The crude divorce rate is the ratio between the number of divorces in a population during a reference period and the person-years that the population experienced during the same period. It is expressed in divorces per 1,000 inhabitants. The data generated by civil registration systems can have different levels of coverage depending on the type of events recorded. For example, some countries or territories include legal annulment or separation in the annual number of divorces. According to the Principles and Recommendations for a Civil Statistics System, New Regulation 2, annulment is defined as „the annulment or annulment of a marriage by a competent authority under the legislation of each country that gives the parties the status of never having been married to each other“, while legal separation is defined as „the disagreement of the spouses, according to the laws of each country, without granting the parties the right to remarry.“ The comparability of divorce data across countries may also be influenced by the population for which divorces are reported1 and the time reference used to compile divorce data2. In the datasets, footnotes are used to indicate known differences between the data presented and the definition of the annual number of divorces described above. The population estimates used to calculate the denominator may have different coverage than divorce data. Data on the number of divorces come from civil registration systems. For countries that do not have a civil registration system or that have a registration system with too little coverage, data will not be reported. In some countries, the annual number of divorces is estimated on the basis of data provided by a sample registration system. Data on person-years experienced by the population come from official population estimates. The crude divorce rate is the annual number of divorces per 1,000 inhabitants.

According to the Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistical System, Revision 2, divorce is „a final legal dissolution of a marriage, that is, the separation of husband and wife, which gives the parties the right to remarry under civil, religious and/or other provisions under the laws of each country.“ Unless otherwise indicated, the reference period for the number of divorces specified in the World Marriage Data 2008 is the calendar year. . . .