Divorce Rates

For many Americans, if they tried to estimate where in the country divorce was the most common and where divorce rates were low, they might say that divorce would be highest in New Jersey and other parts of the Northeast, and low in the “traditional values” South.

They would be wrong. Recent census data indicates that exactly the opposite is true. Divorce rates in the Northeast are the lowest in the country, at 7.2 per thousand for men and 7.5 per thousand for women. Southern states actually have the highest rate of divorce, at 10.2 per thousand for men and 11.1 per thousand for women.

Family law attorneys in Bethesda Maryland took note of the Census Bureau data which showed that nationally, the divorce rate is 9.2 per thousand for men and 9.7 per thousand for women.

What explains the perhaps-unexpectedly high numbers in the South? One Census Bureau demographer attributes it to higher marriage rates in the South. People in New Jersey and other Northeastern states are getting married for the first time later in life, which has lowered the marriage rate. With fewer marriages have come fewer divorces.

One New Jersey mother of two who has been married for thirteen years has attributed the long-lasting nature of her marriage to the fact that she waited until she was in her late twenties to get married. “Waiting allowed me to find the person who was right for me, not the person who was available,” she has said.

By contrast, many Southern women marry young. As they age, many of them are discovering that they perhaps married too hastily, leading to the relatively high Southern divorce rate. After receiving help from a car accident law firm to recover damages in her crash, the mother had this to say.

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