The 10 Cities In California With The Highest Divorce Rates For 2019

We analyzed over 427 places in California to identify the ones that have the highest rates of divorce.

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If you’re married, the thought of divorce has probably popped into your mind at least once.

Come on, admit it.

And if you’re not married, let me tell you that there’s gonna be a point at 2 a.m. when you have a crying baby and haven’t slept in two months that it’s gonna run through your head to run.



But, don’t just take my word for it, take the word of the some 2,931,510 people living in California over fifteen years of age who are divorced. Or compare that to the 28,339,199 dAmericans who are already divorced in 2019.

A lot of people make the decision to run away – or simply split up – across the Golden State.

Isn’t the divorce rate in America close to 50%? Yes indeed. But that’s not quite what we’re measuring; we are looking at counts and percentages of people over 15 years old who are currently divorced.

You typically calculate that 50% statistic as percent of marriages.

But we are just going to focus on the actual number of divorced people today — what better way to measure marital misery than the straight count of people in California it affects?

So now that we have you biting your nails, rethinking your world view, and pulling out your hair, let’s take a look at the places in California with highest rates of divorcees.

Let’s quickly recap before we dive into the methodology and a closer look at the top ten places in CA.

What is the city in California with the highest divorce rate? That would be Clearlake, with 21.4% of people over 15 years of age being divorced, per the most recent census data.

What is the overall California divorce rate? According to the 2013-2017 Community Survey, the overall divorce rate in California is 9.4%, which compares to the US divorce rate of 10.9%.

Alrighty, on to how we calculated the places with the highest divorce rates in California.

For more California reading, check out:

How We Determined The Places In California That Get Un-Hitched The Most

Since that this is the 58th category of rankings we are compiling for the site, we had a pretty good idea where to find data on marriage and divorce in America — the U.S. Census Bureau. Because who likes tracking misery more than the U.S. government?

Specifically, we looked at the 2013-2017 American Community Survey specifically table S1201 — Marital Status.

Pretty straight forward on that front — we just had to extract the following column of data:

  • Population 15 Years and Over -> Divorced

There’s some kinda interesting/fun/sad data in there like .1% of female Americans aged 15-19 are divorced, but 0% of males (That’s probably a rounding issue, but still).

But the national data is for another day, today the analysis focuses on the 427 places in California with a population of over 5,000.

We ranked each of these places by the percentage of divorcees over 15 years of age from highest to lowest. We crowned the divorce capital of California the place with the highest incidence of divorcees, Clearlake.

And if you’re trying to avoid divorce, check out Arvin, the city with the lowest divorce rate in California.

Now on to a deeper look at the top ten.

Clearlake, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,061
Divorce Rate: 21.4%
Divorcees: 2,900
Median Income: $27,034
More on Clearlake: PhotosData

Clearlake is a city in Lake County, California. Clearlake is 4.5 miles north-northwest of Lower Lake, at an elevation of 1417 feet. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 15,250, up from 13,142 at the 2000 census. It takes its name from Clear Lake.

Fort Bragg, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,269
Divorce Rate: 19.5%
Divorcees: 1,275
Median Income: $41,273
More on Fort Bragg: PhotosData

Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. It is 24 miles west of Willits, at an elevation of 85 feet. A California Historical Landmark, the city was founded, prior to the American Civil War, as a military garrison rather than a fortification. Fort Bragg is a tourist destination because of its picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean. Its population was 7,273 at the 2010 census.

Grass Valley, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,893
Divorce Rate: 19.2%
Divorcees: 2,227
Median Income: $35,157
More on Grass Valley: PhotosData

The city of Grass Valley is the largest city in the western region of Nevada County, California, United States. Situated at roughly 2,500 feet elevation in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this historic northern Gold Country city is 57 miles by car from the state capitol in Sacramento, 64 miles from Sacramento International Airport, 88 miles west of Reno, Nevada, and 177 miles northeast of San Jose. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 12,860.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,125
Divorce Rate: 18.7%
Divorcees: 1,704
Median Income: $49,643
More on Shasta Lake: Data

The City of Shasta Lake is a city in Shasta County, California, United States. It is the closest settlement to Shasta Dam and Shasta Lake reservoir, which are popular tourist destinations. The population was 10,164 at the 2010 census, up from 9,008 at the 2000 census.

Ukiah, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,917
Divorce Rate: 18.7%
Divorcees: 2,678
Median Income: $43,480
More on Ukiah: PhotosData

Ukiah is the county seat and largest city of Mendocino County, California. With its accessible location, Ukiah serves as the city center for Mendocino County and much of neighboring Lake County. The Ukiah Valley is a center of a major wine production industry. In 1996, Ukiah was ranked the #1 best small town to live in California and the sixth-best place to live in the United States. The population was 16,075 at the 2010 census.

Big Bear Lake, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,190
Divorce Rate: 18.2%
Divorcees: 850
Median Income: $49,519
More on Big Bear Lake: PhotosData

Big Bear Lake is a small city in San Bernardino County, California, located in the San Bernardino Mountains along the south shore of Big Bear Lake, and surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. The city is located about 25 miles northeast of the city of San Bernardino, and immediately west of the unincorporated town of Big Bear City. The population was approximately 5,019 at the 2010 census, down from 5,438 at the 2000 census. Being a popular year-round resort destination, however, the actual number of people staying in or visiting the greater Big Bear Valley area regularly surges to over 100,000 during many weekends of the year.

Sebastopol, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,653
Divorce Rate: 18.1%
Divorcees: 1,246
Median Income: $65,319
More on Sebastopol: PhotosData

Sebastopol or is a city in Sonoma County, California, United States, approximately 52mi north of San Francisco. The population was 7,379 at the 2010 census, but its businesses also serve surrounding rural portions of Sonoma County, a region known as West County, which has a population of up to 50,000 residents.

Red Bluff, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,111
Divorce Rate: 17.7%
Divorcees: 2,247
Median Income: $31,119
More on Red Bluff: PhotosData

Red Bluff is a city in and the county seat, of Tehama County, California, United States. The population was 14,076 at the 2010 census, up from 13,147 at the 2000 census.

Laguna Woods, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,314
Divorce Rate: 17.5%
Divorcees: 2,569
Median Income: $40,837
More on Laguna Woods: PhotosData

Morro Bay, CA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,568
Divorce Rate: 17.5%
Divorcees: 1,664
Median Income: $61,690
More on Morro Bay: PhotosData

Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California’s Central Coast. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,234, down from 10,350 at the 2000 census.

Getting Some Closure In California After Untying The Know

Besides just coming up with what we thought would be a great new blog/book title, “Untying the Knot In California: Life After Divorce”, we now have a sense of what places in the Golden State don’t pay much attention to the whole “’til death do we part” phrase.

Try to keep in mind that the reason cities rank where they do in California could be because of the age, education, and income distribution, as all of those things impact the rate of divorce.

And, in all honestly, that’s probably for the best. It’s much better to get out of a toxic relationship than stay it.

Just make sure you have your running shoes ready to go.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cities With The Highest Divorce Rates In California

Rank City Divorce Rate
1 Clearlake, CA 21.4%
2 Fort Bragg, CA 19.5%
3 Grass Valley, CA 19.2%
4 Shasta Lake, CA 18.7%
5 Ukiah, CA 18.7%
6 Big Bear Lake, CA 18.2%
7 Sebastopol, CA 18.1%
8 Red Bluff, CA 17.7%
9 Laguna Woods, CA 17.5%
10 Morro Bay, CA 17.5%
11 Anderson, CA 17.5%
12 Ione, CA 17.3%
13 Yucca Valley, CA 17.0%
14 Ojai, CA 16.8%
15 Auburn, CA 16.6%
16 Sausalito, CA 16.5%
17 Sonoma, CA 16.4%
18 Crescent City, CA 16.3%
19 Tehachapi, CA 16.2%
20 Larkspur, CA 16.1%
21 Capitola, CA 15.9%
22 Buellton, CA 15.5%
23 California City, CA 15.4%
24 Rio Vista, CA 15.3%
25 Redding, CA 15.3%
26 Barstow, CA 15.2%
27 Seal Beach, CA 15.1%
28 La Mesa, CA 15.0%
29 Laguna Beach, CA 14.8%
30 Healdsburg, CA 14.8%
31 Malibu, CA 14.7%
32 Loomis, CA 14.7%
33 Citrus Heights, CA 14.7%
34 Grover Beach, CA 14.7%
35 Paradise, CA 14.6%
36 Oroville, CA 14.6%
37 Hemet, CA 14.4%
38 Calimesa, CA 14.3%
39 Palm Springs, CA 14.3%
40 Fortuna, CA 14.2%
41 Yreka, CA 14.2%
42 Blythe, CA 14.0%
43 Calistoga, CA 14.0%
44 Eureka, CA 14.0%
45 Santa Rosa, CA 13.9%
46 Fairfax, CA 13.8%
47 Lemon Grove, CA 13.8%
48 South Lake Tahoe, CA 13.8%
49 St. Helena, CA 13.8%
50 Ridgecrest, CA 13.6%
51 Carpinteria, CA 13.6%
52 Corte Madera, CA 13.5%
53 Oakdale, CA 13.4%
54 Lomita, CA 13.4%
55 Pacific Grove, CA 13.4%
56 Rancho Mirage, CA 13.4%
57 Corcoran, CA 13.4%
58 Soledad, CA 13.2%
59 Desert Hot Springs, CA 13.1%
60 Mammoth Lakes, CA 13.0%
61 Imperial Beach, CA 13.0%
62 Palm Desert, CA 12.9%
63 Dana Point, CA 12.9%
64 Benicia, CA 12.9%
65 Placerville, CA 12.9%
66 Marysville, CA 12.8%
67 Newman, CA 12.8%
68 Escalon, CA 12.8%
69 Santa Monica, CA 12.8%
70 Santee, CA 12.7%
71 Vacaville, CA 12.7%
72 Rohnert Park, CA 12.7%
73 West Sacramento, CA 12.7%
74 Chowchilla, CA 12.6%
75 Banning, CA 12.6%
76 Martinez, CA 12.6%
77 Chino, CA 12.5%
78 Rancho Cordova, CA 12.5%
79 Apple Valley, CA 12.5%
80 Yuba City, CA 12.4%
81 San Buenaventura (Ventura), CA 12.3%
82 Avenal, CA 12.3%
83 Cotati, CA 12.3%
84 Aliso Viejo, CA 12.3%
85 Petaluma, CA 12.3%
86 Novato, CA 12.2%
87 Oceanside, CA 12.2%
88 Los Gatos, CA 12.2%
89 Solana Beach, CA 12.2%
90 Arroyo Grande, CA 12.1%
91 San Rafael, CA 12.0%
92 Pacifica, CA 12.0%
93 Monterey, CA 12.0%
94 Vallejo, CA 11.9%
95 Pinole, CA 11.9%
96 Newport Beach, CA 11.9%
97 Tiburon, CA 11.9%
98 Colusa, CA 11.9%
99 Campbell, CA 11.9%
100 El Cajon, CA 11.9%

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.


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