This is the #1 reason for divorce in India

The phenomenon of divorce is most prevalent in one’s 20s and 30s. It is not just a legal process, it is a psychological phenomenon as well. Divorce causes an increase in depression because of the loss of a partner (even if she or he is abusive), the loss of hope, and the radical change in one’s lifestyle. Divorce and separation are supposedly rare events in India. However, things are changing with the shifting times. 

“The lack of a child is the top reason why women face divorce in India.”

This is one of the findings of a study done by Premchand Dommaraju, assistant professor of sociology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The Population and Development Review carried the results of the study in its June 2016 issue.


The District Level Health Survey-3 done in 2007-08 supplied the data for this study.

Risk factors for divorce

Other significant findings of the analysis are:

  • Better-educated married women had longer-lasting marriages as compared to less-educated married women.
  • Women with no living sons were more likely to face divorce than those who did.
  • Women with not so well-educated husbands also could face divorce more often than those whose husbands were better educated.

Religious stereotypes about divorce are not true!



The stereotype about Muslims is that they have the greatest number of divorces in India. But data from the 2011 Census shows that this is not true.

“Christians and Buddhists have more divorced women than Muslims.”

Separated women: interesting finding



When the category of women who have been living separately from their husbands for more than a year is added to the category of divorced women, the gap between the share of divorces in Hindus and Muslims is reduced.

  • Hindu law does not make it easy for men to divorce their wives. Thus, they may be deserting them instead of legally divorcing them.  

Polygamy exists outside of the Muslim community



“The number of married women in India is greater than the number of married men across all religions.”

  • This can only mean that not just Muslim men, but men of other religions also have more than one wife.
  • The overall difference in the number of married women and men in the country is over 6.5 million.

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