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Which states have the lowest divorce rates?

Good news for East Coasters.

By Kristin Wong Oct 15, 2012 2:57PM

No married person will tell you that keeping the knot tied is easy, but hard work notwithstanding, one key to a lasting union might just be geographic location.

According to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, your marriage might have a better chance of enduring if you reside somewhere in the northeastern part of the country.

Photo; Vstock LLC/Getty ImagesThe Bureau released the 2011 American Community Survey just last month, and in it, New Jersey was revealed as the state with the lowest percentage of residents 18 and older who are divorced, the New York Times reports. New York came in at a close second.

In New Jersey, just 9.1 percent of adults are divorced, compared with almost 52 percent of its residents 18 and older who are married. Susan L. Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, told the Times:

“The composition of New Jersey married individuals is quite favorable across several indicators, providing some evidence for the low divorce rate."

Naomi Cahn, a professor at George Washington University Law School, further explained the data:

"Marriages are more likely to last for longer periods of time when people marry at an older age, have a higher education and earn more, and New Jersey scores high on these three criteria. New Jerseyans are more likely than residents of most states to delay marriage until after they complete college and graduate school. There are fewer divorces in New Jersey because there are fewer risk factors.”

Basically, New Jersey residents are likely to postpone marriage until they're "emotionally and financially ready," as Deborah Carr, a sociology professor at Rutgers, puts it.

The same must be true for residents of New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Massachusetts, as those states all ranked low in percentages of divorced adults. In fact, from New York down to South Carolina, the East Coast in general had a rate of less than 12 percent. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois also saw low percentages.

And Nevada may be the state of the quickie wedding, but when it comes to lasting marriages, couples don't fare so well. Nevada had the highest percentage of divorce, at 14.7. Wyoming, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee were all over 13.5 percent.

The state of the economy has also played a key role in U.S. divorce rates. Mel Schwartz, a psychotherapist who has studied and written on the topic of divorce, told The Heart Beat:

"Divorce is far less a stigma than it used to be. However, the current economic conditions may force many people to remain unhappily married due to financial constraints."

And that would explain why divorce is less common in New Jersey than the rest of the country. As Carr told the Times:

"New Jersey is among the wealthier states in the nation, and economic stability also contributes to marital stability.”

Bing: Which A-list actor is currently embroiled in a divorce?

Photo: Vstock LLC/Getty Images

More Sex & Love on MSN Living:
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Tags: divorce
270Comments
Oct 15, 2012 8:25PM
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Hopefully they are not humiliating people into marriage to keep divorce rates down..  just saying..
Oct 15, 2012 8:20PM
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Interesting, I assumed it would be the Southeast with the lowest divorce rate. Although the article did mention the east-coast in general, and South Carolina. Looking at the "Divorced Adult" map w/ the NY Times, suprisngly, California has a divorce rate between 9-10.5%....lowest on the west coast, and lower than Texas and the rest of the Southeast. Never would have guessed.
Oct 15, 2012 8:11PM
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Got married at 18 my hubby was 22 and 37 years later still married. 1 son and he's 33.
Oct 15, 2012 8:11PM
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Never put materials hopes into a relationship.

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divorce is high in red states, what a suprise.lol
Oct 15, 2012 8:05PM
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The problem is people get married for the wrong reasons.  He, she, or it is so hot, hot. hot.  But the hotter the fire the quicker & more thoroughly it burns out.  Then you have to talk (the other 4 letter word for intercourse) to this critter.  Eeew!

Or you've found the perfect mate.  Humans are only perfect when they're being rectal orifices.  It's not the object of your affection who's achieved perfection, it's you.

Or he, she, or it isn't perfect (good start), but will change for me (& we're back into the toilet).  Unless all psychologists & psychiatrists do lie, your personality is pretty much set by age 6, & your marriage is defined by disappointment & resentment so intense, the kids are begging you to get divorced for their sake.  Or worse, he, she, or it changes.  NOw you wake up with a stranger who looks just the the person you married in bed next to you.  The rest of this story is directed by Alfred Hitchcock, & narrated by Rod Serling.

Get married because you're going to spend the rest of your life with this person anyway. 

Oct 15, 2012 7:57PM
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Divorce rates are low where I live because when you marry yer sister, you already know what you're gitten.

Oct 15, 2012 7:55PM
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The key to a happy marriage is to marry the person you WANT to marry, not the person you think you're supposed to marry, 
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