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3310.0 - Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2013   
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MARRIAGES AND DIVORCES, AUSTRALIA

The Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 3310.0) publication provides data and information about marriages registered and divorces granted in Australia in 2012. Data is presented on a State or Territory of registration basis rather than a State or Territory of usual residence basis. See Explanatory Notes 23 to 29 for further information.

Marriage statistics presented in this publication provide statistics at State, Territory and national levels regarding the number of marriages registered, crude marriage rates, median age at marriage, age-specific marriage rates, previous marital status, use of marriage celebrants, country of birth of those marrying, and living arrangements for couples prior to marriage.

Divorce statistics in this publication provide State, Territory and national levels regarding the number of divorces granted, crude divorce rates, ages at marriage, separation and divorce, age-specific divorce rates, divorces involving children, duration of marriage prior to divorce, and applicants for divorce.

Detailed marriage and divorce tables are available in data cubes 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. Marriage data between 2003 and 2007 can be found in the electronic product Marriages, Australia (cat. no. 3306.0.55.001) and divorce 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 2012, there were 123,244 marriages registered in Australia, an increase of 1,492 (1.2%) from the 121,752 marriages registered in 2011.

Despite the increase in the number of marriages, the crude marriage rate for 2012 is unchanged from 2011, remaining at 5.4 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population.

The median age of males and females at marriage was 31.4 and 29.4 years respectively in 2012. The median age at marriage for males remains unchanged from 2011 while the median age
at marriage of females has increased by 0.1 from 29.3 in 2011.

The proportion of marriage ceremonies performed by civil celebrants has continued to increase in 2012, with civil celebrants performing 71.9% of all registered marriage ceremonies, an increase from 70.1% in 2011.

Couples who lived together prior to marriage accounted for 77.6% of all marriages registered in 2012, a decrease from the 78.2% registered in 2011.

The proportion of marriages with both partners marrying for the first time increased in 2012 to 71.8% of all marriages. The number of marriages where one partner was marrying for the first time decreased from 16.8% in 2011 to 16.3% in 2012, while the proportion of remarriages for both partners decreased from 11.9 in 2011 to 11.8% in 2012.

In 2012, 56.0% of couples married were both born in Australia, 31.4% were born in different countries, and 12.5% were born in the same overseas country.

1.1 SELECTED MARRIAGE INDICATORS(a), Australia, Selected years, 1992–2012
1992
2002
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012(b)

Marriages registered
no.
114,752
105,435
118,756
120,118
121,176
121,752
123,244
Crude marriage rate(c)
rate
6.6
5.4
5.5
5.5
5.4
5.4
5.4
Previous marital status
First marriage both partners
no.
79,632
69,861
82,847
84,780
86,330
86,862
88,543
First marriage one partner
no.
21,436
19,462
19,969
20,107
20,128
20,416
20,091
Remarriage both partners
no.
16,206
16,112
15,940
15,231
14,718
14,474
14,604
Marriage celebrant
Ministers of religion(d)
Number
no.
71,853
47,400
41,545
39,740
37,251
36,372
34,613
Proportion
%
61.3
45.0
35.0
33.1
30.7
29.9
28.1
Civil Celebrants(d)
Number
no.
45,421
58,035
77,142
80,340
83,800
85,311
88,599
Proportion
%
38.7
55.0
65.0
66.9
69.2
70.1
71.9
Relative birthplace of couple(e)
Both born in Australia
no.
73,547
65,020
70,521
69,643
68,588
67,882
69,048
Both born in the same overseas country
no.
9,012
9,210
12,460
14,210
14,585
15,321
15,438
Born in different countries
no.
32,190
31,184
35,629
36,185
37,925
38,487
38,687
Cohabitation prior to marriage
Number
no.
na
77,024
92,220
92,978
95,194
95,228
95,673
Proportion of all marriages
%
na
73.1
77.7
77.4
78.6
78.2
77.6

na not available
(a) See Glossary for definitions of terms used.
(b) Care should be taken in interpreting Victorian data for 2012 as the category values are calculated from a weighted sample. Please see Explanatory Notes 27–29 for further information.
(c) Marriages per 1,000 of estimated resident population at 30 June for each reference year respectively. See Glossary and Explanatory Notes 36–42 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 (ASCRG), 2011 (cat. no. 1266.0).
(e) Excludes marriages where country of birth of one or both partners is not stated.


DIVORCES

In 2012, there were 49,917 divorces granted in Australia, an increase of 982 (2.0%) from the 48,935 divorces granted in 2011.

The crude divorce rate for the number of divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population remained at 2.2 in 2012, the same rate as reported in 2011.

The median age of males and females at divorce was 44.6 and 41.8 years respectively in 2012. Median age at divorce in 2012 has increased 0.1 years for both males and females from figures reported in 2011.

In 2012, divorces involving children represented 48.4% of all divorces granted compared to 48.3% in 2011. The number of children involved in divorces totalled 48,288 in 2012, an increase from the 43,867 reported in 2011. The average number of children per divorce involving children in 2012 was 1.9 the same figure as reported in 2011.

The median duration from marriage to divorce in 2012 was 12.2 years, the same duration of marriage as reported in 2011. This figure has decreased from a peak of 12.6 years in 2005.

Over the last 20 years, the proportion of divorces granted as result of joint applications for divorce has been increasing. This has continued in 2012 to the point where joint applicants are the highest applicant type for the third year in a row, with 19,819 divorces granted from joint applications, compared with 17,140 from female applicants and 12,958 from male applicants.

1.2 SELECTED DIVORCE INDICATORS, Australia, Selected years, 1992-2012
1992
2002
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012

Divorces grantedno.
45,729
54,004
47,209
49,448
50,240
48,935
49,917
Crude divorce rate(a)rate
2.6
2.7
2.2
2.3
2.3
2.2
2.2
Median length of marriage
To separationyears
7.4
8.6
8.8
8.7
8.8
8.7
8.6
To divorceyears
10.5
12.0
12.3
12.3
12.3
12.2
12.2
Divorces involving children(b)
Divorcesno.
24,215
26,820
23,023
24,268
24,853
23,619
24,144
Proportion of all divorces%
53.0
49.7
48.8
49.1
49.5
48.3
48.4
Total number of childrenno.
45,782
50,509
43,184
45,195
46,337
43,867
48,288
Average number of children per divorce(c)no.
1.9
1.9
1.9
1.9
1.9
1.9
1.9
Relative birthplace of people granted divorce(d)
Both born in Australiano.
25,619
na
24,882
25,922
26,305
24,890
25,301
Both born in same overseas countryno.
5,673
na
6,698
7,550
8,064
8,455
8,623
Born in different countriesno.
14,121
na
13,371
13,295
13,553
13,194
13,517
Type of applicant(e)
Maleno.
16,470
16,114
12,979
13,236
13,215
12,924
12,958
Femaleno.
22,083
24,049
17,617
18,149
18,083
17,439
17,140
Jointno.
7,176
13,841
16,613
18,063
18,941
18,572
19,819

na not available
(a) Number of divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population at 30 June for each reference year respectively. See Glossary and Explanatory Notes 33–34 and 38–40 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 not involving children.
(d) Excludes divorces where country of birth of one party or both parties is not stated.
(e) Excludes divorces where type of applicant is not stated.


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