New Jersey Leads U.S. in Fewer Divorces

Article excerpt

New Jersey is derided for Jersey Shore, aggressive driving and residents who talk too fast, but when it comes to "happily ever after," the Garden State is no. 1. A recent U.S. Census report shows that the Northeast--and New Jersey in particular--has the lowest divorce rate in America, trailed closely by New York.

The Bible Belt, meanwhile, home to southern hospitality, church telethons and country music, has more "shotgun" weddings and the most divorces.

"People assume that people in the Northeast divorce easily because they're less religious, but that's not the case," said Deborah Carr, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University.

In the Northeast, 7.2 per 1,000 men and 7.5 per 1,000 women got divorced. In the South, the rates were 10.2 for men and 11.1 for women. New Jersey's rates were 6.1 for men and 6.0 for women, according to an American Community Survey.

Even though Jean Grossman is from New Jersey, her story mirrors those statistics. When she first moved to Texas, it was a classic case of culture shock.

"I thought I had landed on the moon," said Grossman, 59, a native of Oradell, New Jersey. After getting marfled, she moved in 1984 with her husband to Dallas, where he was pursuing a business opportunity. "I thought we were going into 'happily ever after,'" she said.

"Nobody in my family had ever gotten divorced," said Grossman, who now works as a divorce coach. Almost a decade later, in 1993, she asked her husband to move out, and they divorced three years later. …