New Jersey Residents: Protected From Divorce?

Did you know that if you live in New Jersey your marriage will have a statistically higher chance of lasting a lifetime than if you live in almost any other state?

The most recent Census results from 2014 reflect that New Jersey has the 4th lowest divorce rate in the nation, and divorce rates in New Jersey have been consistently on the downward trend since 2001. While national divorce rates have also been on the downward trend, New Jersey’s divorce rates have remained lower, and continue to remain lower than the national average. So, how have New Jersey residents accomplished this?

There are several protective factors that lower your risk of ever experiencing a divorce, and a good percentage of New Jersey residents seem to have the ‘trifecta’ of these protective factors. Strong protective factors against divorce include educational attainment, financial stability (income), and age at first marriage.

  • Education: NJ residents are among the most educated states in the nation, with 36.8% holding a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to the national rate of 29.8% (2015 American Community Survey).
  • Income: New Jersey ranks as having one of the highest median household incomes in the nation at $99,026, compared to the national median income of $75,558 (2015 American Community Survey).
  • Age at first marriage: Both men and women in New Jersey are getting married later in life compared to the rest of the nation. New Jersey residents rank 5th for getting married at a later age. In New Jersey, the median age of marriage for women is 28.1 and for men 30.1 (2010 U.S Census).

This information is not to say that if you live in New Jersey that you are not immune to divorce, but that if you live in New Jersey you have likely statistically attained the ‘trifecta’ of protective factors that mitigate your risk for divorce. Generally speaking, those who tend to marry later in life tend to be wealthier and better educated, and are likely to marry someone with a similar ‘trifecta’.