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Which State Has America's Lowest Divorce Rate?

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on October 24, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

New Jersey is often the punchline of national jokes but it looks like they're coming out on top when it comes to keep the divorce rate low.

The divorce rate in New Jersey clocks in at 9%, according to the 2011 American Community Survey. That's the lowest divorce rate in the nation and significantly lower than the national average of 52%. Divorce rates peaked in the 1980s but there's been an uptick recently, reports The New York Times.

So what is it about the Garden State that makes residents more likely to stay married? It may be something about the kinds of people who live in New Jersey.

Certain facts about a marriage make it less likely the couple will divorce. Married people in New Jersey are more likely to have those factors, according to The New York Times.

Factors that are favorable for a long-lasting marriage include education, race and ethnicity, age, and age at first marriage.

New Jersey residents are more likely to marry later in life, after completing college and possible graduate school, when compared to the rest of the county. Marrying at an older age and having more education are both factors that indicate marriage durability.

The large foreign-born population in New Jersey may also contribute to its low divorce rate. Immigrants generally have lower odds of divorce than their native-born peers.

Just because the state has a low rate of divorce doesn't mean all those couples are happily married. The survey measures how many couples divorce, not how many report satisfaction in their marriage.

It may also be worth mentioning that New Jersey residents require a lower quotient of happiness to feel content, according to The New York Times.

What may be bad news for New Jersey's divorce lawyers is likely a benefit for New Jersey couples who seem to have found the key to a lasting (and hopefully happy) marriage. For those who haven't, there are still lawyers they can turn to.

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