NYers Have One of Lowest Divorce Rates in Nation

But numbers can be deceiving

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Maybe Sonny and Cher would've lasted longer if they had spent more time in New York.

    We're not sure why we're so surprised by this – maybe it's all the glitz, sex and excitement that tends to characterize the Big Apple -- but we are.

    New Yorkers are among the most likely to stick together compared with married couples throughout the country, according to new Census data. Only New Jersey and North Dakota had lower divorce rates than New York's 8.4 percent in 2008 – a number that fell even lower in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, according to The New York Post.

    Even Manhattan – peppered by flashy lights, gentleman's clubs and home to the 42nd Street of old – had a lower divorce rate than the national average – 10 percent vs. 10.7 percent. In the Bronx, only 9 percent of residents were divorced, reports the Post.

    Attention Newlyweds: don't move to Wayne County, Ind., for example, if you want to have a long, happy life with your spouse. That locale has the highest divorce rate in the country at 19.2 percent. There must be something in the water.

    Or not. Counties hardest hit by the economic recession tend to have higher divorce rates, analysts say. Indiana has been pummeled by the fall of the auto and manufacturing industries, and Wayne County's jobless rate is even higher than the state's average, reports the Post.

    But if stress often leads to marital tension and divorce, why isn't the divorce rate higher in New York?

    "I find that somewhat surprising," divorce lawyer Daniel Clement, who just wrapped up his first same-sex divorce case, told the Post. "Life in New York is hard. I'm not sure what to make of it."

    So do New Yorkers just value the sanctity of marriage more than couples in other states? Not exactly.

    It's harder to get a divorce in New York, which might contribute to the lower divorce rate. People also tend to stay single longer, so there are fewer people per capita getting married and thus fewer people per capita getting divorced than in other states.

    The divorce rate, as defined by the Census Bureau, is the percentage of residents older than 15 who say they are divorced. The number includes people who have been divorced for years and those who have relocated after their marriages dissolved.

    Statisticians are still analyzing the data. Last year was the first year they compiled numbers on divorce rates, so there's no comparative data, reports the Post.