SPOKANE, Wash.— Even though Valentine’s day is right around the corner, a recent study said some Spokane residents might not be feeling the love.
A study done by Consumer Advocate ranked Spokane as the number one divorced city of the United States.
The study analyzed divorce statistics for the largest 200 cities in the country to find which ones had the largest number of divorcees.
Don’t worry if you live there and are married or are planning to tie the knot, there is some good news. Research has shown that the national divorce rate is on the decline.
Spokane ended up at the top of the list after the study looked at the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2016 for marital status information.
The study came out to show that just under 16 percent of Spokane’s adult population was divorced. Therapist Becky Rudd was surprised to hear that statistic. She said there are a couple of key factors that landed Spokane at the top of the list.
"We have a lot of poverty and that is really hard for couple and really hard for families. If you are struggling to meet your basic needs your night time discussion is going to be about think that aren't going really well in your life," she explained.
In Spokane the poverty rate is 19.9 percent of the population and financial conflict around money is large reason for divorce. Surveys find that 70 percent of married people argue about money and more than a third of couples blame finances. Couples of course hope the love on their wedding day lasts but before calling a divorce attorney therapy can help. Unfortunately that is not an option for everyone.
"We have a lot of population here in Spokane who doesn't have really good insurance benefits. They are paying out of pocket to meet their deductible. Going to therapy once a week is just not affordable," Rudd said.
According to Pew Research divorce rates for adults ages 50 and older has doubled in the past 25 years. So when you consider 35 percent of Spokane's population is over 50, Rudd said that could be a factor.
"When empty nest happens once the children leave the home couples kind of look across the breakfast table and say I don't really know who you are outside of being a co-parent," she said.
Although Becky could not give one definite answer on why Spokane is the divorce capital of the U.S., she did give a recommendation for couples who are looking to defy the statistic. She recommends the book, "7 Principles for Making Marriage Work."