Decrease In Marriages Over Last 20 Years

Decrease In Marriages Over Last 20 Years

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Increase In Marriages For Australians Born Overseas

Victor P Taffa

Australians are marrying later, living together before marriage and divorcing less compared with 20 years ago, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures on Marriages and Divorces.

Marriages between 2 Australian-born people have gradually decreased over the last 20 years, with the proportion of marriages between 2 people born in Australia decreasing from 72.9 % in 2006 to 54.5 % of all marriages in 2016.

Marriages between 2 people born in the same overseas country have increased from 9.1 % in 2006 to 13.9 % in 2016. Marriages of people born in different countries accounted for 31.6 % of all marriages in 2016 compared with 18.0 % in 2006.

Majority of people lived together prior to marrying, increasing by over 16 % over the last 2 decades to 80 % of couples.

“Age of couples marrying for the first time has risen over the past 20 years, with the groom now likely to be closer to 30 years (27.6 in 1996 compared to 30.3 in 2016) and the bride in her late 20’s (25.7 in 1996 compared to 28.7 in 2016).” Program Manager of the Health and Disability Branch Justine Boland said.

Data also showed the number of religious marriage ceremonies has continued to decline over 20 years with a preference for civil marriage ceremonies.

In addition to this, in many states and territories relationship registers have continued to grow as an alternative to marriage, with 10.8 % of all relationships now being formalised.

Over the last 5 years, the proportion of those couples legalising their relationships in a registered relationship has more than doubled.

“Research also shows that over the past 20 years the number of divorces granted peaked in 2001 at 55,330 and 15 years later in 2016 divorces have decreased by 16 %, to 46,604. Those that divorce are staying married longer than 20 years ago, with couples that separate being married for 12.0 years on average.” Ms. Boland said.

“Age for marriage after a divorce is now mid to late 40’s for both males and females.”

Queensland continues to have the highest divorce rate of 2.2 divorces per 1, 000 estimated resident population, while the Northern Territory had the lowest divorce rate at 1.3 per 1, 000 estimated resident population.

As in 2015, Tasmania has continued to have the highest median ages at divorce for males and females in 2016. The median age at divorce for males was 48.1 years in Tasmania and for females, the median age at divorce was 45.6 years.

Queensland and Western Australia have reported the highest proportion of all divorces involving children, at 49.4 % and 48.3 % respectively, taking over from the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania in 2015. New South Wales (44.8 %) and Tasmania (45.6 %) reported the lowest proportion of divorces involving children.