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

We analyzed over 129 places in Missouri 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 588,089 people living in Missouri 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 Show Me 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 Missouri 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 Missouri with highest rates of divorcees.

The 10 Cities In Missouri With The Highest Divorce Rates

  1. Dexter (Photos)
  2. Nevada (Photos)
  3. Bowling Green
  4. Clinton (Photos)
  5. Poplar Bluff (Photos)
  6. Sullivan (Photos)
  7. Waynesville
  8. De Soto
  9. Chillicothe (Photos)
  10. Sedalia (Photos)

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

What is the city in Missouri with the highest divorce rate? That would be Dexter, with 21.0% of people over 15 years of age being divorced, per the most recent census data.

What is the overall Missouri divorce rate? According to the 2013-2017 Community Survey, the overall divorce rate in Missouri is 12.1%, which compares to the US divorce rate of 10.9%.

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

For more Missouri reading, check out:

How We Determined The Places In Missouri 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 129 places in Missouri 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 Missouri the place with the highest incidence of divorcees, Dexter.

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

Now on to a deeper look at the top ten.

Dexter, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,887
Divorce Rate: 21.0%
Divorcees: 1,490
Median Income: $33,813
More on Dexter: PhotosData

Dexter is a city in Stoddard County, Missouri, United States, founded in 1873. The population was 7,864 at the 2010 census.

Nevada, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,248
Divorce Rate: 19.6%
Divorcees: 1,454
Median Income: $33,121
More on Nevada: PhotosData

Nevada is a city and a county seat of Vernon County, Missouri, United States. The population was 8,386 at the 2010 census, and 8,171 in the 2012 estimate. Nevada is the home of Cottey College. Nevada’s local government is the council-manager model. The mayor of Nevada is Brian Leanard.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,479
Divorce Rate: 19.6%
Divorcees: 966
Median Income: $35,643
More on Bowling Green: Data

Bowling Green is a city in Pike County, Missouri, United States. The population was 5,334 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Pike County.

Clinton, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,088
Divorce Rate: 19.3%
Divorcees: 1,578
Median Income: $36,091
More on Clinton: PhotosData

Clinton is a city in Henry County, Missouri, United States. The population was 9,008 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Henry County.

Poplar Bluff, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,112
Divorce Rate: 18.6%
Divorcees: 2,864
Median Income: $32,819
More on Poplar Bluff: PhotosData

Poplar Bluff is a small city in Butler County in Southeast Missouri in the United States. It is the county seat of Butler County and is known as “The Gateway to the Ozarks” among other names. The population was 17,023 at the 2010 census.

Sullivan, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,587
Divorce Rate: 18.0%
Divorcees: 1,067
Median Income: $34,544
More on Sullivan: PhotosData

Sullivan is a city that straddles the border of Franklin County and Crawford County in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 7,081 at the 2010 census.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,291
Divorce Rate: 17.7%
Divorcees: 842
Median Income: $55,618
More on Waynesville: Data

Waynesville is a city in Pulaski County, Missouri, United States. The population was 4,830 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Pulaski County and is located in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks. It was one of the communities served by historic Route 66.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,399
Divorce Rate: 17.7%
Divorcees: 1,019
Median Income: $35,560
More on De Soto: Data

De Soto is a city in Jefferson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 6,400 at the 2010 census and is part of the St. Louis metropolitan area. The Van Metre family were first to settle in 1803. The town was organized in 1857 and is named for the explorer Hernando De Soto, who claimed the Louisiana Territory for Spain. De Soto was the city closest to the mean center of U.S. population in 1980. The city celebrated its Bicentennial in 2003. The city made national news on and after May 6, 2003, when straightline winds and a tornado struck.

Chillicothe, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,138
Divorce Rate: 17.3%
Divorcees: 1,422
Median Income: $37,917
More on Chillicothe: PhotosData

Sedalia, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,477
Divorce Rate: 17.0%
Divorcees: 3,285
Median Income: $35,096
More on Sedalia: PhotosData

Sedalia, Missouri is a city located about 30 miles south of the Missouri River in Pettis County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 21,387. As the county seat of Pettis County, it is the principal city of the Sedalia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Pettis County. Sedalia is also the location of the Missouri State Fair and the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. U.S. Routes 50 and 65 intersect in the city.

Getting Some Closure In Missouri After Untying The Know

Besides just coming up with what we thought would be a great new blog/book title, “Untying the Knot In Missouri: Life After Divorce”, we now have a sense of what places in the Show Me 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 Missouri 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 Missouri reading, check out:

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

Rank City Divorce Rate
1 Dexter, MO 21.0%
2 Nevada, MO 19.6%
3 Bowling Green, MO 19.6%
4 Clinton, MO 19.3%
5 Poplar Bluff, MO 18.6%
6 Sullivan, MO 18.0%
7 Waynesville, MO 17.7%
8 De Soto, MO 17.7%
9 Chillicothe, MO 17.3%
10 Sedalia, MO 17.0%
11 Boonville, MO 16.9%
12 Kennett, MO 16.9%
13 Harrisonville, MO 16.7%
14 St. Robert, MO 16.4%
15 Odessa, MO 16.3%
16 Berkeley, MO 16.3%
17 Independence, MO 15.9%
18 Moberly, MO 15.9%
19 Richmond, MO 15.9%
20 Union, MO 15.8%
21 Jackson, MO 15.7%
22 Jefferson City, MO 15.6%
23 Overland, MO 15.5%
24 Aurora, MO 15.5%
25 Charleston, MO 15.5%
26 Maplewood, MO 15.4%
27 Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO 15.4%
28 Smithville, MO 15.4%
29 St. Ann, MO 15.4%
30 Lebanon, MO 15.3%
31 Fulton, MO 15.3%
32 Hannibal, MO 15.2%
33 Cameron, MO 15.2%
34 Republic, MO 15.2%
35 Branson, MO 15.2%
36 St. Joseph, MO 15.1%
37 Warrenton, MO 14.9%
38 Mexico, MO 14.9%
39 Caruthersville, MO 14.7%
40 Oak Grove, MO 14.7%
41 Black Jack, MO 14.7%
42 West Plains, MO 14.6%
43 Springfield, MO 14.6%
44 Kearney, MO 14.6%
45 Grandview, MO 14.4%
46 Pleasant Hill, MO 14.3%
47 Raytown, MO 14.3%
48 Farmington, MO 14.2%
49 St. John, MO 14.2%
50 Hazelwood, MO 14.2%
51 Bolivar, MO 14.1%
52 Gladstone, MO 14.0%
53 Webb City, MO 13.9%
54 Joplin, MO 13.9%
55 Troy, MO 13.7%
56 Florissant, MO 13.7%
57 Valley Park, MO 13.6%
58 Parkville, MO 13.4%
59 Excelsior Springs, MO 13.4%
60 Liberty, MO 13.3%
61 Battlefield, MO 13.3%
62 Festus, MO 13.3%
63 Nixa, MO 13.2%
64 Ozark, MO 13.2%
65 Kansas City, MO 13.1%
66 Blue Springs, MO 13.1%
67 Lake St. Louis, MO 13.1%
68 Bonne Terre, MO 13.0%
69 Sikeston, MO 13.0%
70 Grain Valley, MO 12.9%
71 Belton, MO 12.8%
72 St. Louis, MO 12.8%
73 Pevely, MO 12.8%
74 Ferguson, MO 12.7%
75 Macon, MO 12.6%
76 Manchester, MO 12.5%
77 Marshfield, MO 12.5%
78 Neosho, MO 12.4%
79 Raymore, MO 12.2%
80 Arnold, MO 12.2%
81 St. Charles, MO 12.1%
82 Richmond Heights, MO 12.0%
83 Ellisville, MO 12.0%
84 St. Peters, MO 12.0%
85 Brentwood, MO 11.9%
86 Cape Girardeau, MO 11.7%
87 Bridgeton, MO 11.6%
88 Washington, MO 11.5%
89 Crestwood, MO 11.5%
90 Pacific, MO 11.5%
91 Kirkwood, MO 11.4%
92 Park Hills, MO 11.3%
93 Willard, MO 11.3%
94 Carthage, MO 11.1%
95 Marshall, MO 10.8%
96 Carl Junction, MO 10.7%
97 Rolla, MO 10.5%
98 O’fallon, MO 10.4%
99 Jennings, MO 10.4%
100 Savannah, MO 10.3%

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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