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The South leads the way for marriages and divorces

As the United States evolves into an ever-more modern and technologically defined society, traditional institutions like marriage seem to be getting slowly phased out (as indicated in a number of studies, including recent findings from the Census Bureau), and divorce is becoming increasingly common in the marriages that do occur.

This outcome is due to a host of factors, such as young people putting off marriage to pursue educational and professional goals, as well as to the greater acceptance of couples who are living together and having children outside the confines of marriage.

However, in the South and the West, where values tend to be more conservative than in the rest of the country, marriages are much more still the norm. The South and the West have a marriage rate of around 19 out of every 1,000 men and women, whereas the remainder of the country lags those numbers considerably.

Especially interesting is that the divorce rate is much higher in the South than the North. For example, Florida has traditionally had a divorce rate that is twice as high as Massachusetts, a well-entrenched liberal state.

Why is that? The difference in divorce rates is usually caused by several factors, including the ages of the married couples (Southerners typically marry earlier than couples in the North) and the fact that educational levels tend to be somewhat higher overall in the North. This will lead in more instances to greater financial stability and maturity for a Northern couple as they commence marriage. These coupled factors -- a greater financial foundation and emotional maturity going into a marriage-- will more often bring about an enduring union.

Related Resource: Associated Press, "Census: South, West lead US in marriages, divorce" Aug. 24, 2011

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