Jefferson County tops state divorce ratings

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County, divorce capital of Washington?

It might not make much of a promotional slogan for this tourism-conscious community. But largely fueled by trends in Port Townsend, Jefferson County registered the highest rate of divorced people in Washington state in 2000, recently released Census 2000 figures show.

Jefferson County finished first among counties in the state, with 15 percent of adults reporting themselves as divorced — compared to a statewide rate of 11.4 percent.

Port Townsend led the county and finished fourth in the state among cities comprising a population larger than 2,000, with 18.5 percent of the residents older than age 15 having been divorced at the time the census was conducted.

Marriage counselors and others say the findings may be the result of a more relaxed attitude toward divorce here, as well as more support for alternative, non-traditional families.

“There isn’t as much of a stigma here” toward divorce, said Julia Rouse, a Port Townsend marriage and family counselor. “Or there may be a stigma, but it’s not as heavy-handed as elsewhere.”


The rest of this story appears in the Sunday Peninsula Daily News. Click on “Subscribe” to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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