Interesting Divorce Statistics

Mental Floss dug up some data on what circumstances are correlated with either higher- or lower-than-normal divorce rates. Of course, correlation is not causation, so just because something is related to a higher divorce rate, doesn’t mean that it causes divorce. Still, they’re interesting to consider:

  • Smoking: couples where one person smokes are almost twice as likely to get divorced. It’s a little higher if the smoker is the wife. And even when both spouses are smokers, the divorce rate is still higher than non-smokers; however, this may have a common cause, since poorer people smoke more and are also more likely to get divorced.
  • Jobs: some professions have lower divorce rates than normal. Optometrists, shuttle car drivers, transit cops, farmers, nuclear engineers and clergy. Again, this is probably just due to the kind of people that choose those professions, and the spouses that marry them — the jobs themselves don’t really make them less divorce-prone. Massage therapists and mathematicians were among the most likely to get divorced.
  • Generosity: couples that split chores evenly tend to have a lower divorce rate. This was also corroborated by the National Marriage Project, which showed that generosity was the 3rd biggest predictor of a happy marriage.
  • Ideology: conservative states have a higher rate of divorce than progressive ones. This is probably due a few factors, including the average level of education and marriage age being lower in conservative states: people there get married younger, then probably grow apart as they age, and don’t have coping skills like good communication techniques to work problems out. It’s worth noting that while some liberal states do have the lowest rates of divorce, others have the highest likelihood of marriages ending in divorce.
  • Influence: people who know more divorced couples tend to get divorced more. The social effect is very powerful and its presence can be seen in a lot of other problems, such as smoking and obesity: people tend to be like their friends and family. When it comes to people, birds of a feather don’t necessarily flock together, but rather those who flock together start growing the same feathers.
  • Beginnings: couples who met during high school or college are more likely to stay together; those who met in bars are more likely to get divorced. This likely has to do with shared history, values and other things the spouses should have in common.
  • Kids: couples who have more daughters have a higher rate of divorce; couples who have more sons have a lower rate.
  • Wife: 73% of divorces are initiated by the wife.


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From Mental Floss, via Neatorama

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