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Study: South has highest rate of divorce

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The rate of divorce in the South in 2009 was higher than the national average
  • Women who divorced in 2009 were more likely to be in poverty, the study says
  • Seventy-five percent of children living with a divorced parent lived in a household headed by their mother

(CNN) -- The South has the highest rate of divorce and the Northeast has the lowest, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report.

In the report released Thursday, the Census Bureau based its findings on data collected by American Community Survey in 2009.

There were 10.2 divorces per 1,000 men in the South in 2009 and 11.1 per 1,000 women. This was more than that year's national average, which was 9.2 for men and 9.7 for women.

The Northeast rate is 7.2 per 1,000 for men and 7.5 per 1,000 for women, the study.

The reason for this may be as simple as the fact that more people get married in the South, a census official said.

"Divorce rates tend to be higher in the South because marriage rates are also higher in the South," said Diana Elliott, a family demographer at the Census Bureau. "In contrast, in the Northeast, first marriages tend to be delayed and the marriage rates are lower, meaning there are also fewer divorces."

The study also made some other findings.

Some of those findings are:

-- Women who divorced in 2009 were more likely than recently divorced men to be in poverty.

-- Seventy-five percent of children living with a parent who divorced in 2009 lived in a household headed by their mother.

-- Children living with a parent who divorced who year were more likely to be in a household below the poverty level.

CNN's Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

 
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