The 2009 Census reveals that while couples in western and southern states marry more often, they also divorce at a higher rate than those in other areas of the US.

Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, said, “Surprisingly, the south and west, which we think of as more socially conservative, have higher rates of divorce than does the supposedly liberal east. The reason is that young adults in the south and west tend to have less education and marry earlier, both of which lead to a higher risk of divorce.”

Going state-by-state, Maine, Alaska, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Nevada had the most divorces, and while Utah, Wyoming and Arkansas had the highest marriage rates, they also had a higher-than-average rate of divorce.

New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York had the fewest divorces.

The analysis also found that overall, people are getting married later in life than they did in the past. The percentage of teenage brides has dropped dramatically since 1970, and many men are marrying after their college-age years, as well.

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