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3310.0 - Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2012  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2013   
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Contents >> Divorces

DIVORCES


NUMBER OF DIVORCES

In 2012, there were 49,917 divorces granted in Australia, an increase of 982 (2.0%) compared to 2011.

2.1 Total divorces granted, Australia, 1992–2012



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 38-40 for further information.

In 2012, the crude divorce rate in Australia was 2.2 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population. This rate has not changed since 2011, after a decrease from 2.3 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population reported for 2010 and 2009.

2.2 Crude divorce rates, Australia, 1992–2012



AGE AT MARRIAGE, SEPARATION AND DIVORCE

Overall, males granted a divorce in 2012 tended to be older than females at marriage, separation and divorce.

For females granted a divorce in 2012, 60.3% were less than 45 years of age at divorce, while 51.0% of males were less than 45 years of age at divorce.

2.3 Age at divorce, Australia, 2012




People between 40-44 years of age had the highest percentage of divorces granted, with 16.9% of males and 17.6% of females being granted a divorce falling in the age group in 2012.

The median age at marriage for males divorcing in 2012 was 28.4 years, compared to 25.9 years for females. Median age at separation for males granted a divorce in 2012 was 41.0 years, whereas the figure for females was 38.5 years. In 2012, the median age of males at divorce was 44.6 years and 41.8 years for females.


2.4 Median age at divorce, Australia, 1992–2012



The median age at divorce has been increasing for both males and females over the past 20 years. The median age for males and females in 2012 increased slightly compared to 2011, from 44.5 to 44.6 years for males, and from 41.7 to 41.8 years for females.

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 who were 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 2012, age-specific divorce rates for males and females were highest among people between 40-44 years of age. The rate for males between 40-44 years of age was 10.4 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population while for females it was 10.7 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population.


2.5 Age-specific divorce rates(a), Australia, Selected years, 1992–2012
Age group (years)
1992
2002
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012

MALES
24 and under
1.0
0.4
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.4
0.4
25–29
8.6
5.5
3.8
3.7
3.7
3.9
3.9
30–34
12.7
11.5
7.9
7.9
7.7
7.3
7.4
35–39
13.1
13.1
9.9
10.1
10.2
9.3
9.4
40–44
11.8
13.2
10.3
10.5
10.7
10.3
10.4
45–49
10.2
12.1
9.7
10.2
10.5
9.8
10.0
50–54
7.6
9.5
8.6
9.0
8.9
8.8
8.9
55–59
4.9
6.9
6.6
6.8
6.6
6.6
6.6
60–64
3.0
4.2
4.4
4.6
4.6
4.4
4.7
65 and over
1.1
1.5
1.6
1.6
1.7
1.5
1.7

FEMALES
24 and under
2.4
1.2
0.8
0.8
0.9
1.0
0.9
25–29
12.5
8.9
6.2
6.1
6.1
6.0
6.1
30–34
13.3
13.7
9.5
9.5
9.2
8.7
8.8
35–39
12.5
13.6
10.6
10.8
11
10.1
10.3
40–44
10.8
12.7
10.4
10.7
10.9
10.5
10.7
45–49
8.6
10.4
9.1
9.8
9.8
9.5
9.5
50–54
5.5
7.3
7.2
7.3
7.3
7.2
7.5
55–59
2.9
4.6
4.6
4.9
4.8
4.6
4.9
60–64
1.7
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.8
2.8
2.9
65 and over
0.4
0.6
0.6
0.6
0.7
0.6
0.7

(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 2011, there were 24,144 divorces involving children under 18 years of age. This represents 48.4% of all divorces granted.


2.6 Proportion of divorces involving children, Australia, 1992–2012(a)



The number of children affected by divorce has increased from 43,867 in 2011 to 48,288 in 2012. The average number of children for divorces involving children, remains the same at 1.9 children per divorce from 2008 to 2012.


LENGTH OF MARRIAGE OF DIVORCING COUPLES

The median duration of marriage to divorce increased from 10.5 years in 1992 to a peak of 12.6 years in 2005. Since 2005 it has decreased slightly, with a median duration of marriage to divorce of 12.2 years recorded in 2012.


2.7 Median duration to separation and divorce, Australia, 1992–2012



Similarly the median duration of marriage to separation increased from 7.4 years in 1992 to a peak of 8.9 years in 2006. In 2012 the median duration of marriage to separation was 8.6 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 a one applicant has decreased. In 2010, the number of joint applications outnumbered male and female applications for the first time. In 2012 the proportion of joint applications increased again and remains the highest applicant type at 39.7% of all applications.


2.8 Type of divorce applicant, Australia, 1992–2012



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 for more information.

In 2012, the number of divorces granted in all States and Territories increased compared with 2011, with the exception of Queensland where the number of divorces granted decreased by 76 (0.7% lower in comparison to 2011) and ACT where the number of divorces granted decreased by 7 (0.5% lower in comparison to 2011). Despite a decrease in Queensland, the crude rate of 2.5 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population, is the highest of all states and territories. The largest increases occurred in New South Wales (690, or 5.0% higher in comparison to 2011) and Victoria by 212 or 1.7% higher in comparison to 2011.


2.9 Number of divorces, States and Territories(a), Selected years, 1992-2012
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.(b)

1992
13,949
10,533
8,984
4,074
4,540
1,365
345
1,875
45,665
2002
na
na
na
na
na
na
na
na
54,004
2008
13,914
11,623
10,615
3,466
4,718
1,154
367
1,351
47,209
2009
14,617
12,160
11,174
3,663
4,767
1,215
433
1,419
49,448
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

(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 30–35 for more information.
(b) 2002 state and territory data unavailable due do delays in the provision of information by the Family Court of Australia.


Queensland had the highest crude divorce rate of 2.5 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population, while the Northern Territory had the lowest divorce rate at 1.7 per 1,000 estimated resident population.

Tasmania, ACT and Queensland reported the highest proportion of all divorces involving children, at 53.7%, 51.6% and 51.3% respectively. New South Wales and Northern Territory (46.3%) reported the lowest proportion of divorces involving children.

Northern Territory had the highest median age at divorce for males at 45.7 years, followed by Western Australia and Tasmania (45.4 years), while New South Wales had the lowest median age at divorce for males at 44.2 years of age.

Tasmania had the highest median age at divorce for females at 42.8 years, followed by Western Australia and South Australia (42.6 years), while New South Wales had the lowest median age at divorce for females at 41.1 years of age.

Median length of marriage prior to divorce was highest in Tasmania (13.1 years), while New South Wales (11.2 years) had the shortest median length of marriage to divorce.

In 2012, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory all recorded more joint applications for divorce than male or female only applications. This did not change from 2011.


2.10 Selected divorce indicators, States and Territories(a), 2012
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT(b)
Aust.(c)

Divorces granted no.
14,607
12,483
11,317
3,511
5,073
1,161
391
1,374
49,917
Crude divorce rate(d)
2.0
2.2
2.5
2.1
2.1
2.3
1.7
na
2.2
Divorces involving children(e)
Proportion of all divorces %
55.0
54.4
52.5
53.4
52.8
53
54.2
54.6
53.9
Average number of children per divorce(f) no.
1.8
1.8
1.9
1.9
1.9
1.9
1.8
1.8
1.9
Median age at divorce
Malesyears
44.2
44.4
44.7
45.3
45.4
45.4
45.7
44.8
44.6
Femalesyears
41.1
41.8
42.1
42.6
42.6
42.8
41.9
42.5
41.8
Median length of marriage
To separationyears
7.7
8.8
9.0
9.2
8.9
10.0
8.8
9.4
8.6
To divorceyears
11.2
12.2
12.7
12.9
12.6
13.1
12.5
12.9
12.2
Applicant(g)
Male no.
3,699
3,481
2,729
965
1,314
328
99
343
12,958
Female no.
4,847
4,651
3,758
1,349
1,541
483
99
412
17,140
Joint no.
6,061
4,351
4,830
1,197
2,218
350
193
619
19,819

na not available
(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 20-25 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.



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