Over 116,000 marriages were registered in Australia during 2007, according to new figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is the highest number of marriages registered in a single year since 1990.
Although the crude marriage rate (marriages per 1000 population) has however, decreased in the last 20 years from 7.1 in 1988 to 5.5 in 2007. The number of marriages registered in 2007 grew by almost 2% from 2006, with Western Australian and Tasmanian registrations showing the largest growth, up by 6% and 5% respectively.
Over the past 20 years, couples have been delaying the age at which they marry. In 2007, the median age at first-time marriage was 29.6 years for males and 27.6 years for females, compared to 26.1 years and 24.0 years in 1989.
There was a continued trend towards civil ceremonies throughout 2007, with 63% of couples choosing a Civil Celebrant to officiate their marriage, compared to 20 years ago when almost 60% of marriages conducted were by a Religious Minister.
Other findings include:
- The proportion of couples who chose to live together prior to marriage grew to 76.8%.
- March was the most popular month to marry, with over 15,000 marriages occurring in that month. This was followed by November and October, each with over 12,000 marriages.
The report Marriages, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 3306.0.55.001), is available for free download from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au