The States With The Highest Divorce Rates

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There’s no question that in past 50 years the divorce rate in the U.S. has increased. But what really affects divorce rates? 24/7 Wall St. analyzed a report just released by the Census Bureau that tracks marital events of Americans in 2009. What stood out was the high correlation between poverty and divorce.

Overall, the report shows that people living in northeastern states have lower marriage and divorce rates. And while those in the southern states are more likely to get married, they also have higher divorce rates.

Our analysis suggests that the difficult economic conditions of many southern states drives the divorce rate higher because residents tend to be poorer. The states with particularly high divorce rates have below median household income as well as a high proportion of the population living below the poverty line. In the other states where divorce rates are high and poverty is not a predominant factor, such as Nevada, the reason may have to do with liberal divorce laws.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Census report, “Marital Events of Americans: 2009,” to identify the states with the highest divorce rates, ranking the states with the worst divorce rates overall for both men and women. The divorce rates count the number of divorces reported per 1,000 men and 1,000 women 15 years and older for the 12 months leading up to 2009. The primary reason for the difference in rates between genders is the varying populations of each. In order to reflect economic conditions that appear to impact divorce rates, we reviewed median income and poverty levels for each state.

These are the ten states with the highest divorce rates.