The 10 Cities In Virginia With The Highest Divorce Rates For 2021

We analyzed over 62 places in Virginia to identify the ones that have the highest rates of divorce.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our third time ranking the cities in Virginia with the highest divorce rates.

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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 338,178 people living in Virginia over fifteen years of age who are divorced. Or compare that to the 28,339,199 dAmericans who are already divorced in 2021.

A lot of people make the decision to run away - or simply split up - across the Old Dominion.

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 Virginia 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 Virginia with highest rates of divorcees.

The 10 Cities In Virginia With The Highest Divorce Rates

  1. Emporia (Photos)
  2. Vinton (Photos)
  3. Marion (Photos)
  4. Buena Vista (Photos)
  5. Roanoke (Photos)
  6. Pulaski (Photos)
  7. Galax (Photos)
  8. Franklin (Photos)
  9. Danville (Photos)
  10. Abingdon (Photos)

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

What is the city in Virginia with the highest divorce rate? That would be Emporia, with 13.0% of people over 15 years of age being divorced, per the most recent census data.

What is the overall Virginia divorce rate? According to the 2015-2019 Community Survey, the overall divorce rate in Virginia is 5.0%, which compares to the US divorce rate of 10.9%.

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

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Emporia, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,442
Divorce Rate: 13.0%
Divorcees: 565
Median Income: $27,063
More on Emporia:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Vinton, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,083
Divorce Rate: 12.0%
Divorcees: 775
Median Income: $49,618
More on Vinton:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Marion, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,706
Divorce Rate: 12.0%
Divorcees: 547
Median Income: $31,544
More on Marion:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Buena Vista, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,484
Divorce Rate: 11.0%
Divorcees: 570
Median Income: $32,455
More on Buena Vista:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Roanoke, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 99,229
Divorce Rate: 10.0%
Divorcees: 7,938
Median Income: $44,230
More on Roanoke:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Pulaski, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,799
Divorce Rate: 10.0%
Divorcees: 703
Median Income: $49,665
More on Pulaski:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Galax, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,517
Divorce Rate: 10.0%
Divorcees: 521
Median Income: $33,575
More on Galax:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Franklin, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,147
Divorce Rate: 10.0%
Divorcees: 651
Median Income: $40,417
More on Franklin:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Danville, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 41,070
Divorce Rate: 10.0%
Divorcees: 3,285
Median Income: $37,203
More on Danville:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Abingdon, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,960
Divorce Rate: 9.0%
Divorcees: 573
Median Income: $45,848
More on Abingdon:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

How We Determined The Places In Virginia 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 2015-2019 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 61 places in Virginia 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 Virginia the place with the highest incidence of divorcees, Emporia.

And if you're trying to avoid divorce, check out Fairfax, the city with the lowest divorce rate in Virginia.

Getting Some Closure In Virginia After Untying The Know

Besides just coming up with what we thought would be a great new blog/book title, "Untying the Knot In Virginia: Life After Divorce", we now have a sense of what places in the Old Dominion 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 Virginia 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 Virginia reading, check out:

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

Rank City Divorce Rate
1 Emporia, VA 13.0%
2 Vinton, VA 12.0%
3 Marion, VA 12.0%
4 Buena Vista, VA 11.0%
5 Roanoke, VA 10.0%
6 Pulaski, VA 10.0%
7 Galax, VA 10.0%
8 Franklin, VA 10.0%
9 Danville, VA 10.0%
10 Abingdon, VA 9.0%
11 Salem, VA 9.0%
12 Martinsville, VA 9.0%
13 Woodstock, VA 9.0%
14 Front Royal, VA 9.0%
15 Wytheville, VA 9.0%
16 Bristol, VA 9.0%
17 Ashland, VA 9.0%
18 Portsmouth, VA 8.0%
19 Hopewell, VA 8.0%
20 Big Stone Gap, VA 8.0%
21 Staunton, VA 8.0%
22 Strasburg, VA 8.0%
23 Petersburg, VA 8.0%
24 Waynesboro, VA 8.0%
25 Covington, VA 8.0%
26 Colonial Heights, VA 7.0%
27 Richmond, VA 7.0%
28 Richlands, VA 7.0%
29 South Boston, VA 7.0%
30 Culpeper, VA 6.0%
31 Warrenton, VA 6.0%
32 Winchester, VA 6.0%
33 Radford, VA 6.0%
34 Suffolk, VA 6.0%
35 Lynchburg, VA 6.0%
36 Christiansburg, VA 6.0%
37 Hampton, VA 6.0%
38 Newport News, VA 5.0%
39 Chesapeake, VA 5.0%
40 Lexington, VA 5.0%
41 Charlottesville, VA 5.0%
42 Smithfield, VA 5.0%
43 Norfolk, VA 5.0%
44 Virginia Beach, VA 4.0%
45 Bridgewater, VA 4.0%
46 Poquoson, VA 4.0%
47 Fredericksburg, VA 3.0%
48 Williamsburg, VA 3.0%
49 Farmville, VA 3.0%
50 Dumfries, VA 3.0%
51 Harrisonburg, VA 3.0%
52 Leesburg, VA 2.0%
53 Manassas Park, VA 2.0%
54 Manassas, VA 2.0%
55 Blacksburg, VA 2.0%
56 Purcellville, VA 1.0%
57 Vienna, VA 1.0%
58 Alexandria, VA 1.0%
59 Herndon, VA 1.0%
60 Falls Church, VA 1.0%
61 Fairfax, VA 1.0%

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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.