3310.0 - Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2018 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2019   
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Same-sex marriage in Australia

Amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 came in to effect on 9 December 2017, enabling same-sex couples to legally marry in Australia. 2018 is the first full year for which same-sex marriage data are available. In 2018, there were 6,538 same-sex marriages registered in Australia, accounting for 5.5% of all marriages.

More than one-third of same-sex marriages were registered in New South Wales (35.0%, or 2,290 marriages). These same-sex marriages represented 5.6% of all marriages in NSW. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of marriages that were same sex at 8.3%.

Same-sex marriages, states and territories, 2018


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

Total same-sex marriages(a)
no.
2,290
1,655
1,292
387
600
143
47
130
6,538
Male same-sex marriages(a)
no.
1,061
733
497
144
204
44
18
52
2,757
Female same-sex marriages(a)
no.
1,229
915
796
242
397
93
28
78
3,781
Total marriages
no.
40,583
30,152
23,641
7,741
12,219
2,497
795
1,562
119,188
Proportion of marriages that were same-sex(a)
%
5.6
5.5
5.5
5.0
4.9
5.7
5.9
8.3
5.5

Footnotes:
(a) Same-sex marriage data exclude marriages registered for which one or both parties of the marriage did not identify as male or female. See 'Sex' in the 'Classifications' section of the Explanatory Notes.
(b) Marriage data are based on the state or territory of registration rather than state or territory of usual residence of the couple. See 'Marriages' in the 'Considerations when interpreting 2018 and time-series data' section of the Explanatory Notes for further information.
(c) Perturbation has been applied to marriages data in this publication. Due to perturbation, component cells may not add to published totals. See the 'Confidentiality' section of the Explanatory Notes for further details.

Sex of couple

Nationally, 57.8% of same-sex marriages were of female couples and 42.2% were of male couples. Female couples accounted for the majority of same-sex marriages in all states and territories.

Proportion of same-sex marriages by sex, states and territories, 2018

Graph: Proportion of same-sex marriages by sex, states and territories, 2018
Footnotes:
(a) Marriage data are based on the state or territory of registration rather than state or territory of usual residence of the couple. See 'Marriages' in the 'Considerations when interpreting 2018 and time-series data' section of the Explanatory Notes for further information.
(b) Same-sex marriage data exclude marriages registered for which one or both parties of the marriage did not identify as male or female.
(c) Perturbation has been applied to marriages data in this publication. Due to perturbation, component cells may not add to published totals. See the 'Confidentiality' section of the Explanatory Notes for further details.

Celebrant type

In 2018:
  • 98.9% of same-sex marriages were administered by a civil celebrant (6,463 marriages).
  • Of those same-sex couples married by a minister of religion (79 marriages), the most common rites were those of the Uniting Church (23 marriages).

Previous marital status

For individuals entering into a same-sex marriage in 2018:
  • 4,940 (89.6%) males and 6,104 (80.7%) females were marrying for the first time;
  • 558 (10.1%) males and 1,428 (18.9%) females were previously divorced; and
  • the remainder (16 males and 36 females) were widowed.

Median age at marriage

The median age at marriage for those in same-sex marriages was substantially greater than the median age for those in opposite-sex marriages. This led to a larger than usual increase in the overall median age at marriage for males and females in 2018 (both increasing by 0.4 years compared to 2017).
  • For males, the median age of those in same-sex marriages was 44.9 years, compared to 32.1 years for those in opposite-sex marriages.
  • For females, the median age at marriage was 39.3 years for those in same-sex marriages, compared to 30.2 for females in opposite-sex marriages.

Median age at marriage by sex and couple type, 2018
Graph: Median age at marriage by sex and couple type, 2018
Footnotes:
(a) Same-sex marriage data exclude marriages registered for which one or both parties of the marriage did not identify as male or female.
(b) See 'Considerations when interpreting 2018 and time-series data' in the Explanatory Notes for further information.
(c) The median age data presented in this graph includes those marrying for the first time, as well as those who were previously widowed or divorced.

Same-sex marriages by age group

The older age profile of those in same-sex marriages is reflected in the graph below:
  • Females aged 30-34 accounted for the greatest proportion of female same-sex marriages (18.2%) in 2018; and
  • Males aged 30-34 also accounted for the greatest proportion of male same-sex marriages (12.7%) closely followed by those aged 35-39 (12.6%).

Proportion of same-sex marriages by age and sex, 2018
Graph: Proportion of same-sex marriages by age and sex, 2018
Footnotes:
(a) Same-sex marriage data exclude marriages registered for which one or both parties of the marriage did not identify as male or female.
(b) Perturbation has been applied to marriages data in this publication. Due to perturbation, component cells may not add to published totals. See the 'Confidentiality' section of the Explanatory Notes for further details.
(c) See 'Considerations when interpreting 2018 and time-series data' in the Explanatory Notes for further information.