Covid-19 Impact on Marriage and Divorce 

According to Forbes, the United States census reported that both divorce and marriage rates have dropped over the decade. The bureau indicated that in 2019, in every 1,000 women aged 15 and above, there were 16.3 new marriages and 7.6 new divorce rates.

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These rates were lower than the statistic collected in 2009 since the rates were 17.6 and 7.6, respectively. Intensive research into family relations was carried out through an online survey conducted in July, five months into the coronavirus pandemic. 47% in the survey indicated that they were married, 10% indicated that they were living together, 6% in a romantic relationship, and 37% not dating.

Regarding the effect of the pandemic on marriages, the 2020 survey indicated that 48% of the respondent said that their marriage was the same as the previous two years, 43% became stronger, while 7% became weaker.

COVID-19 Effects in Divorces and Marriages in Different Countries

Although there are several similarities among several country experiences, it is worth paying attention to the effects of the pandemic on single countries. Since the United States experienced huge numbers in terms of positivity and mortality rates, it’s likely to have experienced high exposure to the pandemic’s social effects.

United States

Intensive research by the American Family Survey (AFS), a yearly countrywide survey of 3,000 individuals conducted by Brigham Young University Center for the study of Democracy and Elections and Deseret News, was published in July 2020. This study provides a treasure-trove of details on divorce and marriage.

An evaluation of the AFS research conducted in December 2020 by Rachel Sheffield indicates a generally positive report that families and marriages in the US were performing better and stronger in some ways than before the start of the pandemic. However, the situation is not as rosy as the report implies. Since the pandemic caused a lockdown and rise in economic and unemployment insecurity, the application of marriage licenses intensely dropped in 2020.

Among the unmarried people aged 55 and below, 7% indicated that they would postpone their marriages. Besides the already dropping records of marriages in the US, the pandemic likely caused a further decline in marriages in 2020. However, a decline in divorce cases doesn’t imply that couples live happier together during the lockdown. The pandemic may force couples to remain together due to practical reasons. For instance, issues related to economic uncertainty, costs of divorce, or health issues may force couples to stay together.

“Married couples forced to stay under the same roof day and night during the lockdown faced unexpected difficulties in relationships that wouldn’t be there in other times,” says Andriy Bogdanov, CEO and Founder of “The number of divorces did not skyrocket only due to the unstable situation and because many spouses simply could not leave the house to get divorced.”

According to an AFS study, 34% of married couples below 55 indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic had increased stress in their relationship. Mainly, stress affected individuals who suffered financially due to the pandemic, the working-class, and the poor couples.

Western Europe

Break-ups and divorce applications rose steeply across the UK during the pandemic. This was also similar to Italy and Sweden, and other countries in the continent. According to a report by BBC, the break-ups were enhanced by the increase in mental health conditions due to the pandemic.


Turkish figures for divorces and marriages indicated a considerable decline of 10% in couples who got married in 2020. The data also reported that an approximate 14% decline in divorce numbers. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be responsible for prompting many couples to suspend their weddings and forcing numerous dysfunctional couples to live together.

The Turkish government reportedly tried to enhance children and marriages by offering incentives to couples with kids and newlywed couples.

The People’s Republic of China

As of 2021, the Chinese government ruled that couples seeking a divorce must wait for 30 days. This time to cool-off was introduced to discourage impulsive divorces. The highly rising divorce cases in China have compounded the difficulties facing the ruling Communist party’s determinations to reverse a demographic problem that threatens the economy’s growth. The marriage figures decline annually since 2014. There are also concerns that many married couples are acting hastily to terminate their relationship.


Brazil documented a record of divorce figures during the second half of 2020 since married couples got tired of one another. This was due to a long time of staying together at home during the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brazil, the biggest country in Latin America, had the second-deadliest COVID-19 outbreak after the US. The recorded approximately 44,000 divorces within the final six months of 2020, a 15% increase compared to the same time in 2019. These are the highest figures since the start of the keeping the records in 2007.

The coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected the social and economic lives of people across the world. This has led to a change of lifestyles for many people, especially those affected financially. Consequently, the pandemic has also affected marriage and divorce, as seen above.

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