The Significance of Marriage in Rural America

Anastasia R. Snyder, Ohio State University
Letitia Kotila, Ohio State University
Bohyun Joy Jang, Ohio State University

This study examines how marital experiences in the United States differ by residential location: nonmetro, suburban and central city residences. Previous studies find that significant differences in marital behavior can be observed by residence in the U.S. Specifically, nonmetro residents show a distinct affinity for marriage that is evidenced by earlier marriage, lower rates of divorce, shorter duration between divorce and remarriage, higher rates of remarriage. Overall, nonmetro women have been found to spend a larger share of their lives married compared to other women. The findings from these prior studies need to be more closely examined, however, because significant data limitations could have biased those findings. This study uses data from the NLSY79 to examine marital experiences across the life course and carefully measure is residential differences exist in marital behavior, and explanations for those differences, between nonmetro and other populations in the U.S.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households