15.5 divorces per 100 marriages. Even more impressive than the national divorce rate is Ε iroki-Brijeg, a Bosnian town of almost 30,000, which is said to have a divorce rate of 0%.

Divorce is legal in Bosnia and can be requested by either spouse, but if it is not a mutual decision, one spouse will have to file for marriage dissolution in court. Showing proof of an attempt at mediation is required for this process. Economic factors are frequently cited as reasons for divorce, especially among young couples.

3. Peru

Divorce Rate: 0.5 per 1,000 people

The country with the third-lowest divorce rate is Peru, where there were 0.5 divorces per 1,000 people in 2018. Peru is one of five Latin American countries on this list, which points to the fact that family unity is an important traditional value in the region. These countries also have a strong connection to Catholicism, and this is also likely a reason couples avoid divorce whenever possible.

Another factor that could make for low divorce rates in Peru is the fact that consensual unions and unofficial marriages are fairly commonplace. When these unions end, they aren’t recorded as a divorce. The social landscape and stigma surrounding divorce, especially for women, is slowly changing in Peru and becoming more progressive.

2. Qatar

Divorce Rate: 0.4 per 1,000 people

Given that Qatar has the second-lowest divorce rate of any country, it may be surprising to learn that divorce rates in the country have grown significantly in recent history. This is a trend that can be seen across the Arab world in many different countries, and it is largely attributed to a shift in the perception of women.

Women in Arab countries are becoming more educated and are achieving higher financial independence, which makes it easier to leave a marriage. Still, the divorce rate remains very low in Qatar because of traditional values in the country. Divorce proceedings vary depending on the religion of the married couple.

1. Guatemala

A Guatemalan wedding photo shoot features formally dressed people dancing in a purple flower field with a volcano backdrop.
Wedding in Guatemala

Divorce Rate: 0.3 per 1,000 people

The lowest divorce rate in the world belongs to Guatemala, a Central American country located just south of Mexico. As with many other countries in Latin America, divorce is heavily discouraged in Guatemala because of the value placed on family unity, the history of Catholicism in the region, and the great social stigma associated with divorce, especially for women.

While both men and women have equal rights in initiating divorce proceedings, there are different requirements that each gender faces, some of which put women at a disadvantage in the case of divorce. It is considered very difficult for divorced women to remarry, especially if they have children, and this contributes to low divorce rates.