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3310.0 - Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/2009   
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MEDIA RELEASE
August 31, 2009
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)
61/2009

More marriages and less divorces in 2008: ABS

Over 118,000 marriages were registered and more than 47,000 divorces were granted in Australia during 2008, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is an increase of 2.1% in registered marriages and a 1.6% drop in divorces compared to 2007.

Registered marriages are now at a 20 year high but the crude marriage rate (marriages per 1000 people) has fallen from 7 in 1989 to 5.5 in 2008. For divorces, the 2008 figure is the lowest number of divorces granted in a single year since 1992 and the 2008 crude divorce rate (divorces per 1000 population) of 2.2 is the lowest in the last 20 years.

The past 20 years has also seen a trend in couples delaying the age that they marry. In 2008, the median age for first-time marriage was 29.6 years for men and 27.7 years for women, compared to 26.3 years and 24.2 years respectively in 1989.

There was a 44% increase in marriages in August due to a large increase in the number of marriages performed on 8 August (08/08/08).

Other findings for marriages include:
    • The proportion of couples choosing a Civil Celebrant to officiate their marriage grew to 65.0%.
    • The proportion of couples who chose to live together prior to marriage grew to 77.7%.
    • November was the most popular month to marry, with over 15,000 marriages. This was followed by March and October.

The median age at divorce has been increasing steadily for both males and females over the past 20 years. In 2008, this trend continued for females with median age increasing by 0.1 years to 41.4, while for males the median age decreased by 0.1 years to 44.1.

Other findings for divorces include:
    • The trend towards joint applicant divorces has continued, representing 35.2% of all divorce applications.
    • Almost half (48.8%) of divorces granted in 2008 were to couples with children aged under 18 years. This has decreased slightly since 2007.
    • Over 43,000 children were involved in divorces in 2008, with the average number of children per divorce at 1.88.
    • The median length of marriage to divorce in 2008 was 12.3 years.
Further information is available in Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 3310.0).

Media Note:
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.


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