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3310.0 - Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/12/2010   
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NOTES


MARRIAGES AND DIVORCES, AUSTRALIA

The Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 3310.0) product provides data and information about marriages registered and divorces granted in Australia in 2009. Data is presented on a State or Territory of registration basis rather than a State or Territory of usual residence basis. Explanatory Notes 24 to 30 provide further information.

Marriage statistics presented in this electronic product present data at the State or Territory and national level on the number of marriages registered, crude marriage rates, median age at marriage, age-specific marriage rates, previous marital status, marriage celebrants, country of birth of those marrying, and living arrangements for couples prior to marriage.

Divorce statistics in this publication provide State or Territory and national data about 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 the 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 2009, there were 120,118 marriages registered in Australia, an increase of 1,362 (1.1%) from 2008. This is the highest level of marriages on record.

Despite this increase, the crude marriage rate has remained unchanged at 5.5 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population since 2006.

The median age of males and females at marriage was 31.5 and 29.2 years respectively in 2009, in both cases 0.1 years lower than in 2008. The last time the median age at marriage fell was in 1973 (for males) and 1969 (for females).

The proportion of marriage ceremonies performed by civil celebrants has continued to increase in 2009, with civil celebrants performing 66.9% of all registered marriage ceremonies, an increase from 65.0% in 2008.

Couples who lived together prior to marriage accounted for 77.4% of all marriages registered in 2009, compared to 77.7% in 2008. This is the first decline since 1997, when this data was first collected.

The proportions of brides and bridegrooms who married for the first time in 2009 continued to increase. In 2009, 78.1% of bridegrooms and 79.8% of brides were marrying for the first time.

In 2009, 58.0% of couples married were both born in Australia, 30.1% were born in different countries, and 11.8% were born in the same overseas country.

1.1 Selected marriage indicators(a), Australia - Selected years, 1989-2009

1989
1999
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009

Marriages registered no.
117 176
114 316
109 323
114 222
116 322
118 756
120 118
Crude marriage rate(b)
7.0
6.0
5.4
5.5
5.5
5.5
5.5
Median age at marriage
Males years
28.0
30.1
31.5
31.6
31.6
31.6
31.5
Females years
25.7
27.9
29.3
29.3
29.3
29.3
29.2
Previous marital status
First marriage both partners no.
78 850
76 440
74 303
78 178
80 347
82 847
84 780
First marriage one partner no.
22 002
21 386
19 573
20 122
20 023
19 969
20 107
Remarriage both partners no.
16 324
16 490
15 447
15 922
15 952
15 940
15 231
Marriage Celebrant
Ministers of religion(c)
Number of marriages no.
67 743
55 720
44 218
44 117
43 077
41 545
39 740
Proportion of marriages %
57.8
48.7
40.4
38.6
37.0
35.0
33.1
Civil celebrants
Number of marriages no.
49 433
58 596
65 105
70 105
73 187
77 142
80 340
Proportion of marriages %
42.2
51.3
59.6
61.4
62.9
65.0
66.9
Relative birthplace of male and female(d)
Both born in Australia no.
71 556
72 354
67 085
69 710
70 347
70 521
69 643
Both born in the same overseas country no.
9 532
9 751
9 546
10 334
11 101
12 460
14 210
Born in different countries no.
36 058
32 190
32 640
34 126
34 759
35 629
36 185
Couples living together prior to marriage
Number of marriages no.
na
78 800
83 002
86 937
89 364
92 220
92 978
Proportion of marriages %
na
68.9
75.9
76.1
76.8
77.7
77.4

na not available
(a) See Glossary for definitions of terms used.
(b) Marriages per 1,000 of estimated resident population at 30 June. See Glossary and Explanatory Notes 33 and 39-41 for further information.
(c) 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 1266.0).
(d) Excludes marriages where country of birth of one or both partners is not stated.



DIVORCES

In 2009, there were 49,448 divorces granted in Australia, an increase of 2,239 compared to 2008. This is the first increase in the number of divorces granted since 2001.

The crude divorce rate was 2.3 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population, up from 2.2 in 2008. This is the first increase since 2001.

The median age of males and females at divorce was 44.4 and 41.5 years respectively in 2009. These median ages represent slight increases from the 2008 figures of 44.1 years for males and 41.4 years for females.

In 2009, divorces involving children represented 49.1% of all divorces granted compared to 48.8% in 2008, while the number of children involved in divorces totalled 45,195, an increase from 43,184 in 2008. However, the average number of children per divorce involving children was 1.86, a decrease from 1.88 in 2008.

The median duration between marriage and divorce in 2009 was 12.3 years, unchanged from 2008, but a decrease from the 2005 peak of 12.6 years.

Over the last 20 years, the proportion of divorces granted as result of joint applications for divorce has generally been increasing. This trend has continued in 2009 with 36.5% of all divorces granted being from joint applications.

1.2 Selected divorce indicators, Australia, Selected years, 1989-2009

1989
1999
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009

Divorces granted no.
41 383
52 566
52 399
51 375
47 963
47 209
49 448
Crude divorce rate(a)
2.5
2.8
2.6
2.5
2.3
2.2
2.3
Divorces involving children(b)
Proportion of all divorces %
55.3
53.9
49.8
50.1
49.3
48.8
49.1
Number of children no.
43 317
53 444
49 358
48 396
44 371
43 184
45 195
Median age at divorce
Males years
38.0
40.9
43.5
43.9
44.2
44.1
44.4
Females years
35.1
38.2
40.8
41.1
41.3
41.4
41.5
Median length of marriage
To separation years
7.3
7.9
8.8
8.9
8.9
8.8
8.7
To divorce years
10.2
11.3
12.6
12.5
12.5
12.3
12.3
Applicant(c)
Male no.
15 691
16 235
16 020
15 171
13 216
12 979
13 236
Female no.
20 557
26 353
21 398
20 574
18 571
17 617
18 149
Joint no.
5 135
9 978
14 955
15 582
16 172
16 613
18 063

(a) Number of divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population at 30 June. See Glossary and Explanatory Notes 33 and 39-41 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.



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