Sunday, October 4, 2009

Indiana Tops for Divorce?

Such was the news as reported in Anderson's Herald Bulletin under Eastern Indiana county tops nation in divorce rate

More than 19 percent of Wayne County residents over age 15 are divorced, according to new 2008 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s the highest percentage for any county with a population over 65,000 in the nation, and two other Indiana counties — Floyd and Madison — also made the top 10.

“It just doesn’t make all that much sense,” said Michael Jackson, an associate professor of psychology at Earlham College, a small, private university in Richmond that was founded by Quakers who settled the area in the 1800s. “We find it really questionable.”

Wayne County, which includes the small city of Richmond, several rural towns and many cornfields, is hardly obvious as a divorce hub. Richmond, which sits along the historic National Road, features a quaint downtown with brick sidewalks where local shops sit next to boarded-up businesses.

“We always wanted to be first in something,” joked Richmond Mayor Sally Hutton, though she adds that this wasn’t what she had in mind. “If anybody knows why it is, I’ll be glad to work on it.”
Capital Commerce ( gives some information in its Wayne County, Indiana: Don't Blame Economy For High Divorce Rates -

It makes sense--times of great stress expose weaknesses in many institutions, and marriage could be one of them. It might not also be a coincidence that the county with the second-highest number of divorced residents is in Florida, one of the states hit hardest by the housing bubble collapse.

But, somewhat surprisingly, actual research done on the subject of divorce rates and the state of the economy seem to suggest there is little relationship. Check out this paper.
More recent research confirms that the rising level of female participation in the labor force, not unemployment or the overall state of economy, explains rising divorce rates to a much greater extent. In addition, female participation is associated with rising, not falling, incomes.

All of which makes some Californians a bit happy:  Surprisingly, Los Angles is NOT the Divorce Capital! (which is from The Family Law Guy Blog).

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