Jacksonville has ranked #9 on a list of America’s Top 50 Divorce Capitals compiled by The Daily Beast, and another Florida city – Panama City – ranks #1.
The Daily Beast looked at 2009 divorce statistics, including the number of divorces and the percentage of the population in each city that was currently divorced. Four cities in Florida made the top 10 – Panama City, Deltona, Palm Bay and Jacksonville – and 11 Florida cities made the top 50.
Jacksonville’s divorced population stands at 13 percent, with 4.7 percent of the population obtaining a divorce in 2009. In Panama City, 15.5 percent of the population is divorced, and 4.3 percent got a divorce in 2009.
One Florida marriage counselor says that he believes that Florida’s lenient divorce laws and bad economy contribute to a higher rate of divorce in the state. Dr. Joel Prather told Panama City television station WJHG, “People come to the state of Florida for opportunity, for jobs or to get away from their past life. I have people come in frequently to see me who have moved here and are trying to fix their marriage and they think moving here for some reasons going to help.”
However, he noted that the reality is that marital problems follow you wherever you go, so although troubled couples may move to Florida to “fix” the marriage, they often wind up ending it here instead.