According to U.S. Census data from 2009, Georgia is one of 14 states with divorce rates above the national average. The majority of states with an above-average divorce rate are in the south, which researchers partially attribute to a higher rate of marriage in the region.

The study, which was titled "Marital Events of Americans: 2009" and which was conducted using data from the 2009 American Community Survey, found that the national divorce rate was nearly 10 percent. Specifically, per every 1,000 men and women surveyed, 9.2 and 9.7 percent, respectively, divorced in 2009.

In southern states such as Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas, however, the divorce rates were higher. Per every 1,000 men and women studied in the south, 10.2 and 11.1 percent, respectively, were divorced in 2009.

In comparison, the northeast region, including states such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania had the lowest divorce rates, with 7.5 percent of men and 7.5 percent of women divorcing in 2009.

According to Diana Elliot of the U.S. Census Bureau, there is a simple explanation for the disparity. "Divorce rates tend to be higher in the South because marriage rates are also higher in the South," she said. "In contrast, in the Northeast, fewer marriages tend to be delayed and the marriage rates are lower, meaning there are also fewer divorces."

We will continue our discussion of this topic in a second blog post later this week, in which we will look at the study's findings of the economic impact of divorce on children and families.

Source: Reuters, "More untie the knot in South, Northeast divorces least: Census," Molly O'Toole, Aug. 25, 2011