New Jersey Has One Of The Lowest Rates Of Divorce In The U.S.

According to the Barna Group, a think-tank in Ventura, California, only 19 % of those Americans who marry in the Northeast get divorced. The divorce rates for Americans who live in the south is 27 %, the same as the divorce rate for those who marry in the Midwest. Americans who live in the West divorce at a slightly lower rate, 26%.

The divorce rate in southern states averages 5.1% per 1,000 people, while the average rate in the northeastern states is 3.5% per 1,000. Nationally the average is 4.1% per 1,000.

The National Center for Health Statistics says that Massachusetts had the lowest divorce rate in the nation. The other states with the lowest divorce rates in the U.S. are Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York and Pennsylvania. The states with the highest divorce rates include Nevada, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wyoming.

Studies and experts say southern states may have higher divorce rates because:

  1. Couples in the South marry younger, and younger couples are more likely to divorce.
  2. Fewer Catholics live in the South, and it’s still difficult to divorce and remarry in the Catholic Church
  3. Family income in the south is lower than in the Northeast, and couples with a lower income have a higher divorce rate.
  4. The level of education is lower in the South than the Northeast, and couples with a lower education level have a higher divorce rate.

“The big factor in divorce is a person’s level of education. The higher the couple’s level of education, the lower the divorce rate. That’s one reason atheists have one of the lowest divorce rates. Atheists tend to be highly educated people. That’s the story in the nut shell,” said Professor David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University.

Source: The January 21, 2010 edition of the Raleigh News & Observer newspaper