Live to Work? Some Professions are at Higher (and Lower) Risk for Divorce
Crunching data is sometimes a great way to see the bigger picture about an issue or trend. One researcher who was curious about divorce rates did just that.
Nathan Yau is a statistician who works for a company that uses data to help people use and see information. Using data from the American Community 5-Year Data Survey, Mr. Yau explored the US divorce rate. Common in virtually every community in the US, divorce rates earn headlines when they go up or down. Mr. Yau decided to take a new look at the divorce rate in this country—by taking a look at occupation. Are women and men in certain careers more likely—or less likely—to divorce? The answer is “yes.”
In his study, Mr. Yau used the census data to plot divorce rates by occupation. Here are the average divorce rates of industry segments (meaning the average rate of divorce for individuals in these occupations who have been divorced at least once):
- Engineering and Architecture: 53 percent
- Mathematics and Computer Science: 66 percent
- Military: 32 percent
- Healthcare: 65 percent
- Finance: 89 percent
- Legal: 07 percent
- Entertainment: 28 percent
- Food Preparation: 47 percent
- Sales: 26 percent
- Repair, Maintenance, Installation: 28 percent
- Transportation: 58 percent
- Administrative or Office: 61 percent
Careers with higher divorce rates include:
- Gambling personnel: 9 percent
- Bartenders: 7 percent
- Flight Attendants: 5 percent
- Telemarketers: 2 percent
- Nurses: 47 percent
Some of the professions with lower divorce rates:
- Actuaries: 17 percent
- Clergy: 19.8 percent
- Software developers: 3 percent
- Physicians: 8 percent
- Veterinarians: 9 percent
Divorce rates are higher in some places than others, and it is also true that those with more education tend to get divorced less often. The study sticks pretty close to the information provided in the source data. Mr. Yau points out that a particular career may not be the driver of divorce, but rather the unique personalities of individuals drawn to those career choices.
There is also more than occupation at play in divorce. While long-distance relationships stress the marriages of both military and transportation workers, the military sector has a generally lower divorce rate than material movers and transportation workers. Numbers can tell us a lot, but so far, they can only draw wide conclusions on some factors that lead couples to divorce.
If divorce is something you are thinking about, find out what is ahead, along with smart moves you can make now, by speaking with an experienced divorce attorney.