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1318.3 - Qld Stats, Oct 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/10/2009   
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MARRIAGES AND DIVORCES

Introduction
Marriages
Divorces
Further Information


INTRODUCTION

Marriage and divorce statistics provide valuable information for the analysis of family formation and structure in Australia.

Marriage statistics in this article are presented by the state or territory where the marriage was registered, rather than the state of usual residence of the couple. Divorce statistics in this article are presented by the state or territory where the court granting divorce was located, rather than the state of usual residence of the applicants. The ABS advises caution in the interpretation of data at a state or territory level as couples may choose to marry outside their state or territory of usual residence and applicants for divorce may apply through their nearest court rather than a court in their state or territory of usual residence.


MARRIAGES

In 2008, there were 26,803 registered marriages in Queensland, representing an increase of 995 (3.9%) from 2007. This is the highest number of marriages registered in a single year and continues the relatively steady increase in marriages since 2005.

TOTAL MARRIAGES, Queensland
Graph: Total Marriages, Queensland, 1998 - 2008


Queensland had a crude marriage rate of 6.2 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population, the highest rate in Australia. The national average was 5.5 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population.


Median age at marriage

The median age of people married in Queensland in 2008 was 32.0 years for males and 29.5 years for females.

Until recently median age at marriage was increasing gradually for both males and females. From 1998 to 2004 the median age at marriage increased by 1.8 years for both males and females. Since 2004, the median age for males has risen slightly (0.4 years) and the median age for females has been relatively stable (an increase of 0.1 years).

MEDIAN AGE, All Marriages, Queensland

Graph: Median Age at Marriage, All Marriages, (Males and Females), Queensland, 1998 - 2008


The median age of people getting married for the first time is slightly lower than the all marriages median age. In 2008, median age of males married for the first time was 29.5 years and for females was 27.5 years. Between 1998 and 2008 the median age for first time married males increased by 1.8 years and for females by 1.6 years.


Previous marital status

In 2008, of marriages registered in Queensland, 75% of grooms had not been previously married, with a further 24% having been divorced and 1.8% having been widowed. For brides, 76% had not been previously married, with a further 22% having been divorced and 2.0% having been widowed.

Marriages in which neither party had previously been married made up 66% (17,801) of all marriages in 2008, while a further 18% (4,830) were first marriages for one partner. The remaining 16% of marriages (4,172) were remarriages for both partners.


Marriage celebrants

Civil marriages have outnumbered religious ceremonies in Queensland since 1997 when 51% of all marriages were performed by civil celebrants. In 2008, the trend toward civil ceremonies continued, with 71% of marriages performed by civil celebrants.

Of the 7,753 marriages performed by ministers of religion in 2008, the most common rites used were Catholic (29%) followed by Anglican (17%).

TYPE OF CELEBRANT, Queensland
Graph: Type of Celebrant (Civil Celebrants and Ministers of Religion), Queensland, 1998 - 2008



In 2008, of those couples who lived together before marrying, three out of every four (75%) were married in a civil ceremony compared with less than half (47%) of couples who did not live together prior to marriage.


Country of birth

In 2008, 64% of marriages were of couples where both parties were born in Australia. A further 7.0% of marriages were of parties born in the same overseas country, and 29% of marriages were of males and females born in different countries.

Over three-quarters (76%) of grooms married in Queensland were born in Australia, with a further 6.2% of grooms being born in the United Kingdom and 5.3% in New Zealand.

In 2008, 75% of brides were born in Australia, with a further 4.7% of brides being born in the United Kingdom and 4.7% in New Zealand.


Couples living together prior to marriage

Of the 26,803 couples who registered a marriage in 2008, 85% indicated that they had lived together prior to registering their marriage. Since 1998, the proportion of couples living together prior to marriage has increased by 10.6 percentage points.

COUPLES LIVING TOGETHER PRIOR TO MARRIAGE, Queensland
Graph: Proportion of Couples Living Together Prior to  Marriage, Queensland, 1998 - 2008


Couples who lived together prior to marriage tended to be slightly older than people who did not live together. In 2008, the median age for males who lived with their wife before marriage was 32.1 years, compared with 31.1 years for males who did did not live with their wife prior to marriage. Similarly, the median age of females who lived with their husbands before getting married was 29.6 years, compared with 28.6 years for females who did not live with their husbands prior to marriage.


Day and month of marriage

In 2008, the most popular month for marriages was October, with 3,229 (12%) marriages celebrated in this month. September followed with 3,210 (12%) marriages. January was the least popular month for weddings, with only 1,296 (4.8%) of marriages taking place in that month.

MONTH OF MARRIAGE, Queensland, 2008
Graph: Month of Marriage, Queensland, 2008

Saturday (59% of all weddings) was the most popular day of the week to get married followed by Friday (13%) and Sunday (10%). Saturday 20 September was the most popular day of 2008 to get married in Queensland, with 608 marriages ceremonies being performed on that day. Friday 8 August (8/8/08) was notable in that it was the seventh most popular day with 499 marriages performed.

DIVORCES

The number of divorces granted in Queensland have been decreasing each year since reaching a peak in 2004.

This trend continued in 2008 with 10,615 divorces granted in comparison to 11,058 in 2007, showing a decrease of 443 or 4.0% over this period. The number of divorces granted in 2008 was 20% lower when compared with 2004.

DIVORCES GRANTED, Queensland
Graph: Divorces Granted, Queensland, 1998 - 2008


Queensland had a crude divorce rate of 2.5 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population, the highest rate in Australia. The national average was 2.2 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population.


Divorces involving children

Between 1998 and 2008 the proportion of divorces involving children aged under eighteen years has decreased by 5.3 percentage points and was 51% in 2008. For those divorces involving children aged under eighteen years the average number of children involved was 1.9 children.

DIVORCES INVOLVING CHILDREN, Queensland
Graph: Divorces Involving Children, Queensland, 1998 - 2008


Length of marriage and age of divorcing couples

The median length of marriage to separation was 8.1 years in 1998 and peaked at 9.3 years in 2006 before declining to 9.1 years in 2008. The median length of marriage to divorce was 11.7 years in 1998 and peaked at 13.0 years in 2006 before declining to 12.8 years in 2008. The difference between median length of marriage to separation and divorce was 3.7 years in 2008.

MEDIAN LENGTH OF MARRIAGE TO SEPARATION AND DIVORCE, Queensland
Graph: Median Length of Marriage to Separation and Divorce, Queensland, 1998 - 2008


The median age for males granted divorce in Queensland in 2008 was 44.6 years, compared with 41.7 years for females.


Applicant for divorce

Since 1998, the proportion of joint applications has been increasing, while the proportion of applications by only the husband or wife have decreased. In 2008, joint applicants accounted for 38% of all applications for divorce followed by the wife as applicant (36%) and the husband as applicant (26%).

TYPE OF APPLICANT, Queensland
Graph: Type of Applicant (Husband, Wife and Joint), Queensland, 1998 - 2008


FURTHER INFORMATION

Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 3310.0)

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