"A recent U.S. Census report shows the Northeast - and New Jersey in particular - has the lowest divorce rate in America, trailed closely by New York.If you're not married you can't get divorced.
The Bible Belt, meanwhile, home to Southern hospitality, church telethons and country music, has more "shotgun" weddings and the most divorces.
"People assume that people in the Northeast divorce easily because they're less religious, but that's not the case," said Deborah Carr, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University.
In the Northeast, 7.2 per 1,000 men and 7.5 per 1,000 women got divorced. In the South, the rates were 10.2 for men and 11.1 for women.
New Jersey's rates were 6.1 for men and 6 for women, according to the 2009 American Community Survey, which released the data in August.
The South sees more divorce for several reasons, Carr said:
First, Southerners tend to marry young.
Second, couples don't usually move in together while unwed, a trend tied to religious beliefs. They often frown upon birth control, and are "more likely to have nonmarital pregnancies, which ... then trigger 'shotgun' marriages."
Third, there are simply more marriages in the South. New Jersey had the second-lowest marriage rates, just above Maine. The Census survey reported New Jersey's marriage rate is 14.8 for men and 13.3 for women."
Chron.com, September 29, 2011