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What's driving Idaho's high divorce rate?

By Luke Jones
Published On: Mar 06 2014 06:48:46 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 06 2014 07:12:06 PM CST

Idaho has one of the highest marriage rates in the nation, but also has one of the highest divorce rates. Does getting married young make divorce more likely?

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Idaho has one of the highest marriage rates in the nation, but also has one of the highest divorce rates.

According to federal data, the Gem State ranks fifth in the nation for divorces. In 2011, there were 4.9 divorces in Idaho for every 1,000 people – more than double Iowa's divorce rate and well above the national average of 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people.

"The population around here, the age range of people getting married is a little bit younger than the national statistic so we have to take that into account,” said Travis Bybee, president of the Teton Counseling Center in Idaho Falls. “Do they get married before they're really ready and not understand ultimately what they're getting themselves into?"

Relationship counselor April Moedl with Rehabilitative Health Services said she's seen many young people marry without really getting to know each other.

“I think sometimes people get married and they act like they're gonna change their spouse, and we can't change people. We can change ourselves, but we can't change people,” said Moedl.

Bybee said money problems are another reason Idahoans are ditching their spouses .

"We're seeing more and more couples that are struggling financially because they're newly married,” said Bybee

Bybee said the best thing people can do is to get relationship counseling before getting married.

“I think that it's important for them to understand the other person,” said Bybee.

Six states weren't included in this ranking because their divorce data wasn't available. These states include California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana and Minnesota.

The five states with the highest divorce rates are Nevada, Arkansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Idaho.

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