Once Rare in Rural America, Divorce Is Changing the Face of Its Families

Forty years ago, divorced people were more concentrated in cities and suburbs. But geographic distinctions have all but vanished, and now, for the first time, rural Americans are just as likely to be divorced as city dwellers, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.

“Rural families are going through this incredible transformation,” said Daniel T. Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University.

The shifts that started in cities have spread to less populated regions ”” women going to work, gaining autonomy, and re-arranging the order of traditional families. Values have changed, too, easing the stigma of divorce.

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