Marriage Not Safe, New Research Suggests

Marriage Much Riskier Thing Than Previously Thought

It’s often been suggested that married couples actually live longer than unmarried people, and there’s some research to suggest that it the case. With a shift away from formal marriage, researchers are re-visiting this area of research, and finding out some disturbing things.

Marriage Rates (Per Capita) In Alabama Highly Correlate With Electrocutions By Power Lines In The United States Of America

Recently released statistics show that there is a strong relationship between per capita marriages in Alabama and the number of electrocutions across the entire USA. The correlation is incredibly strong, and statistically significant, at 0.903.

If you look carefully at the graphic below, you’ll see that there is some good news. Electrocutions by power lines has dropped considerably from the years studied, 1999 to 2009, from a high of 127 in 1999 to a low of 63 in 2009.

Research number and graphics reprinted with permission from

Also if you look at the graphic, you will see a very obvious drop in marriages per 1000 people (per capita) for the same time period.

Social policy makers in the Alabama State Legislature are looking at new laws to decrease marriages in the State, with the idea of further reducing, or even eliminating such electrocutions. Options being looked at include subsidies for unmarried couples, tax breaks, and even outlawing marriage completely under pain of imprisonment. The debate continues. After all, this is the very conservative deep south.

Additional Concern: Marriages (Or Lower Marriages) Correlate With Blunt Force Murders

In another interesting piece of research, statisticians found a correlation of 0.879 between the number of marriages in New York State (per capita), and the total number of murders via blunt force. Again, this is statistically significant..

Research number and graphics reprinted with permission from

In the graphic above, you can see that from 1999 to 2010, the marriage rate per capita in New York has dropped considerably. For that very same period time, you can also see that the number of blunt force murders has also dropped.

Key To Reducing Blunt Force Murders Across The USA

Again, the good news is that these kinds of murders have dropped over the ten years studied. The drop has been huge, going from 242 in 1999 to just 65 in 2010. Analysts suggest that it may be possible to reduce the number of these kinds of murders by enacting legislation to DISCOURAGE marriage, since it’s clear that the fewer marriages, the fewer murders of this type. New York lawmakers are considering new laws to accomplish just that.

Others have suggested that married people have considerably more stress, and much more difficulty controlling their emotions, so tend to be more violent.

Kentucky Marriage Rates Related To Death By Falling Out Of Fishing Boats

In yet another study that suggests that marriage is implicated in a wide variety of deaths, this research shows a correlation of 0.952, again statistically significant, between marriage rates in Kentucky, and death by drowning as a result of falling out of a fishing boat.

Research number and graphics reprinted with permission from
Research number and graphics reprinted with permission from

As with the other findings on this page, you can see from the graph above that BOTH marriage rates, and drowning via falling from a fishing boat dropped significantly from 1999 to 2010. The exceedingly good news is that drownings dropped from 20 in 1999 to just one in 2010.

Still the findings of this study and of the others on this page are consistent. As marriage rates DROP, so do various kinds of death by violence or misadventure.

Conclusions On Marriage

it’s clear from these numbers that marriage may not be all its cracked up to be, and that we need to look closely at whether we should be encouraging more marriages, due to the link between more marriages and more deaths.

Credits: Research number and graphics reprinted with permission from

A Serious Explanation of These Strange Correlations

Weird, huh. Again as is the case for the statistics on lawyers, these ARE real numbers, not made up.

Why are these correlations so strong? In fact, from this data we don’t know, which is often the case with correlations. We have to examine the logic, and not just the numbers. First, unlike the explanation at the bottom of the analysis of lawyers and how their numbers relate to growth of other kinds of death, this can’t be attributed to growing populations.

What’s the best explanation? In fact these finding are most likely “fluky”, or in more technical terms, we have two variables that have no logical connection at all that are both falling at similar rates during similar time spans. Lots of things work that way. In this case marriages are falling as a result of changes in society, whether changes in morals, economic conditions and so on. On the other hand we have seen, over the same time period, a lowering of violent crime rates (or crime reporting), and better safety procedures in place. Thus BOTH types of variable have fallen and fallen together, even though there is no logical direct connection between the two.

Note the texts about law makers, and their mistakes in interpreting the link between marriage and the death events. It’s very easy, as we said in our analysis here, to mistake causation with correlation, and end up with actions that make no sense at all, and of course, won’t work.

Likewise it’s the same problem in areas like customer service and employee engagement which rely almost entirely on correlational data, and similarly end up with courses of action that don’t work, because those actions are based on a faulty cause-effect interpretation of correlations.

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