The decreasing number of divorces throughout Illinois may be connected to the state's relatively lax marriage laws, according to a recent analysis of national data.
Of the 43 states that have reported their divorces to the Center for Disease Control -- yes, they track marriage and divorce, too -- the states with constitutional bans on gay marriage have the largest increase in divorce rates, according to Nate Silver, a prominent statistician and proprietor of the blog FiveThirtyEight.com.
Illinois, according to Silver's numbers, ranks 15th, with a -8.7 percent decline in divorces between 2003 and 2008. Illinois doesn't have a state ban on marriages.
Illinois is ranked third overall in the midwest, beaten by only Michigan (-9.4 percent) and Iowa (-12.5), the latter of which passed a constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage.
First in the nation, according to Silver, is Rhode Island, at -21.2 percent.
Bringing up the rear is Alaska, with +17.2 percent of marriages ending in divorce.