Education and Race Linked to Divorce

Discover the results of recent research from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) trying to link education and race to first-divorce rates in women.

By April Lopez
Updated: July 17, 2014
divorce news

First-time divorce rate is linked to education and race, according to recent research from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University.

Researchers said there's also evidence that a college degree has a protective effect against divorce among all races.

Among the educated, recent declines in the probability of divorce are influenced by an increase in marital stability. For those who continued their education after high school, the rate of first divorce in a first marriage is highest, but not with a bachelor's degree: a 23 per 1,000 women rate.

The least and the highest educated women have the lowest rate of first divorce as the connection between education and divorce is curvilinear: 14.4 and 14.2 per 1,000, respectively.

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, NCFMR co-director said.

She also mentioned that the relationship between education and divorce is not straightforward.

Asian women have the lowest first divorce rate at 10 divorces per 1,000 women when it comes to race and ethnicity. White and Hispanic women have close first divorce rates: 16.3 and 18.1. African- American women have higher rates, at 30.4 divorces per 1,000 women unlike all other racial and ethnic groups.

Even when race was considered, the link between education and the first-divorce rate held up.

Among all races, women with less than a high school degree had a similar low divorce rate to women who graduated from college. The lowest first-divorce rates were found at women with less than a high school diploma in African-American and Hispanic women.

According to education, there were few differences among white women, but those with a college degree had lower divorce rates than any other education group. The association between education and divorce varies for racial and ethnic groups, the study says.


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November 15, 2011

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