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State Variations in United States Divorce Rates

Bill Fenelon
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 33, No. 2, Decade Review. Part 3 (May, 1971), pp. 321-327
DOI: 10.2307/349418
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/349418
Page Count: 7
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State Variations in United States Divorce Rates
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Abstract

A partial explanation of high divorce rates in certain areas and states of the United States has been offered for many years by the claim of a "frontier atmosphere" in existence that is conducive towards divorce in these locations. This paper seeks to operationalize this concept and subject it to empirical testing by relating intra and in-migration rates of states to divorce rates. A resonably high positive correlation is found to exist between the two types of rates and it is suggested that an explanation of this relationship may be found in the comparatively lower social costs attached to divorce in states having high migration rates as compared to states having low migration rates.

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