Divorce Rates Highest in the South

South Leads Country in Rate of Divorce

South Leads Country in Rate of Divorce

According to U.S. Census Bureau reports, states in the Deep South tend to have higher rates of divorce than the national average, for both men and women. An official with the Census Bureau attributes the higher divorce rate to two factors: higher marriage rates in the same area, and more marriages involving younger persons. In the northeast, where divorce rates are the lowest, the average age at which a first marriage occurs is higher. Researchers theorize that, when parties are older at the time of a first marriage, they have more tools to weather difficult times.

According to the study, the national divorce rate for men is 9.2 divorces per 1000 y 9.7 for women. This takes into account multiple divorces by the same person.

The study found fourteen states with divorce rates for men that were above the national average, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. All of those southern states also exceeded the national average divorce rate for women. Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania all had among the lowest divorce rates for men and women.

A study by the Pew Research Center reinforced these finding. In its report entitled The States of Marriage and Divorce, the center concluded that religious values in the “Bible Belt” discourage premarital sex and tend to lead to marriage at an earlier age, and with less educational background. The lack of education can translate directly into less income and financial resources to support a marriage. According to the report, the average age of men in Arkansas and Oklahoma at their first marriage was 26. In New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, it was over the age of 30.

Contact the Law Office of Len Conner & Associates

At the Law Office of Len Conner & Associates, we offer a free initial consultation in all family law matters, including issues relating to divorce. Send us an e-mail or call our office at (972) 445-1500 or 972-445-1500 if you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Or call us toll free at (877) 613-5800 for an appointment.

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