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2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/11/2006  Reissue
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Contents >> Glossary >> Marital status

Marital status


There are two variables that may be used to identify a person's marital status: Registered Marital Status (MSTP) and Social Marital Status (MDCP).


Registered Marital Status (MSTP) reports responses to the question 'What is the person's present marital status?' and refers to the legal status of the person, and not necessarily his/her current living arrangement.


The output categories are:

    • Never married;
    • Widowed;
    • Divorced;
    • Separated; and
    • Married.

Social Marital Status (MDCP) reports responses to the question 'What is the person's relationship to Person 1/Person 2?'. The output categories are:
    • Married in a registered marriage;
    • Married in a de facto marriage; and
    • Not married.

In the Social Marital Status classification a response of husband/wife to the relationship question results in a person being classified as 'Married in a registered marriage', regardless of that person's response to the question about present marital status.


Married de facto: A de facto marriage exists when the relationship between two people (of the same or opposite sex, who live together in the same household), is reported as either: de facto, partner, common law husband/wife/spouse, lover, boyfriend, or girlfriend.


Married Registered: A registered marriage may be reported in both the Registered Marital Status (MSTP) variable ('married'), and the Social Marital Status (MDCP) variable ('married in a registered marriage').


The counts of people in registered marriages differ depending on which variable is being used. For a detailed discussion of this variation see Married registered.


Not Married: The term not married, as used in the Social Marital Status (MDCP) classification, refers to a person who is not living with another person in either a registered marriage or a de facto marriage. This includes persons who live alone, with other family members, and those in shared accommodation. It should be noted that MDCP is only applicable to those usually resident and present in the household on Census Night (i.e. not applicable to those in non-private dwellings), while MSTP is applicable to all persons aged 15 years and over.


See also Married registered, Registered Marital Status (MSTP), Social Marital Status (MDCP).


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