DENISON, TX - Bloomberg Business Week published an article titled "America's Most Extreme Places" featuring surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and of towns 20,000 or bigger, the one with the highest percentage of divorcees is right here in Texoma.
The city of Denison is gaining national attention once again, but this time the reason is no laughing matter.
"Statistically, smaller towns usually have people marrying sooner. High school sweethearts, whatever reason, they just get married at an earlier age," said Grayson County psychology professor Carla Fanning.
According to a study by the U.S. Census Bureau from 2007 to 2009, one out of every five Denison residents has been divorced. That's a divorce rate of 20.3 percent, the highest in the nation among cities with 20,000 people or more. That's ten points higher than the national average, which is just 10.6 percent.
Fanning says that the problem with young people getting married is that they still don't fully know what they want to do with their lives.
"A lot of what happens to you between the ages of 18 and 25 stands out more than any other period of your life as being a lot of what forms and shapes who you are when you get older," said Fanning.
But being young is not the only reason for increased divorce rates.
"Fifty years ago, divorce was a bad word."
Sociology professor Sherry Hayes says that the one of the main reasons divorce rates have increased over the last fifty years is because people have become so used to hearing about it.
"Because the stigma of divorce has diminished over time, and since it doesn't carry that negative connotation, then it's easier to get a divorce," said Hayes.
And although love is an important component in any marriage, Fanning says friendship is what keeps people together.
"You need to have things in common with the person that's going to see you through the tough times and the boring times and cranky times, and to see if you want the same things out of life, and if you can get along, and that's hard to do. It's easy to say," said Fanning.
If you would like to learn more about some of the most extreme places in America and the Census Bureau's study of Denison you can go to their website: