Divorce Rate Falling Nationwide

Virginia, Maryland ranked 41, 46 respectively

The struggling economy may not be good for your job or house, but it could be keeping your marriage together.

New data from the Census Bureau shows the divorce rate is steadily dropping, down about five percent from 1996.

In our area, both Virginia and Maryland are in the bottom ten for divorce rates. Virginia ranks 41st with a 10 percent divorce rate, and Maryland ranks 46th at 9.4 percent. That’s nearly four percent lower than the highest divorce rate in the nation, 14 percent in Maine. New York and New Jersey have the lowest, at 8.5 percent.  D.C. was not included listed in the report.

Researchers say the biggest reason for the decrease could be that divorce is expensive. Since the recession began, states that have seen higher unemployment have also seen fewer couples getting divorced.

The new data also showed that men are getting divorced at older ages than women. The majority of recently divorced men were between the age of 35 and 54, compared to women who were between 25 and 44. The study finds divorce has a more negative economic correlation for women, with 26 percent recently divorced below the poverty line, compared to only 13 percent of men.

The most common reason for a divorce? Infidelity ranks first, according to the data. That’s followed by communication problems, abuse (physical, psychological or emotional), financial issues and sexual incompatibility.

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