States With The Lowest Divorce Rates Have These 7 Things In Common

by Kristine Fellizar

About 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce, according to the American Psychological Association. When it comes to causes of divorce, where you live may not be one of the first things you think about. But some states do have lower divorce rates than others, and there are a few things these places have in common.

According to the 2017 American Community Survey, the states with the lowest divorce rates were Hawaii, New York, Vermont, Illinois, and New Jersey. These states had less than 10 divorced people per every 1,000 married individuals. The states with the highest rates of divorce were Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Idaho. In Arkansas, there's about 17 divorced individuals for every 1,000 married ones.

"There are some key risk factors that contribute to many of the breakups I see in my practice," divorce coach Elizabeth Degi DuBois, tells Bustle. These factors include talking to each other with contempt, taking each other for granted, and of course, keeping secrets about money and finances.

The reality is, everyone has their own reasons for seeking a divorce. It can also happen to anyone living anywhere. But according to research, states with the lowest divorce rates do have a few things in common.


Less Stress

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When you're stressed about work, finances, or family drama, it can really take a toll on your relationship. In fact, a 2019 WalletHub study found that the most stressed out states also had some of the highest divorce rates. The states with the least amount of stress like Utah, North Dakota, and Minnesota were found to have some of the lowest divorce rates across the country.


Lower Student Loan Debt

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Money can be a major source of tension for any couple. As a 2018 report by Student Loan Hero found, one in eight people cite student loan debt as a cause of their divorce. So it's no surprise that states with low divorce rates also had some of the lowest average amounts of student debt. According to a 2018 WalletHub study, Utah and Hawaii were found to have the lowest average amount of student loan debt. As a previous study found, both states also have the lowest divorice rates.



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When it comes to safety, a 2018 WalletHub study found that Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida ranked the lowest. These states were also found to have some of the highest divorce rates. Utah and Minnesota, which have low divorce rates, made the list of the top five safest states in the country.


Less People Are Married

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You can't get divorced if you don't get married first. In states such as New York and Illinois, less than 65 percent of people are married. The divorce rate there is fairly low at less than 10 divorced people per 1,000 married ones. In states such as Idaho and Arkansas, more than 72 percent of people are married. According to the 2017 American Community Survey, the divorce rate is a bit higher.


Higher Household Income

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A 2011 report released by the Census Bureau found that states with high divorce rates had high numbers of people living below the poverty line and low median household incomes. These states were mostly concentrated in the southern part of the country. States in the northeastern part of the country like Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York had divorce rates that were significantly below the U.S. average. They also had a higher median household income.


People Get Married Older

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A 2018 University of Maryland study found that millennials are to blame for lowering the U.S. divorce rate as many of them are choosing to hold off on marriage. Waiting to get married can increase your chances of staying married. People who live in states with lower divorce rates like New York and Hawaii tend to get married closer to 30.


They're Happy

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According to WalletHub, the happiest states in the country are Hawaii, Utah, Minnesota, North Dakota, and California. The states with the lowest divorce rates are again Utah, North Dakota, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Hawaii. So there's quite a bit of overlap. When you're happy and live a well-rounded life, you're more likely to have a relationship that lasts.

So these are some of the key things states with low divorce rates have in common. The truth is, you don't need to live in a particular place in order for your relationship to work. It's definitely helpful to have less stress and money issues. But if you and your partner are willing to work together to overcome challenges, it doesn't matter where you live. You can have a marriage that lasts.