Nate Silver: Divorce Rates Lower in Gay Friendlier States

BY Julie Bolcer

January 12 2010 11:35 AM ET

Numbers guru Nate Silver checks in at FiveThirtyEight.com with data showing that divorce rates may be lower in states without constitutional bans on same-sex marriage than in states that have such bans.

Basing his observation on data from 43 states reported to the federal government in 2003 and 2008, Silver shows that during the five-year interval, divorce rates rose in places such as Alaska, which was the first state to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in 1998, compared to divorce rate drops in states such as Massachusetts, the first to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.

“Overall, the states which had enacted a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as of 1/1/08 saw their divorce rates rise by 0.9 percent over the five-year interval,” reports Silver. “States which had not adopted a constitutional ban, on the other hand, experienced an 8.0 percent decline, on average, in their divorce rates.”

Read the full analysis here.

Tags: World

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