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Divorce: Different Rates in Different States

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By StraightDivorce Staff on 11/7/2007

According to statistics, doctors, police officers, and firefighters have a higher risk of divorce when compared to other professionals, while divorce in the military is the highest of all. Research shows that 20 percent of all marriages fall apart within two years when one spouse is on active duty. But the highest risk for divorce unexpectedly is usually found in couples that live together before marrying. Some studies suggest that couples that live together have a divorce rate as high as 85%. One other odd result from new research shows that smokers have a 53 percent increased risk of divorce, regardless of gender, race, age, education, or income.

What Factors Contribute to Divorce?

In the year 2000, 957,200 divorces were granted in the United States. Yet, researchers agree that the divorce rate peaked at around 1980 and appears to have declined somewhat since that year. Statistically, divorce rates per 1,000 marriages were 22.6 in 1980, 20.9 in 1990 and 18.8 in 2000 indicated from National Marriage Project State of Our Unions source. When considering the differences between European countries compared to the United States, American states allow divorce more quickly than European countries. European divorce rates per 1000 marriages are about half the United States, but they’ve begun to climb as well. Studies also suggest that many factors contribute to the success or failure of a marriage, including geography, age, religion, race, income and education level, as well as family history of divorce.

Where Are Divorce Rates Lowest?

Surprisingly, the areas of the country where divorce rates are lowest are the blue states, which include any state leaning towards the Democratic ticket, while red states, which lean towards the Republican ticket, have the highest divorce rate. For example, Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas, voted overwhelmingly for constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage, but those three states had the highest divorce rates in 2003, based on figures from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics. In one of the reports from the same group, a survey of 7,043 people stated that residents of the Northeast and West are commonly noted for their more liberal leanings in politics and lifestyle. However, the region of the nation in which divorce was least likely was the Northeast. The state with the lowest divorce rate was Massachusetts. In 2003 the rate in Massachusetts was 5.7 divorces per 1,000 married people compared with 10.8 in Kentucky, 11.1 in Mississippi and 12.7 in Arkansas.

Studies About Divorce Rates

Oddly enough, the area known as the Bible belt has the highest divorce rate in the country. In a study by a California organization known as The Barna Group, a study of evangelical Christian trends found that born-again Christians were just as likely to divorce as those who are not born again Christians. It has also been noted that couples who marry very young are likely to get divorced. Studies indicate that couples that marry under age 18 will have failed marriages and 40% who marry under age 20 will divorce. Only 24% of people who marry after age 25 usually divorce.

What Experts Think Accounts for Divorce

Some experts on marriage and family issues attribute divorce to religious beliefs in different regions. One person stated that the Northeast and Midwest have high populations of Catholics and Lutherans and they have lower divorce rates than other Christians. Other experts believe it has nothing to do with differences between faiths but instead believe that people who worship frequently no matter what their faith tend to divorce much, much less. Some others believe that high divorce rates are tied to less education, lower socioeconomic status and marrying at a younger age.

The reasons for divorce are many, and opinions for divorce even higher, yet marriage is something still considered as very important to most couples. Although only 38% of couples would describe themselves as happily married, 75% of divorced people remarry, and half of those remarry within three years after the divorce. So, regardless of statistics, people are still eager to be in a committed relationship.

About the Divorce Attorneys at Straight Divorce

When dealing with family law and divorce issues, a divorce attorney can help make the transition a little smoother. Making the divorce process as simple as possible, the divorce lawyers at Straight Divorce are available for consultation by filling out the free divorce case review or by calling us at 1 (877) 420-6657.

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