Doctors have the highest divorce rate — approximately 22% — of people in the highest-paying occupations in the nation, according to an analysis of Census data.
In fact, three of the top 10 most divorce-prone occupations were in the medical profession — including optometrists and physical therapists, the research found.
Statistician Nathan Yau, of Flowing Data, used the 2015 American Community Survey to figure out the number of people, by industry, who had gotten divorced.
He quickly noticed a link between salary rate and divorce rate — for example, low-paying jobs like bartender appeared to divorce the most frequently — with a 52% divorce rate — those in high-paying jobs like architecture, engineering and accounting stayed married more often and had divorce rates as low as 17%.
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“Those with higher salary occupations tend to have lower divorce rates. That seems pretty clear. But as you know, correlation isn’t causation,” Yau wrote in his blog post, “Divorce and Occupation,” as first reported by Quartz at Work.. “If someone who is already a physician, quits and takes a job as a bartender or telemarketer, it doesn’t mean their chances of divorce changes. It probably says more about the person than anything else.”
While Yau didn’t wager a guess on why those in higher-paid occupations still split, the nonprofit Institute for Family Studies suggested that for couples with unstable incomes, the commitment of marriage to share their incomes and be supportive of one another through financial ups and downs “may be a source of peril.”
“[A]ll of the occupations with the lowest divorce rates, apart from clergy and “directors” (of religious activities and education), had incomes of at least $75,000,” IFS wrote.
Here’s the list of the divorce rates by highest-paid occupations:
Divorce rate: 21.8%
2.) Directors (Religious activities and education)
Divorce rate: 21.3%
3.) Chemical engineers
Divorce rate: 21.1%
Divorce rate: 20.8%
5.) Physical Therapists
Divorce rate: 20.7%
6.) Software developers
Divorce rate: 20.3%
Divorce rate: 19.8%
8.) Medical/Life scientists
Divorce rate: 19.6%
9.) Physical scientists
Divorce rate: 18.9%
Divorce rate: 17%