The UK’s Divorce Hotspots Revealed

Fiona Ryans
Fiona Ryans
Beecham Peacock Newcastle

With the highly-publicised court proceedings between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, legislative changes in the UK leading to the implementation of the ‘no fault divorce’ system, and with the latest season of The Crown releasing on Netflix – focusing on the bitter divorce between Prince Charles and Princess Diana – Divorce has been a hot topic in 2022.

To gain an accurate insight into how changes to the legislation and current events have affected the intentions of the public; family solicitors Beecham Peacock have analysed search data around divorce across the UK, revealing the UK’s divorce hotspots, as well as nationwide trends linked to divorce.

Key Findings:

  • Data from Google’s Keyword Planner reveals that, between November 2021 and October 2022, there were an average of 27,100 monthly searches for ‘divorce’ from across the UK.
  • Between August and October 2022, there was a 14% increase in nationwide searches for ‘how to apply for divorce.’
  • During the same period, there was a 23% increase in nationwide searches for ‘how much does it cost to get a divorce.’
  • Bradford is the UK’s divorce hotspot, with 46 searches for ‘divorce’ per 100,000 people.
  • Data from Keyword Planner shows that couples in Edinburgh are the happiest of the UK’s major cities, with just 3 searches for divorce per 100,000 people.
  • Scotland is found to be the happiest UK region with just 10 searches per 100,000 people, whilst England is the unhappiest, with 42 searches per 100,000 people across the entire country.

Which Areas are Looking to Divorce?

Google’s Keyword Planner tool shows the ‘reach’ of cities around the world, an estimate of how many people are using Google in that specific location. Using the average number of monthly searches for ‘divorce’ in each city, and that city’s overall reach, Beecham Peacock have identified which cities in the UK are most interested in divorce.

Bradford – 46 searches per 100,000 people

Leicester – 42 searches per 100,000 people

Hull – 38 searches per 100,000 people

Plymouth – 30 searches per 100,000 people

Liverpool – 29 searches per 100,000 people

Portsmouth –22 searches per 100,000 people

Bristol –21 searches per 100,000 people

Leeds – 21 searches per 100,000 people

Birkenhead – 17 searches per 100,000 people

Manchester –16 searches per 100,000 people

Belfast – 15 searches per 100,000 people

Glasgow –15 searches per 100,000 people

London –10 searches per 100,000 people

Birmingham – 8 searches per 100,000 people

Edinburgh –3 searches per 100,000 people

The data raises some interesting questions. Notably, smaller cities tended to have a greater number of searches for divorce, suggesting that, perhaps surprisingly, couples in the UK’s bigger cities, like London and Birmingham, are happier. With Bradford, Leicester and Hull – all smaller cities – ranking in the top three, the results are surprising.

Looking at wider areas of the country also reveals some interesting data; England has the highest rate of searches for ‘divorce,’ followed by Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Searches for divorce across Scotland were significantly lower than in other areas of the UK, and Scotland’s two biggest cities – Edinburgh and Glasgow – also ranked low for searches for divorce.

Couples in Scotland are therefore happier than anywhere else in the country – irrespective of whether they live in a city or a more rural area.

England – 42 searches per 100,000 people.

Wales – 31 searches per 100,000 people.

Northern Ireland – 24 searches per 100,000 people.

Scotland –10 searches per 100,000 people.

The data also shows that there have been significant increases in searches for certain terms that are related to divorce. For example, in the three months between August and October 2022, there was a 123% increase in searches for ‘family lawyer,’ whilst there was an 83% increase in searches for ‘family solicitors’ during the same period.

With the recent release of The Crown series 5, which sheds a light on the highly publicised divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, divorce has been a hot topic in popular culture, and may have cause people around the country to take a look at their own marriage.

Divorce is a hugely difficult time for couples who have been unable to reconcile their differences, but the new changes to the divorce laws are designed to eliminate the ‘blame game’ from the equation, thereby enabling less emotional, less painful separations.

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About Fiona Ryans

Fiona Ryans is a solicitor at Beecham Peacock Newcastle, specialising in all areas of family law, including collaborative.


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