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Geo presentation

  1. 1. Divorce in the Bible Belt <ul><li>What factors contribute to high divorce rates in southern states? </li></ul><ul><li>Hannah Gentry </li></ul>
  2. 2. Questions <ul><li>What factors cause Bible Belt states to have such high divorce rates? </li></ul><ul><li>How do divorce rates in the Bible Belt compare to other states in the U.S.? </li></ul><ul><li>What can be done to lower divorce rates? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Divorce in the U.S. <ul><li>The probability of a marriage ending in the first 5 years is 20% (CDC, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>After 10 years, the probability of divorce jumps to 33% (CDC, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>The national divorce rate in 2000 was 4.0 </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Bible Belt <ul><li>The Bible Belt is “the southern states of the United States of America, where the mainstream of Christianity is characteristically fundamentalist, stressing literalism and inerrancy of the Bible” (Oxford Dictionary of World Religions) </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Bible Belt <ul><li>Divorce in the Bible Belt is roughly 50 percent above the national average (NCPA, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Oklahoma has the highest divorce rate, yet 75% of couples are married in churches </li></ul><ul><li>70% of Oklahoma’s population attends church once a week or more </li></ul><ul><li>In 2000, the national divorce rate was 4.0 divorces for every 1,000 people, while Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas average 6.4 divorces per 1,000 people </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why is this important? <ul><li>Divorce is sited as the principal cause of poverty in Oklahoma (Harding, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>For every 3 divorces, 1 family ends up below the poverty line and will remain there for at least 8 months (Harden, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Occasionally one or both spouses will receive government assistance (Chuck, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Spatial and religious factors have not been thoroughly examined </li></ul>
  7. 7. Study Area <ul><li>North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kentucky </li></ul>
  8. 8. Independent Variables <ul><li>Education: percent of state population with a bachelors degree or higher </li></ul><ul><li>Age at Time of Marriage: Males and Females </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty Rate </li></ul><ul><li>Religion: percent of a state population that is evangelical protestant </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sources of Data <ul><li>U.S. Census Bureau: age at marriage, education, poverty rate </li></ul><ul><li>Association of Religious Data Archives: evangelical protestants </li></ul><ul><li>Center for Disease Control and Prevention: divorce rate </li></ul>
  10. 10. Education
  11. 11. Age at Marriage: Male
  12. 12. Age at Marriage: Female
  13. 13. Poverty
  14. 14. Religion
  15. 15. Spearman’s Correlation Coefficient **correlation significant at .01 the level *correlation significant at the .05 level Independent Variable Spearman’s Correlation poverty rate 0.366* age at marriage: male -0.598** age at marriage: female -0.646** % evangelical 0.356* % BA degree or higher -0.527**
  16. 16. Data Limitations <ul><li>Most recent data is from 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Oklahoma and Louisiana divorce rates are unavailable for 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Evangelical protestants based on church adherents </li></ul><ul><li>Education is not specific enough </li></ul>
  17. 17. Future Directions <ul><li>Data at county level </li></ul><ul><li>State case studies </li></ul><ul><li>More in depth on education </li></ul><ul><li>More accurate data on religious affiliation </li></ul>