Photo: Pakutaso

Gov't reveals the five prefectures with highest divorce rates

By Ingrid Tsai, SoraNews24

While COVID-19 has caused a dip in the number of divorces filed in Japan last year, overall divorce rates have been rising.

There are a multitude of reasons why people divorce, whether due to infidelity, safety, or other socioeconomic issues. But a survey done by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in 2018 has ranked prefectures by their divorce rates and challenged preconceptions of the nation’s divorce statistics.

The top five prefectures with the highest divorce rates are:

  1. Kochi (46.15 percent)

  2. Okinawa (45.87 percent)

  3. Wakayama (44.54 percent)

  4. Miyazaki (43.82 percent)

  5. Hokkaido (43.51 percent)

At first glance, there are a few overlapping factors with the prefectures on this list. All five prefectures are considered relatively rural, and the top four especially have a handful of similar traits, such as being located in southern Japan, having a warmer climate, and having a smaller population.

But why does Kochi specifically have the highest divorce rate?

With a population of roughly 750,000, Kochi is no major hub, though the prefecture has plenty of cultural-historical clout as the birthplace of yosakoi, a festive form of traditional Japanese dance.

Unsurprisingly, a variety of theories have been thrown around already concerning Kochi’s not-so-lucky spot. One common perspective focuses on Kochi’s population. After all, a smaller population means a smaller dating pool. It’s harder to be picky when your options are more limited, and less opportunity to meet folks could mean more snap decisions when it comes to dating, and ultimately, marriage.

The idea that population affects the divorce rate is also reflected in the prefecture with the lowest divorce rate: Tokyo. With a divorce rate of 27.45% and a population of 9.2 million, now the question is what factors contribute to Tokyo’s unexpected ranking?

Opposite to Kochi’s situation, many believe Tokyo’s high population count as the reason why the divorce rate is low. With a larger dating pool, folks can be more picky, and no doubt with more options comes the opportunity to carefully select one’s marriage partner.

Another potential factor is also the high cost of living. It’s always easier to maintain a household with two rather than one income source, and Tokyo isn’t exactly the cheapest place to live. Some folks, especially women, may be more hesitant to divorce as they have a higher risk of financial instability.

Applying for a divorce isn’t expensive, but it’s the consolation money, the cash you’re obligated to fork over to your partner in Japan for starting the divorce, that makes the wallet cry.

Source: Toyo Keizai Online via Livedoor News

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- More Japanese are marrying friends and acquaintances because they don’t want to bother with dating

-- Survey reveals 55 percent of women in Japan wouldn’t marry a divorced man

-- Increasing number of Japanese ditching traditional attitudes about weddings and funerals

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Why get or be married when the world is your Oyster?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

While COVID-19 has caused a dip in the number of divorces filed in Japan last year, overall divorce rates have been rising.

Stats are never what they seem.

The divorce rate in Japan peaked in 2002 at about 2.3 divorces per 1000 people. Its been declining ever since, with last year being about 1.7 per 1000. The same goes with the total number of divorce filings. COVID-19 did not "cause a dip"... its been falling steadily for nearly two decades.

But this is probably due to fewer marriages taking place each year. The annual number of marriages has also been declining steadily since about 2002.

But to get the shocking stats in the article (like Kochi's 46%) whats being measured is how many divorces in a given year (here its 2018) for the totality of all married people who may have gotten married in 1985, and this being compared to the number of new marriages for that particular year.

So no, 46% of new marriages in Kochi don't end in divorce, as implied.

See the marriage stats here

4 ( +4 / -0 )

More help should be provided by the government to married couples, those trying to have children.

Do you like going to the dentist?

Do you like having a surgery?

My answer would be No.

But I would still do them because it's necessary. Because it's never easy. But others did it for you.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tokyo’s divorce rate is not low because of a larger population. Its divorce rate is low because before a couple divorce, they often separate. Separation means one of the two moves and, if its the females who moves, she often moves back to her parents’ house in her hometown. After separation, they file for divorce at the city office; i.e. the hometown’s city office.

What SoraNews has to find out is what percent of Tokyo married couples divorce in other prefectures.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why get or be married when the world is your Oyster?


The world can still be your "Oyster" if you marry. Just means sharing. And it's wonderful to see and enjoy the world through someone else's eyes.

Unless "Oyster" is some kind of sexual euphemism?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very simple. Younger and less educated in rural areas are more likely to get married younger and have a higher divorce rate. In Tokyo persons are generally well-educated and get married older leading to more thought put into marriage and less likelihood of divorce. You can go to any bar in Tokyo and find late 30's and early 40's women still waiting for Prince Charming.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Marriage.....whats the purpose of marriage? Pro ans Con especially in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet more people would divorce if they didn't have to go through mediation (which can go on for years), or hubby having to give part of his pension to wife or couples were blatantly honest

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Thanks a bunch for being the voice of reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As Divinda points out..... These figures are nonsense. The methodology is illogical. 46% of marriages in Kochi DO NOT end in divorce.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Two can live more cheaply than one, they say.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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