What jobs have the highest & lowest divorce rate in Australia?

Some say that we are entering into a new “Era of divorce” in Australia. It was only this month that news.com stated as much following Justin Trudeau’s divorce, corroborating with our own findings in the Australian Relationships Report. 

By Michael Sheahan, Legal Administration Assistant at Australian Family Lawyers, Brisbane.

Divorce in Australia, and across the globe, does not fall evenly across all demographics; there are some career paths where separation is more likely than not, and other professions where divorces are comparatively few.  However, if you read on and find your occupation on our list, please do not take it as a sign to hand in your two weeks’ notice, or resign yourself to inevitable separation. Your marriage is not predestined for divorce, and just because divorce rates are high in the military does not mean that you and your army officer partner should start divvying up the furniture and fighting over who keeps the family dog. Correlation does not mean causation, and statistics do not bear out on individuals. Your marriage is your own, and regardless of your profession, you should read on without concern.

Statistician Nathan Yau conducted a thorough analysis of the 2015 US Census Bureau’s 5-Year American Community Survey data and found that certain jobs, and certain fields, have a much lower likelihood of divorce than the general population.  At the time of the study, 2015, the CDC reported there were 3.1 divorces per 1000 Americans, and since then the rate has declined to 2.5 per 1000 in 2021.

While this trend appears to disprove the claim that we are entering an era of divorce, the real reason for the fall in divorces is that fewer people are getting married. For the marriages that remain, divorces are becoming increasingly likely. The Australian divorce rate in 2021 climbed to 2.2 divorces per 1,000 residents, an increase from 2 per 1,000 in 2015.


Which occupations have the lowest divorce rate?

Taking the top spot for the profession with the lowest divorce rate are Actuaries. Actuaries are professionals that use advanced mathematics to measure and manage risk and uncertainty to help governments and business make decisions. Only 17% of Actuaries’ marriages end in divorce, unsurprising given their job involves minimising risk. There are a few common traits that we see in all the fields with the low divorce rates.

The jobs tend to be well-paying. The average annual salary for an Actuary in Australia is $183,772 a year and $88 an hour. It is little surprise that financial stress can impact a marriage, so it makes sense that marriages without this burden are less likely to end in divorce.

Actuaries have the lowest divorce rates.

This is mirrored by a body of research that analyses the impact of job termination on a marriage. A study conducted jointly by the University of New South Wales and the University of Wollongong found dismissal from your job corresponded with a 154% increase in the likelihood of divorce.

Careers with low divorce rates are also more likely to require a higher level of education. In response to Mr. Yau’s statistical deconstruction of divorce by profession, Naomi Cahn of the Institute of Family Studies wrote, “Each of the 10 occupations with the lowest divorce rates required at least a bachelor’s degree”.

The jobs with the lowest divorce rates

Rank Job Divorce Rate
1 Actuaries 17%
2 Physical Scientists 18.9%
3 Medical Scientists 19.6%
4 Clergy 19.8%
5 Software Developers 20.3%
6 Physical Theripists 20.7%
7 Optometrists 20.8%



5 professions & jobs with the highest divorce rates

1. Gaming managers

Spin the roulette wheel and hope it doesn’t come up black. Gaming managers or supervisors at casinos and other venues with gambling have the highest divorce rate of any profession at 52.9%

Ironically, both the job with the lowest divorce rate, and the job with the highest divorce rate deal with risk and probability. While Actuaries help minimise risky decision-making, it is the role of Gaming Managers to encourage the opposite. 

 The odds at the roulette table, when you bet on just red or black, will vary depending on the type of roulette you are playing. No matter the type of roulette, you are more likely to get divorced as a Gaming Manager than you are to win a Red-or-Black spin at the roulette table.

2. Bartenders

Late nights surrounded by alcohol and an unpredictable work schedule do not always make for a happy marriage. While patrons vent to the bartender about their own relationship troubles, it seems things are not always perfect on the other side of the bar.  Bartenders have the second highest divorce rate of any job, with 52.7% of their marriages ending in divorce. 

3. Flight Attendants

Savouring exotic cuisine, exploring foreign cities, and experiencing different cultures across the globe caries a certain luxury. Even better if you are being paid for it. While being a flight attendant may have the appearance of glamour, it is one of the careers with the highest divorce rates. The role entails long periods of time away from home, and continuous exposure to potential candidates for an affair. It therefore checks out that 50.5% of flight attendants’ marriages end in divorce. 

4. Gaming Service workers

When it comes to divorce rates, the house doesn’t always win. Likely for the same reasons that gaming managers have the highest likelihood of divorce of any profession, gaming services workers have similarly elevated rates of divorce at 50.3%. are not spared either, with a divorce rate of 43.1% Not making our list, but with similarly high divorce rates, are gaming cage workers (47.3%), gaming security guards (45.5%), and the first-line managers of gaming services workers (43.1%). 

Other professions with notably high rates of divorce are:

  • Switchboard Operators (50.1%)
  • Telemarketers (49.2%)
  • Massage Therapists (47.8%)
  • Nurses (47%)
  • Dancers and Choreographers (46.8%)


Separation is never a forgone conclusion 

The above divorce rates may not inspire hope if you are a gaming manager, bartender, or flight attendant reading them. It is important to note that people are more complex than their job description. 

People act in ways that are not predictable on an individual level, influenced by their personal beliefs, values and experiences. There are studies that look at behaviours that lead to happy marriages: communication, conflict management, and how partners face life events together. Neither being an actuary, nor a gaming manager, are mentioned.

Australian Family Lawyer’s Australian Relationships:  Love, Marriage, and Divorce in a Modern Nation discusses marriage and divorce statistics in greater detail, as well as the forces that shape our relationships.  

The Australian Relationships Report was released in March of 2023 and uses the most recent statistical data and research to give Australians the Family Lawyers’ insight into family law issues. Download it here for free.

If you’d like to understand more about professions with the highest divorce rate in Australia or have questions about your own divorce, call our friendly team directly or request a call back via the form below.

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