Divorce Rates Lower in States That Allow Same Sex Marriage


Here's a curious statistic about gay marriage and divorce that may be surprising to family attorneys in Pasadena: Those states where gay marriage is legal are also states with low divorce rates. Researchers say education and marriage age may play a part in the statistic.

Early data from the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control's National Vital Statistics System suggests that 5 of the 10 states plus the District of Columbia with the lowest divorce rates per thousand people coincide with the nine jurisdictions that currently perform or recognize gay marriages. Naturally, states with more marriages have more divorces - yet the statistic holds water when looking at divorces as a share of marriages. In gay marriage states, the number of divorces in 2009 was 41.2 percent of the number of marriages while in the remaining 36 states which do not recognize gay marriage and for which 2009 data is available, it was at a whopping 50.3 percent.

The curious correlation between gay marriages and low divorce rates can be attributed to many things. D'Vera Cohn of Pew Research Center says there is a link between education, marital age and divorce rates.

"From what I understand from the research, people who take the time and have the discipline to complete a college degree or more advanced education - those personality traits are also useful in sustaining a marriage," she told UsNews.com recently.

Studies also have shown that states with higher education rates are more likely to support gay marriage. In addition to education level, age may be a factor as well. Statistics show that same-sex couples who get married tend to be older on average than their straight newlywed counterparts.