If You Want Your Marriage to Last Should You Move to New Jersey?

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Thursday, October 18, 2012.

Marriage and divorce are important events. Not surprisingly, researchers, policy makers, and the public are always interested in up-to-date information about the demographic characteristics of marital events, and they reveal a lot about nationwide patterns.

The New York Times recently reported on the latest Census figures about marriage and divorce. According to the 2011 American Community Survey released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau, New Jersey ranks last among the states in the percentage of residents 18 and older who are divorced.

The New York Times article notes a few reasons. “The composition of New Jersey married individuals is quite favorable across several indicators, providing some evidence for the low divorce rate,” said Susan L. Brown, a sociology professor and co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “These factors include education, race-ethnicity, age, and age at first marriage.”

However, the Census revealed a lot of other interesting variations among U.S. states, and between men and women. For instance, the states with the highest divorce rates for men were Arkansas and Maine. But, the states with the highest divorce rates for women were different. Alaska and Oklahoma topped the charts in that category. How did Florida rank? Not terrible, a little under the national average for both men and women 8.5 per 1,000 men and 9.9 per 1,000 women. The national averages for men and women were 9.2 per 1,000 and 9.7 per 1,000 respectively. So, while New Jersey has one of the lowest divorce rates, it also has one of the lowest marriage rates too. Maybe you don’t need to pack your bags for the Garden State so quickly.