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Is there a correlation between happy marriages and agriculture?

Before the 1980's Farm Crisis, sociologists commonly pointed to statistics showing that couples who farmed were less likely to get a divorce than other American couples. However, during the farming difficulties of the mid-1980's, farmers started getting divorced just as much as other couples. However, since 1990, the divorce rate associated with farming couples has gone down along with the divorce rate of couples overall. Statistics show that divorce rates in highly agricultural states have indeed gone down over the last 25 years, just as they have in nonagricultural states.

In fact, as of 2014, the highly agricultural state of Iowa shows the lowest divorce rate of 1.5 per 1,000 couples versus Washington, DC, which shows a divorce rate of 3.3 per 1,000 couples. Meanwhile, a 2012 blog ranked divorce rates by profession. The blog revealed that farmers and ranchers had a below-average rate of divorce at 7.63 per 1,000. Furthermore, agricultural engineers had the lowest rate of divorce at 1.78 per 1,000. Dancers and bartenders topped the list with the most frequent rate of divorce.

According to the University of North Carolina, an increased amount of cohabitation prior to marriage is believed to be one of the primary reasons for a lowered divorce rate because couples can test each other out before they decide to tie the knot. Those couples who live together before getting married tend to have 33 percent lower chance of divorce than those who do not. Furthermore, couples are getting married when they're older these days, between the ages of 28 and 29, and getting married older tends to help prevent divorces from happening

To answer the question more definitively, yes, it does appear that agricultural couples get divorced less. Part of this reason could be because farming couples tend to marry when they're older these days. Still, just because a family is engaged in agriculture does not mean that they are guaranteed against divorce. In the case of a marital breakdown, divorce is always an option, and farming couples may wish to contact a divorce attorney to help them through such circumstances.

Source:, "Do agriculture and happy marriages go together?," Michael Rosmann, Oct. 12, 2016