Statistics is an unusual science. It is not always easy to determine which statistical patterns really demonstrate a causal relationship, and which are only curious (and sometimes just very ridiculous) spurious correlations.
Every year, the personal-finance website releases a report on the Happiest States in America. For some reason, it’s presumed that such a subjective thing as happiness can be measured with the help of ratings relating to different aspects of human life – from “safe” up to “sports participation”. According to such a survey, Florida demonstrates rather contradictory results. For example, generally, Florida placed 29 on this survey. Not so bad. Florida’s total happiness score is 51 (with the highest rate of 68 in Hawaii). The “Emotional and Physical Well-Being Rank” for Florida is 20. The “Work Environment Rank” for Florida is 20. Still not so bad. Along with it, the state shows poor ranks in such metrics as divorce rate in Florida (#48 in the nation, what means almost the highest divorce rate out of 51 states). In addition, Florida placed #47 for being “Safe”, #48 for “Income Growth”, and #47 for “Long-Term Unemployment Rate.” How should it be correlated? Good ranks on “Work Environment Rank” with low ranks of “Income Growth”, good level of emotional well-being and high divorce rate… Is this a contradiction? Or on the contrary, the connection is logical? Probably, we can just guess, but anyway, it must be interesting to consider what actually forms the Florida divorce rate statistics.
Seventh-highest divorce rate state
According to the recent report by the Census Bureau, Florida holds the seventh-highest divorce rate in the nation, and at the same time, according to the https://www.businessinsider.com/cities-with-the-worst-divorce-rates-2011-7, two cities in Florida – Miami and Tampa Bay – occupy the first places in the top ten cities with the highest divorce rate (among all the US states’ cities.) And of the 50 U.S. cities with the highest divorce rates, 11 are in Florida. About 50,000 couples file for divorce each year, and Florida divorce rate 2018 is not an exception.
In general, the divorce rate in Florida is consistently high, no matter what national trends are traced at this time. The divorce rate is growing – and in Florida, these figures are growing. The level of divorce is falling – but what is Florida divorce rate? Also declining but still, proportionally, remains to be one of the highest.
Let’s look closely at the possible causes.
Median population age and divorce – what’s the connection?
Although it may be annoying Florida is commonly stereotyped as the retirement state, where a bunch of old people from all over the world enjoying their lives to the full. Surely, there is some exaggeration but Florida has the fifth place of the top ten US states with the oldest population, what is still a significant figure. The fact that a great number of general amount of new Florida citizens are more or less elderly people affects the state divorce rate significantly. First, Florida, with its tropical climate and relaxing atmosphere, seems to be a good place to start anew, and second, elder couples often appreciate their time more and become more proactive about weighing whether they really want to stay together. Such issues as minor children or common business or household are no longer a deterrent, and a lot of people just want to live for themselves. All this contributes to the increase of a phenomenon called “gray divorce”.
So, there is a correlation between the number of elderly people and the divorce rate in Florida. However, in Maine (and in New England generally), where the average age is higher, the divorce rate is not that high. Why does it happen?
If we talk about the younger population, there are many migrants in Florida who may not always have strong social support networks and community in their new place of residence. Perhaps, when marriage problems occur, it’s harder for them to solve their problems on their own and without friends’ and relatives’ emotional support. Along with it, plenty of problems concerning settling in a new place don’t contribute a lot to family cohesion too.
One more factor that probably distinguishes Florida from, for example, New England, is a real “birth tourism” boom. It’s a huge business which scale and cost are really astonishing. It is also well-developed in California where Chinese moms-to-be flock to give birth for years so that the newborn baby got US citizenship automatically. And as for North Miami, Florida, also known as the “Russian Riviera”, now, it hosts several pregnant women from each flight from – not surprisingly – Moscow. Although there are no official numbers for how many foreign women come to the U.S. to give birth to U.S. citizens, Florida says the number of such tourist-births has spiked 200 percent since 2000. A large number of newborns “decreases” the average age in the state, but in fact, these children don’t remain living in Florida or in the U.S., they typically don’t grow and don’t marry within the state. And maybe, in the end, the actual percentage of young people in Florida is not so high.
Nowadays marriage & divorce trends
Regardless that the Florida divorce rate 2018 is still high compared to the rest of the U.S. states, its decline is quite obvious if we talk about the Millennials (and it’s relevant in any state including Florida.) USA Today has already included a divorce to “the list of things Millennials are killing” – Young adults marry later than previous generations, and their intentions to know each other better and not hurry to tie the knot are caused not only by the career ambitions but also the reasonable desire to avoid divorce as possible. Maybe, the point is the huge percentage of millennials are children of divorce (according to the statistics, the peak of increasing divorce rates fell namely during their childhood time), so they may know what is the price of quick and rash marriages better than anyone. And so, if the reason of decline of Florida divorce rate statistics will be a decline of marriages rate for such a wise reason, – it can hardly be called a problem.