Successfully Avoiding Divorce Requires Marriage

I’ve been meaning to point out a problem with Lefteris Pavlides’s objection to a recent report that Rhode Island is among the unhappiest states in the country. Declares Pavlides:

Year after year the so-called “happy” states are on the top of broken homes and children in single families. For my money whole, two-parent families have a better chance at true happiness. The states with the highest divorce rates also have the lowest taxes, which means they have the lowest services for those suffering and the worst educational opportunities for their children. These not very children-friendly places can not be very happy.

His evidence for this claim is that the supposedly most happy states have higher divorce rates than the unhappy states. It’s been a while since I dug into these numbers deeply, but I’m sure my 2004 discovery holds: Divorce rates are calculated per 1,000 of the population, not of marriages, and the states with the highest divorce rates per 1,000 residents also have much higher marriage rates per 1,000 residents.
If I were inclined to provocation, I’d suggest that married Northeasterners should hold on to their spouses for dear life… miserable people might find it difficult to find gold twice.

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Warrngton Faust
Warrngton Faust
11 years ago

“Divorce rates are calculated per 1,000 of the population, not of marriages,”
That’s right, the “50% divorce rate” is playing with numbers. It does not mean that 50% of the people who marry will divorce.

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