Avatar photo

By Citizen Reporter


Whites are more likely to divorce than Africans

Stats SA figures also showed more than 22 000 children were affected by their parents divorcing in 2015.

Married white couples are far more likely to get divorced than those from other races, according to the latest figures from Statistics South Africa.

Statistics from 2015 show that in that year, 6 588 divorces were granted to white couples, the highest, proportionally, of any race group.

With a population of roughly 4.5 million, the white divorces rate was 146 per 100 000. By comparison, Africans were the least likely to divorce, according to the figures, with just 24 divorces per 100 000 of population – a total of 10 841 in 2015 out of a group population of 45.1 million.

Indians followed whites in divorce rates, with 111 per 100 000 population (1 566 divorces in a population of 1.4 million), while coloureds recorded a rate of 86 per 100 000 (4 213 divorces in a group population of 4.9 million).

Due to the time lapse between marriages and divorces being registered, and the information being collated, the statistician-general’s report is always released in the second year following the year being analysed.

However, Stats SA did note that “generally, there was an increase in the proportion of divorces for black Africans and a decline for the white population group from 2003 to 2015”.

In South Africa in 2015, a total of 25 260 divorces were granted, for an overall national rate of 45.1 per 100 000.

This figure, though, is not bad when compared with others. The Maldives has a rate of 101 divorces per 100 000 people, according to the United Nations, and some estimates say that a woman in the Maldives is likely to have been divorced three times by the time she reaches the age of 30.

In Russia, the rate is 45 per 100 000, in the United States it is 36 and in Britain, it is just over two divorces per 100 000 population.

The Stats SA figures also showed that about 22 966 children aged less than 18 were affected by their parents divorcing in 2015.

“Divorces were mainly from people who had married for the first time. There were more wife than husband plaintiffs, with husbands generally getting divorced at a later age. The provincial distribution shows that Gauteng (6 544), Western Cape (4 854) and KwaZulu-Natal (4 140) were the provinces with the highest number of divorces granted,” said Stats SA.

A total of 138 627 civil marriages of South African citizens and permanent residents were registered at the department of home affairs in 2015.

“The highest number was registered in Gauteng, followed by Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and the lowest was registered in the Northern Cape.

Read more on these topics

divorce marriage

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits