Occupation as a Predictor of Divorce

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Monday, July 30, 2012.

If you marry your favorite massage therapist, are you more likely to divorce than if you’d picked a matrimonial lawyer?

That is the question answered in a study published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.

It is a common belief that the divorce rate for police officers is higher than that of the general population. This belief is commonly held in spite of the fact that there is no empirical research supporting such a belief. To compare the divorce rate of law enforcement personnel with the rates for other occupations, we analyzed data from the 2000 U.S. Census. The results of this analysis indicate that the divorce rate for law enforcement personnel is lower than that of the general population, even after controlling for demographic and other job-related variables.

The numbers don’t paint the whole picture. If a person divorced and remarried by the time of the Census, they would be counted as married. So it could be that spouses in some jobs are just quicker to jump into the next marriage than others. Also, the data don’t reveal whether it’s the nature of the jobs that lead to divorce, or if people prone to unstable relationships are drawn to certain professions.

So, here are five jobs with the highest relative divorce rates:

1. Massage therapists

2. Bartenders

3. Dancers and choreographers

4. Health diagnosing and treating practitioners

5. Physicians and surgeons

And, here are five jobs with some of the lowest relative divorce rates:

1. Media and communication equipment workers

2. Agricultural engineers

3. Directors, religious activities and education

4. Transit and railroad police

5. Clergy