According to reality TV, New Jersey is filled with either fight-starting real housewives or fist-bumping, overly-tanned partygoers. But according to the U.S. census bureau, it's also the home of the country's longest-lasting marriages. Divorce attorneys in Pasadena were surprised to hear about the new data, which show that the Garden State is lowest in divorces in the country while states in the "bible belt" rank highest. Specifically, the report shows that the northeast, particularly New Jersey, has the lowest divorce rates in the United States. New York is a close second.
"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. According to the Census Bureau, 7.2 per 1,000 men and 7.5 per 1,000 women got divorced in the northeast. Down south, the rates were much higher at 10.2 for men and 11.1 for women. While experts point to factors like a younger marrying age as to why divorces are higher in the south, much of New Jersey's marital success rate is a numbers game. Consider this: New Jersey came in second to Maine for the lowest marriage rates in the country - a mere 14.8 is the marriage rate for Jersey's men while the women are at a paltry 13.3. Small potatoes when you look at the west, which has the highest marriage rate at 20.7.
Others still point to the high cost of divorce in the northeast as the reason for a low divorce rate. Staggering legal costs, high property rates and pricey settlements are enough to keep some northeastern couples together. New Jersey divorce attorney Evangeline Gomez told NJ.com that when she tells her clients how much they might have to pay in alimony, "their faces turn stone white and they look at me as if it's the second coming."