Social researcher Mark McCrindle gives a statistical analysis of Australian marriage and relationships in the new millennium.
MARRIAGES ARE UP
The number of marriages registered in 2007 (116,322) was the highest in nearly 30 years (1990).
DIVORCES ARE DOWN
Similarly, 2007 also saw the lowest number of divorces (47,963) in 25 years (1992).
WE’RE MARRYING LATER
The median age at first marriage is 27.6 for a bride and 29.6 for a groom. This has increased by 3.4 and 3.5 years respectively over the last 20 years.
AND DIVORCING LATER
The median age at divorce is 41.3 for females and 44.2 for males. This has increased by 6.5 and 6.6 years respectively over the last 20 years. Additionally, both the median length from marriage to separation (8.9 years) and from marriage to divorce (12.5 years) continues to increase over time. These same figures for 1988 were 7.3 and 10.1 years respectively.
FOR MOST IT’S THE 1st TIME
Nearly 7 in 10 marriages (69.1%) are where both parties have not previously been married. This is over 5 times the figure for couples where both partners are remarrying (13.7%).
WE’RE MORE INTO MARRIAGE THAN IN EUROPE
Australia’s marriage rate exceeds by 25% that of Italy, Germany, France and it is significantly above the UK but well below the USA. If you know 100 people then on average last year you knew one person who got married.
WHILE MINISTER CEREMONIES DECLINE
Since 1999, Australian wedding ceremonies performed by a minister of religion have been outnumbered by civil celebrants (currently 37% and 63% respectively).
A HOUSEMATE FOLLOWED BY A SPOUSE
Nearly 7 in 9 (76.8%) married couples today have lived together prior to tying the knot – an increase of 10% over the last decade.
AND MARCH IS THE MONTH OF WEDDING VOWS
Although Spring was the most common season for Australian marriages in 2007 (containing 3 of the top 4 months), March topped the list with 15,071 ceremonies (2233 more than November). Compared to Spring (37,331 marriages), the Winter months effectively put a freeze on marriage numbers, scraping the barrel with almost 20,000 fewer ceremonies (17,759) – that’s less than half.
Sources: McCrindle Research, ABS