On Thursday, April 27, Brian Serafini will be presenting our joint work “Beyond the Urban Core: Examining Variation in Divorce Filing Rates Across the Rural-Urban Continuum” at the upcoming annual meeting of the Population Association of America. This paper is co-authored by Brian Serafini, Julie Brines, and Daiki Hiramori.
Title: Beyond the Urban Core: Examining Variation in Divorce Filing Rates Across the Rural-Urban Continuum
Abstract: Recent evidence has documented a rural-urban convergence in divorce rates, challenging the notion that marriage is more fragile in large metropolitan centers. Little research, however, has examined the correlates of divorce in non-metropolitan regions. We test whether county-level divorce filing rates vary along a continuum that captures rural-urban integration. We also test whether regional variation in divorce filing rates is a function of economic restructuring and “casualized” family relations, levels of religious conservatism and early family formation, or the flow of information and social capital between counties. Using 15 years of monthly data on divorce filings in Washington State, Minnesota, and Ohio, we find evidence that divorce filing rates are contingent on the extent that a county is integrated in metropolitan regions. However, how any why metropolitan integration affects county-level divorce filing rates depends largely on state of residence and whether or not the divorce involved young children.