3310.0 - Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2015  
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DIVORCES


NUMBER OF DIVORCES

In 2015, there were 48,517 divorces granted in Australia, an increase of 2019 (4.3%) from the 46,498 divorces granted in 2014.


2.1 Total divorces granted, Australia, 1995–2015
Line Graph:Total divorces granted, Australia, 1995–2015

CRUDE DIVORCE RATE

The crude divorce rate is calculated as the number of divorces granted during a calendar year per 1,000 estimated resident population at 30 June of the same year. Refer to the Glossary and Explanatory Notes 32 and 37 for further information.

In 2015, the crude divorce rate in Australia was 2.0 divorces granted per 1,000 estimated resident population, remaining the same as in 2014.


2.2 Crude divorce rate, Australia, 1995–2015
Line Graph: Crude divorce rate, Australia, 1995–2015


AGE AT MARRIAGE, SEPARATION AND DIVORCE

Overall, males granted a divorce in 2015 tended to be older than females at marriage, separation and divorce.

More than half (58.0%) of the females granted a divorce in 2015 were under 45 years of age at divorce compared with 48.8% of males.


2.3 Age at divorce, Australia, 2015

Line Graph: Age at divorce, Australia, 2015



People between 40-44 years of age had the highest percentage of divorces granted, with 16.0% of males and 16.95% of females being granted a divorce falling in that age group in 2015.

The median age at marriage for males divorcing in 2015 was 28.9 years, compared with 26.5 years for females. Median age at separation for males granted a divorce in 2015 was 41.8 years, whereas the median age for females was 39.0 years. In 2015, the median age of males at divorce was 45.3 years and 42.7 years for females.


2.4 Median age at divorce, Australia, 1995–2015

Line Graph: Median age at divorce, Australia, 1995–2015

The median age at divorce has been increasing for both males and females over the past 20 years. This trend continued from 2014 to 2015, with the median age at divorce for males increasing from 45.2 to 45.3, and that for females increasing from 42.5 to 42.7.


AGE-SPECIFIC DIVORCE RATES

Age-specific divorce rates can provide a more detailed picture of the ages at which people are granted a divorce. These rates give an indication of the proportion of all males or females in a particular age group granted a divorce per 1,000 estimated resident population of the same age group. More information regarding the calculation of age-specific divorce rates is provided in the Glossary and Explanatory Notes 38-40 and 45.

In 2015, the divorce rate increased for both males and females in every age group except for people aged 16 to 24. The age-specific divorce rates were highest for males in the 45-49 years age group at 9.7 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population, and were also high for males in the 40-44 years age group (9.5 per 1,000 estimated resident population). The age-specific divorce rate was highest for females in the 40-44 years age group (9.8 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population), with both the 35-39 years and 45-49 years age groups also recording higher divorce rates at 9.0 and 9.4 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population respectively.

2.5 Age-specific divorce rates(a), Australia, Selected years, 1995–2015
Age group (years)
1995
2005
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015

MALES
24 and under
0.7
0.3
0.4
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.2
25–29
7.8
4.5
3.9
3.9
3.7
3.4
3.5
30–34
12.8
9.7
7.3
7.4
6.9
6.5
6.7
35–39
13.2
11.7
9.3
9.4
8.7
8.0
8.4
40–44
12.3
12.3
10.3
10.4
9.6
9.2
9.5
45–49
11.5
11.5
9.8
10.0
9.5
9.3
9.7
50–54
8.6
9.4
8.8
8.9
8.3
8.2
8.5
55–59
5.7
7.0
6.6
6.6
6.5
6.4
6.6
60–64
3.6
4.6
4.4
4.7
4.5
4.5
4.6
65 and over
1.5
1.7
1.5
1.7
1.7
1.7
1.8

FEMALES
24 and under
2.0
0.9
1.0
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.7
25–29
11.8
7.3
6.0
6.1
5.7
5.2
5.3
30–34
13.9
11.7
8.7
8.8
8.3
7.9
8.2
35–39
13.0
12.8
10.1
10.3
9.3
8.8
9.0
40–44
11.8
12.0
10.5
10.7
9.9
9.7
9.8
45–49
9.6
10.2
9.5
9.5
9.3
9.0
9.4
50–54
6.6
7.7
7.2
7.5
7.1
6.9
7.2
55–59
3.8
4.9
4.6
4.9
4.7
4.6
4.8
60–64
2.1
2.9
2.8
2.9
2.8
2.8
3.0
65 and over
0.5
0.6
0.6
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.8

(a) Number of divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population at 30 June for each reference year respectively. See Glossary and Explanatory Notes 36–42 for further information.


DIVORCES INVOLVING CHILDREN

In 2015, there were 23,063 divorces involving children under 18 years of age. This represents 47.5% of all divorces granted.


2.6 Proportion of divorces involving children, Australia, 1995–2015
Line Graph: Proportion of divorces involving children, Australia, 1995–2015(a)
(a) Proportion estimated in 1995 due to unavailability of data.

The number of children affected by divorce has increased from 40,152 in 2014 to 42,303 in 2015. The average number of children for divorces involving children remains at 1.8 children per divorce.


LENGTH OF MARRIAGE OF DIVORCING COUPLES

The median duration of marriage to divorce increased from 11 years in 1995 to a peak of 12.6 years in 2005. After slowly decreasing since 2005, the median duration of marriage to divorce increased by 0.1 to 12.1 years in 2015.


2.7 Median duration to separation and divorce, Australia, 1995–2015
Line Graph: Median duration to separation and divorce, Australia, 1995–2015


Similarly, the median duration of marriage to separation increased from 7.6 years in 1995 to a peak of 8.9 years in 2006 and 2007. In 2015, the median duration of marriage to separation was 8.5 years.


APPLICANT FOR DIVORCE

Over the last 20 years, the proportion of joint applications for divorce has been increasing, while the proportion of applications by one applicant has decreased. In 2010, the number of joint applications outnumbered male applications and female applications for the first time. In 2015, the proportion of joint applications increased again and remains the highest applicant type at 43.3% of all applications.


2.8 Type of divorce applicant, Australia, 1995–2015


STATE AND TERRITORY DATA

Divorce statistics in this publication are presented by the state or territory where the court granting divorce was located, rather than the state or territory of usual residence of the applicants. The ABS advises caution in the interpretation of data at a state or territory level as applicants for divorce may apply through their nearest court rather than a court in their state or territory of usual residence. For further information refer to Explanatory Notes 25, 30-35.

In 2015, the number of divorces granted in all states and territories increased compared with 2014. The largest proportional increase occurred in Western Australia with 474 (10.5%) more divorces than in 2014.


2.9 Number of divorces, States and territories(a), Selected years, 1995-2015


NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

1995
14,945
11,838
10,192
4,199
5,040
1,279
432
1,787
49,712
2005
15,172
12,512
12,383
3,669
5,265
1,346
470
1,582
52,399
2010
14,655
12,368
11,418
3,849
4,835
1,257
429
1,429
50,240
2011
13,917
12,271
11,393
3,506
5,020
1,096
351
1,381
48,935
2012
14,607
12,483
11,317
3,511
5,073
1,161
391
1,374
49,917
2013
13,820
11,663
10,861
3,343
5,268
972
379
1,332
47,638
2014
13,706
11,711
10,699
3,211
4,518
1,009
366
1,278
46,498
2015
14,310
12,155
10,942
3,297
4,992
1,060
397
1,364
48,517

(a) Divorces are presented by the state or territory where the court granting divorce was located, rather than the state or territory of usual residence of the applicants. The ABS advises caution in the interpretation and comparison of data at a state or territory level. See Explanatory Notes 25, 30–35 for more information.

Queensland had the highest crude divorce rate of 2.3 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population, while the Northern Territory had the lowest divorce rate at 1.6 per 1,000 estimated resident population.

Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania reported the highest proportion of all divorces involving children, at 51.1% and 50.7% respectively. The Northern Territory (43.1%) and Victoria (45.3%) reported the lowest proportion of divorces involving children.

Tasmania had the highest median ages at divorce for males and females in 2015. The median age at divorce for males was 47.4 years in Tasmania and for females, the median age at divorce was 44.9 years.

Median length of marriage prior to divorce was highest in Tasmania (14.5 years) followed by Australian Capital Territory (13.6 years), while the Northern Territory (at 10.5 years) had the shortest median length of marriage to divorce.

In 2015, all states and territories except Tasmania recorded more joint applications for divorce than male applications or female applications.


2.10 Selected divorce indicators, States and territories(a), 2015

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT(b)
Aust.(c).

Divorces granted no.
14,310
12,155
10,942
3,297
4,992
1,060
397
1,364
48,517
Crude divorce rate(d)
1.9
2.0
2.3
1.9
1.9
2.1
1.6
np
2.0
Divorces involving children(e)
6,657
5,510
5,472
1,661
2,358
537
171
697
23,063
Proportion of all divorces %
46.5
45.3
50.0
50.4
47.2
50.7
43.1
51.1
47.5
Average number of children per divorce(f) no.
1.8
1.8
1.9
1.8
1.8
1.8
1.8
1.9
1.8
Median age at divorce
Malesyears
44.8
45.0
45.7
45.8
45.7
47.4
44.3
45.6
45.3
Femalesyears
41.9
42.5
43.0
43.2
43.2
44.9
41.8
43.2
42.7
Median length of marriage
To separationyears
7.8
8.2
8.8
9.3
8.8
10.5
6.8
10.1
8.5
To divorceyears
11.3
11.8
12.5
12.8
12.4
14.5
10.5
13.6
12.1
Applicant(g)
Male no.
3,650
3,071
2,697
824
1,162
311
108
355
12,178
Female no.
4,540
3,976
3,389
1,157
1,391
423
93
368
15,337
Joint no.
6,120
5,108
4,856
1,316
2,439
326
196
641
21,002

(a) Divorces are presented by the state/territory location of the court granting divorce rather than usual residence, and as such caution should be taken in comparing divorce numbers with the populations of each state/territory. See Explanatory Notes 30-35 for more information.
(b) Rates for the Australian Capital Territory are not published due to the high proportion of applicants from south-eastern New South Wales and Victoria who apply for divorce through Australian Capital Territory courts. See Explanatory Note 32 for more information.
(c) The total may be greater than the sum of its components as it includes divorces granted where the state/territory of registration was not available.
(d) Per 1,000 estimated resident population at 30 June. See Glossary and Explanatory Notes 36–42 for more information.
(e) Unmarried children of the marriage who were aged under 18 years at the time of application for divorce. See Glossary for more information.
(f) Excludes divorces not involving children.
(g) Excludes divorces where type of applicant is not stated.