Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
3310.0 - Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/2009   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

NOTES


MARRIAGES AND DIVORCES, AUSTRALIA

Marriages and Divorces, Australia provides information on marriages and divorces in Australia in 2008.

Marriage statistics provide valuable information for the analysis of family formation in Australia. This electronic product presents data at the national and state level on registered marriages by age, previous martial status, country of birth and relative country of birth of both males and females, type of celebrant, and whether couples live together prior to marriage. Crude and age-specific marriage rates are also provided.

Divorces statistics provide information on divorces granted in Australia in 2008. Key indicators of national and state divorces, based on the location of the court granting divorce, are included in the analytical commentary. Detailed divorce tables are available in the data cube which can be accessed through the 'Downloads' tab at the top of this page. Explanatory notes, abbreviations and a glossary of terms can be accessed through the 'Explanatory Notes' tab.

This product replaces both Marriages, Australia (cat. no. 3306.0.55.001) and Divorces, Australia (cat. no. 3307.0.55.001) from 2008 onwards. Marriages data between 2003 and 2007 can be found in the electronic product Marriages, Australia (cat.no. 3306.0.55.001) and divorces data between 2002 and 2007 can be found in the electronic product Divorces, Australia (cat. no. 3307.0.55.001)


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


SUMMARY COMMENTARY


MARRIAGES

In 2008, there were 118,756 marriages registered in Australia, an increase of 2,434 from 2007. The crude marriage rate has remained the same for the past three years at 5.5 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population. The median age of males and females has varied little in the past five years with the median age at marriage remaining at 31.6 years for males and 29.3 years for females since 2006. Ceremonies performed by ministers of religion continue to fall. The number of ceremonies performed by ministers of religion decreased by 3.5%, from 43,077 in 2007 to 41,545 in 2008. The number and proportion of couples living together before marriage continues to increase gradually, rising from 89,364 (76.8% of all marriages) in 2007 to 92,220 (77.7% of all marriages) in 2008. The number and proportion of males who are marrying for the first time increased 2.8% from 89,349 in 2007 to 91,848 in 2008, while females marrying for the first time increased 2.7% from 91,368 in 2007 to 93,815 in 2008. In 2008 the number of divorced males and females remarrying has remained relatively stable at 25,032 and 22,845 respectively, although, there has been a gradual decrease in the proportion of divorced males and females remarrying. The proportion of male divorcees remarrying declined from 21.5% of all marriages in 2007 to 21.1% in 2008, while the number of female divorcees remarrying decreased from 19.6% of all marriages in 2007 to 19.2% of all marriages in 2008.

Selected marriage indicators(a), Australia, Selected years - 1989-2008

ALL MARRIAGES
1989
1999
2004(b)
2005
2006
2007
2008

Marriages registered (no.)
117 176
114 316
110 958
109 323
114 222
116 322
118 756
Crude marriage rate(c) (rate)
7.0
6.0
5.5
5.4
5.5
5.5
5.5
Median age at marriage
Males (no.)
28.0
30.1
31.5
31.5
31.6
31.6
31.6
Females (no.)
25.7
27.9
29.2
29.3
29.3
29.3
29.3
Previous marital status
First marriage both partners (no.)
78 850
76 440
74 581
74 303
78 178
80 347
82 847
First marriage one partner (no.)
22 002
21 386
19 994
19 573
20 122
20 023
19 969
Remarriage both partners (no.)
16 324
16 490
16 382
15 447
15 922
15 952
15 940
Marriage Celebrant
Ministers of religion(d)
Number of marriages (no.)
67 743
55 720
45 857
44 218
44 117
43 077
41 545
Proportion of marriages (%)
57.8
48.7
41.3
40.4
38.6
37.0
35.0
Civil celebrants(d)
Number of marriages (no.)
49 433
58 596
65 100
65 105
70 105
73 187
77 142
Proportion of marriages (%)
42.2
51.3
58.7
59.6
61.4
62.9
65.0
Relative birthplace of male and female(e)
Both born in Australia (no.)
71 556
72 354
68 639
67 085
69 710
70 347
70 521
Both born in the same overseas country (no.)
9 532
9 751
9 686
9 546
10 334
11 101
12 460
Born in different countries (no.)
36 058
32 190
32 630
32 640
34 126
34 759
35 629
Couples living together prior to marriage
Number of marriages (no.)
na
78 800
83 728
83 002
86 937
89 364
92 220
Proportion of marriages (%)
na
68.9
75.5
75.9
76.1
76.8
77.7

na not available
(a) See Glossary for definitions of terms used.
(b) 2004 data is subject to sampling error. See Explanatory Note 50 for further information.
(c) Per 1,000 of population at 30 June. See Explanatory Notes 39 and 46 for further information.
(d) Excludes marriages where the rite is not stated or not defined. Registers of ministers of religion are maintained by states and territories under the authority of the Marriage Act 1961. Data on religious marriage rites are classified to the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups, 1996 (ASCRG, cat. no. 1266.0).
(e) Excludes marriages where country of birth of one or both partners is not stated.



DIVORCES

In 2008, the number of divorces in Australia continued to decrease, with 754 fewer divorces than 2007. The crude divorce rate also decreased to 2.2 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population. The median age of males at divorce decreased slightly (to 44.1 years), whilst the median age for females at divorce has risen slightly in 2008 to 41.4 years. Divorces involving children represented 48.8% of all divorces in 2008, compared to 49.3% of all divorces in 2007. The number of children involved in divorces in 2008 totalled 43,184 (a decrease from 44,371 in 2007). The average number of children per divorce remained stable in 2008 at 1.88. The median length of marriage to divorce in 2008 was 12.3 years. Median length of marriage at divorce peaked at 12.6 years in 2005 and has consistently decreased each year since then. The difference between median length of marriage to separation and divorce was 3.5 years in 2008. In 2008, the number of male and female only applicants for divorce has continued to fall. The trend towards increased joint applications for divorce has continued in 2008, representing approximately one third of all divorce applications in 2008 (35.2%).

Selected divorce indicators, Australia - Selected years - 1989-2008

1989
1999
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008

Divorces granted (no.)
41 383
52 566
52 747
52 399
51 375
47 963
47 209
Crude divorce rate(a)
2.5
2.8
2.6
2.6
2.5
2.3
2.2
Divorces involving children(b)
Proportion of all divorces (%)
55.3
53.9
49.8
49.8
50.1
49.3
48.8
Number of children (no.)
43 317
53 444
49 260
49 358
48 396
44 371
43 184
Median age at divorce
Males (years)
38.0
40.9
43.0
43.5
43.9
44.2
44.1
Females (years)
35.1
38.2
40.3
40.8
41.1
41.3
41.4
Median length of marriage
To separation (years)
7.3
7.9
8.7
8.8
8.9
8.9
8.8
To divorce (years)
10.2
11.3
12.3
12.6
12.5
12.5
12.3
Applicant(c)
Male (no.)
15 691
16 235
16 365
16 020
15 171
13 216
12 979
Female (no.)
20 557
26 353
21 614
21 398
20 574
18 571
17 617
Joint (no.)
5 135
9 978
14 768
14 955
15 582
16 172
16 613

(a) Per 1,000 estimated resident population at 30 June. See Glossary and Explanatory Notes 39 and 46 for more information.
(b) Unmarried children of the marriage who were aged under 18 years at the time of application for divorce. See Glossary for more information.
(c) Excludes divorces where type of applicant is not stated.



Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.