Education, divorce rate link inconclusive

Nov. 8, 2011 at 12:44 AM

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. women with the least education and with the most education have the lowest rate of first divorce, researchers say.

Researchers at the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, using data from 2010 from the U.S. Census Bureau, found the rate of first divorce in the United States was 17.5 per 1,000 women age 18 years and older in a first marriage.

The study found women with no high school diploma or GED had a first-divorce rate of 14.4 per 1,000, while women with a college degree had a rate of 14.2 per 1,000. The rate of first divorce among women was highest -- at 23 per 1,000 -- for those who received some education after high school, but have not earned a bachelor's degree.

"Contrary to the notion that women with a college degree face the lowest chances of divorce, those without a high school degree actually have similar low odds of divorce," Dr. Susan Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, said in a statement. "The relationship between education and divorce is not straightforward."

The study found among African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics, women with less than a high-school degree had a similar divorce rate to women who graduated from college. Among African-American and Hispanic women, the lowest first-divorce rates were found among women with less than a high school diploma, the study said.

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