ntang (ntang) wrote,

Interesting divorce/voting statistics

I think everyone is agreed that higher divorce rates are probably a bad thing, and not in tune with the whole concept of marriage being sacred and whatnot... right? That whole moral values thing seems to be a big deal to most conservatives, right? So it stands to reason that since they care about it so much more, that they'd take it much more seriously, right? And it also stands to reason that since gay marriage is supposed to ruin the sacrament of marriage that there'd be more divorce in pro-gay-marriage states, right?

Well, I compiled a little data that I found interesting. I took each state, took its number of divorces (Jan-May 2004, the latest data available), and took its population (as of July 1, 2003, the latest data available), and divided the divorces in Q1 2004 by the population and multiplied it by 4 to get a general annual divorce rate. (Of course that's not incredibly accurate, but I'm tired and it's really hard to find exactly matching data for populations and divorces and so on.) I then compared it to the % of the votes for Bush in that state.

I discovered something interesting. Here are the top and bottom states, in terms of divorce rates.

Highest divorce rates:
State% voting for BushWinner% divorce% marriagesdiv/mar
New Mexico50%Bush0.85%0.91%0.94

Lowest divorce rates:
State% voting for BushWinner% divorce% marriagesdiv/mar

Well, golly. That's weird.

Bush votes: CNN (http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/president/)
Population: Census.gov (http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-EST2003-ann-est.html)
Divorce Rate: NCHS - part of the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr53/nvsr53_09.pdf)

Update: I put in two new figures into the tables - marriages divided by population, and divorces divided by marriages.

Some interesting trends, based on this new info: the ratio of divorces to marriages is about the same across red and blue states, it looks like (at least judging by the top and bottom ones). There are a few that are markedly different, but overall they seem to hover around a 55% rate (55% as many divorces as marriages). However, the marriage rate is considerably different in the blue states - it's much lower. The divorce rate is correspondingly lower by the same ratio. What does this imply? I'm not sure. Maybe it just implies that people take marriage more seriously in the blue states - fewer marriages, and correspondingly fewer divorces. It could also be argued that blue staters tend to be in more non-married relationships - we date longer before getting married. (Again, whether that means we're godless whores or just that we think marriage is too important to be rushed into is open for interpretation.)
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