Thinking of getting married young and then getting divorced? You really ought to move to the South or West. Cause up here we apparently like to wait for both of those things and down there? Not so much. This news comes courtesy of the U.S. Census, always good for some interesting (if sometimes questionable) data.
Anyway, according to a new analysis from the bureau [PDF], marriage is at an all-time low (blame the Millenials?) with barely 52 percent of Americans reporting being hitched compared to 57 percent in 2000. Another way to look at that? There were only 19.1 weddings per 1,000 men and 17.6 per 1,000 women in 2009 nationwide—poor ladies! And the divorce numbers are kinda grim, too. In 2009 there were 9.2 of every 1,000 men finalizing their divorces, while 9.7 of every 1,000 women did. But look at things by region and the picture is a little different. The South and West had the most marriages, with rates of roughly 19 per 1,000. But they also led in divorces, each at about 10 per 1,000. In comparison, in the Northeast the divorce rate was about 7.3 per 1,000.
"The reason is that young adults in the South and West tend to have less education and marry earlier, both of which lead to a higher risk of divorce," said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, explained to the Daily News. Or put another way Census Bureau demographer Diana Elliott says, "Divorce rates tend to be higher in the South because marriage rates are also higher in the South. In contrast, in the Northeast, first marriages tend to be delayed and the marriage rates are lower, meaning there are also fewer divorces."
And that's just the tip of the iceberg in the report below, which also includes data on the economic impact of divorce (22 percent of the women recently divorced in 2009 were living in poverty while just 11 percent of the men surveyed were), statistics on the duration of marriage by region and education (54 percent of those with less than a high school degree were married 20 or more years) and data regarding the living situations for children of divorced parents (kids living a recently divorced parent were more likely to be below the poverty line than other children). It's a good read!