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Marriages, Divorces and Registered Relationships: What are the current trends?

By 17 January 2020 Family Law
Marriages, Divorces and Registered Relationships: What are the current trends?

Recent results published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that the percentage of people who are marrying is decreasing, the age at which couples are marrying is increasing, the rate of divorce is decreasing, people who do marry are staying married for longer prior to divorcing and the number of people who are registering their relationship at the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages is on the rise.

Some of the key statistics arising from the ABS are as follows:

Marriages

  • In 2018, Australia’s crude marriage rate was 4.8 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population.
  • This rate appears to have decreased over time: in 2008 there were an estimated 5.5 marriages per 1,000 persons and in 1998 there were an estimated 5.9 marriages per 1,000 persons.

Age at Marriage

  • In 2018 the median age at which people were getting married was 32.4 years for males and 30.5 for females.
  • The age of marriage has appeared to increase over time: in 2008 the median age of marriage was 31.6 for males and 29.3 for females and in 1998 it was 29.8 for males and 27.7 for females.

Month of Marriage

  • The popularity of marriage month appears to differ between states.
  • March was the most popular month for marriage in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory;
  • In the Northern Territory, July was the most popular month to wed;
  • September was the most popular month for Queensland weddings; and
  • October was the most popular month for marriage in South Australia.

Same-sex Marriages

  • Same-sex couples have been enabled to legally marry in Australia since 9 December 2017.
  • In 2018, there were 6,538 same-sex marriages registered in Australia, accounting for 5.5% of all marriages.
  • Female couples accounted for the majority of same-sex marriages in all states and territories.

Registered Relationships

  • Registered relationships as a proportion of all legally registered relationships (in those states and territories with a relationship register) has increased from 7.5% in 2014 to 13.6% in 2018.

Divorces

  • There were 49,404 divorces granted in Australia in 2018.
  • The divorce rate appears to have decreased over time, from 2.7 divorces per 1,000 people in 1998 to 2.0 divorces per 1,000 people in 2018.
  • The median age of divorce has increased, as has the median age of marriage. The median age of divorce is now 45.9 years of age for males, compared to 40.5 years in 1998, and 43.2 years of age for females, compared to 37.8 in 1998.
  • The median duration of marriage to divorce was 12.3 years in 2018. The median duration of marriage appears to have increased: in 1998 the median duration of marriage was 11.2 years. The median duration of marriage to separation was 8.6 years in 2018 compared to 7.8 years in 1998.
  • In 1998, 18.9% of marriages that ended in divorce ended before the couple had been married for 5 years, compared to 15.1% in 2018.
  • In 2018, 10.0% of marriages lasted for 30 years or more, compared to 6.1% in 1998.

Full statistics can be found at here.