NPR logo Divorce Is No Longer Rare In Rural America


Divorce Is No Longer Rare In Rural America

We touched upon the newest Census figures and what they mean to the demographics the U.S. a bit earlier, but the New York Times dug a little deeper into the numbers and found another cultural trend: Divorce, once rare in rural America, is becoming more common.

In the 1970s, reports the Times, the rate of divorce in rural areas like Siox County, Iowa, looked like the rest of America in the 1910s. Today, the gap in divorce rates between metro areas compared to non-metro areas has essentially disappeared.

Traditional family life is changing, reports the Times, as well as values:

"In the bottom ranks, men have lost ground and women have gained," said June Carbone, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and co-author of "Red Families v. Blue Families."

"A blue-collar guy has less to offer today than he did in 1979," Professor Carbone added. Those shifting forces, she said, "create a mismatch between expectation and reality" that can result in women becoming frustrated and leaving, because now they can.