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Does economy play a role in lower divorce rate?

The rough economy has changed many people's lives. People have lost their jobs, and with them, health insurance. Some struggle to pay their rent or mortgage. It's also possible that, at least temporarily, economic woes have kept people from filing for divorce.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the divorce rate has steadily declined nationwide by about 5 percent since 1996. According to NBC Washington, researchers are saying one of the reasons people are divorcing less is the cost. Fewer people have divorced since the recession began. If it's true that people are waiting to divorce until economic times improve, theoretically there could be a spike in divorces as the economic outlook brightens.

The most common reason for a divorce, according to the data, is infidelity. Other issues cited include financial issues, sexual incompatibility, abuse and communication problems.

Another interesting finding is that men tend to get divorced at older ages than women. While the majority of recently divorced women were between the ages of 25 and 44, most of recently divorced men were between the ages of 35 and 54.

For some reason, divorce has more negative economic implications for women, the data shows. 26 percent of recently divorced women reported being below the poverty line, while that was true for 13 percent of recently divorced men.

Overall, the highest divorce rate was in Maine, at 14 percent. New York and New Jersey had the lowest rate in the nation, at 8.5 percent. Colorado ranked in the middle of the pack.

Source: NBC Washington, "Divorce rate falling nationwide," Josh Wist, Feb. 8, 2012

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