For a number of reasons, most notably the pursuit of education, men and women in the United States are waiting longer before entering into their first marriage. According to statistics released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), pursuing education first makes a significant difference in the longevity of marriage. Roughly78 percent of women who have earned a bachelor’s degree, or higher, are still married after 20 years, compared to only41 percent of women who possess only a high school diploma.
With men and women’s well-reasoned delay of marriage to pursue higher education first, the incidents of divorce in first marriages are dropping in many states. Even so, in some states, the divorce rate remains high. But, why is that, and in which states is divorce most common?
According to the Center for Disease Control CDC, Nevada had the highest divorce rate in the United States in 2011 (the last year data is available), and it’s been that way for years. Even though life in Nevada is fast-paced and stressful, there is more to the story, though. The divorce process in Nevada isnotoriously easy, so couples often travel from across the country to Nevada, seeking a divorce. That inflames the numbers, making it seem worse than it is for Nevada residents.
Here is a list of the top ten states with the highest divorce rates in 2011, according to the Center for Disease Control.
- West Virginia
What are the Reasons?
There are many broad factors, including social and cultural, that attribute to the divorce rate. Personal reasons, such as initial motivation for marriage (childbirth, asset protection), mental Illness, and change in religious views can play a factor in divorce as well. Two primary factors, above all, seem to be fairly universal though, and those are the age at which the couple was married and the education level of each partner.
As stated in the beginning of the article, the age at which a person chooses to get married seems to make a significant difference in the success of the marriage. Currently in the United States, the average age for a woman to enter into her first marriage is26, and for men the age is28. According to the Pew Research Center, Arkansas and Oklahoma are two of the top three states (numbers two and three on the CDC’s list of states with the highest divorce rates) in which women marry at the youngest age.
Using men as an example, according to thePew Research Center, approximately half of men in New York state waited until they were over the age of 30 before they married, and according to the CDC, New York has one of thelowest divorce rates in the country. That’s a surprising statistic considering how stressful and fast-paced life in New York is reported to be for many people.
Another factor in divorce is education level. In the beginning of this article, education statistics related to women and marriage success rates were discussed. The Pew Research Center also provides an overall comparison, based on education levels across the board. The study found that in states where the median education level was low (no college degree), people overall married younger in life and were divorced sooner. Those with higher education levels (minimum of a bachelor’s degree) married later in life and had a much lower rate of divorce overall.