3306.0.55.001 - Marriages, Australia, 2005 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/11/2007  Reissue
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1 This electronic product, Marriages, Australia 2005 (cat. no. 3306.0.55.001) provides information on marriages registered in Australia during the 2005 calendar year. This product replaces Marriages and Divorces, Australia (cat. no. 3310.0). Information on divorces from 2002 onwards is available in the electronic product, Divorces, Australia (3307.0.55.001).

2 A glossary is provided in the 'Summary' tab detailing definitions of terminology used.


3 The Marriage Act 1961 came into full operation on 1 September 1961.

4 Under the Act, marriages may be celebrated by a minister of religion registered as an authorised celebrant, by a district registrar or by other persons authorised by the Attorney-General. Notice of the intended marriage must be given to the celebrant at least one calendar month but within six calendar months before the marriage. A celebrant must transmit an official certificate of the marriage for registration to a district registrar in the state or territory in which the marriage took place.

5 From 20 June 1973, the minimum age at which a person may marry without parental consent was reduced from 21 years to 18 years. Further amendment to the Marriage Act in 1991, designated the minimum age at which persons are legally free to marry to be 18 years. Persons between the age of 16 years and 18 years may marry with parental or guardian consent and an order from a judge or magistrate. Any two persons under the age of 18 years may not marry each other.


6 Marriage statistics in this publication refer to marriages registered by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in each state and territory during the year shown. Coverage of marriage statistics in Australia is considered complete as all marriages are recorded as legal events. However, there is usually an interval between the celebration and the registration of a marriage. As a result of the delay in registration, some marriages celebrated in one year are not registered until the following year. Of the marriages registered in 2005, 1,847 (2%) were celebrated in 2004.

7 Marriages of overseas residents visiting Australia are included in these statistics.

8 A complete review of data items supplied to the ABS by the state/territory Registrars was conducted in 2005. A range of data items were not collected in 2005 due to issues including; quality and completeness of information supplied by marrying couples on the Notice of Intended Marriage form and differing state/territory Registrar practices regarding recording of data items. Data items not available in 2005 include:

  • birthplace of bride/grooms father
  • birthplace of bride/grooms mother
  • number of previous marriages bride/groom
    9 Some data for 2005 Marriages are not available at a national level as some state/territory Registrars were not able to supply information for these data items. Data items regarding; Interval to Remarriage, Number of Children and Duration of Residence (years and months), are not available for New South Wales, South Australia and Australian Capital Territory. Data items regarding, Number of Children, are not available for Western Australia.

    10 When analysing time series data it is important to note issues that arose in 1984, 1995 and 2004.
    • In 1984, there were abnormal delays in the registration of NSW marriages. These and subsequent delays in 1985 had been made up by 1986. The number of actual registrations and registrations adjusted for these delays and their effects on crude marriage rates for NSW and Australia have been calculated, see Marriages and Divorces Australia, 2002 (cat. no. 3310.0), Explanatory Note 8.
    • In 1995 there were delays in the registration of marriages, as well as budgetary constraints. This led to the ABS only processing limited data on marriages in 1995: state or territory of registration, date of marriage, age of parties at marriage and previous marital status of parties. Full processing then resumed for 1996.
    • In 2004, marriage registrations were sampled for the larger states of NSW, Vic., Qld and SA, while the other states and territories were fully enumerated. Sampled forms were subject to full processing. For an explanation and calculation of the sampling error see Marriages Australia, 2004, Technical Notes (under Explanatory Notes). Full processing then resumed for 2005.


    11 Marriage statistics are based upon the state in which the marriages are registered, rather than the state of usual residence of the applicants. These factors can impact on the interpretation of state and territory data. Marriage rates are calculated using the number of marriages registered in a state or territory divided by the estimated residential population of that state or territory. Therefore, they do not accurately reflect the crude marriage rate or the age specific marriage rates of the usual residents of that state or territory.

    12 Also, people who usually reside in one jurisdiction may choose to marry across state/territory and national borders. Furthermore the marriages that occur in the other Australian territories of Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Jervis Bay Territory are registered in the nearest state or territory where the marriage occurs.



    13 The estimates of the population of Australia and the states and territories at 30 June of a census year are census counts based on place of usual residence, adjusted for underenumeration and the number of Australian residents estimated to have been temporarily overseas at the time of the census. An explanation of the place of usual residence conceptual basis for population estimates is given in Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Statistical Concepts Library, available on the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>. From the navigation bar select Themes; Demography; Concepts, Sources and Methods.

    Post-censal estimates of the Australian population are obtained by adding to the population at the beginning of each period components of natural increase (on a usual residence basis) and net overseas migration. For states and territories, account is also taken of estimated interstate movements involving a change of usual residence. After each census, estimates are made for the preceding intercensal period by incorporating an additional quarterly adjustment (intercensal discrepancy) to ensure that the total intercensal increase agrees with the difference between the ERP at the two respective census dates.

    ERP estimates by marital status

    15 The latest available ERP estimates by marital status are at 30 June 2001 and are based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. These estimates will not be updated until after the next Census. This impacts on the data available on first marriage and remarriage rates Therefore tables 3 and 4 will not be updated until new estimates are available after the 2006 Census.

    16 For ERP estimates by marital status, persons aged 14 years and under are automatically classified as never married.

    17 From July 1998, data on the marital status of overseas arrivals and departures is derived from visa applications (only for certain visa classes) and is therefore not available for a high proportion of movers (mainly Australian or New Zealand citizens). Due to this, the 1997-98 distribution of overseas arrivals and departures by age, sex and marital status is used for the post-1998 overseas migration component of ERP estimates by marital status.

    Latest available ERP estimates (excluding marital status estimates)

    18 To meet the conflicting demand for accuracy and timeliness there are three estimates of ERP. At the national and state/territory levels preliminary estimates are available six months after the reference date, revised estimates are available 15 months after the end of the financial year and final estimates after the following census. The estimates in this publication are final for the years up to and including 2001 and preliminary for 2002 - 2005.



    19 For country of birth, the classification used in this publication is the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998, Revision 2.02 (cat. no. 1269.0). This classification supersedes the Australian Standard Classification of Countries for Social Statistics (ASCCSS) which has previously been used to classify birthplace.

    20 In 2005, marriage rites were classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG), 1996 (cat. no. 1266.0.15.001). Previously, marriage rites were coded according to a non-standard classification developed within the ABS. The 2005 edition of the ASCRG was released in December 2005 and will be used for classifying marriage rites from 2006.

    Confidentialising of data

    21 For marriage data, cells with smaller values have been randomised to protect confidentiality. In the past different methods of confidentialising data have been used. When analysing time series data caution should always be used when comparing smaller values.


    22 There are many ABS publications which may be of interest. A useful listing of related publications is available on the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au> under Statistics by Topic > Population/People. All publications released from 1998 onwards are available free of charge on the web site. Please note, older publications may no longer be available through ABS bookshops but are available through ABS libraries. Some ABS publications which may be of interest are listed below.
      Australian Demographic Statistics, (cat. no. 3101.0) - issued quarterly
      Australian Historical Population Statistics
      , (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001),
      Demography; Australian Historical Population Statistics
      Australian Social Trends
      , (cat. no. 4102.0) - issued annually
      Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups
      (ASCRG) 1996
      (cat. no. 1266.0)
      Divorces, Australia, (cat. no. 3307.0) - issued annually to 1993
      Divorces, Australia
      , (cat. no. 3307.0.55.001) - issued annually from 2002
      Estimated Resident Population by Marital Status, Age and Sex,

      Australia, (cat. no. 3220.0) - issued annually to 1993
      Family Characteristics, Australia
      (cat. no. 4442.0) - issued 1997
      Marriages, Australia
      , (cat. no. 3306.0) - issued annually to 1993
      Marriages and Divorces
      , Australia, (cat. no. 3310.0) - issued annually to 2002
      Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories
      , (cat. no. 3201.0) - issued annually
      Population Projections, Australia, 2002 to 2101
      , (cat. no. 3222.0) - issued
      September 2003
      Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC)
      , (cat. no. 1269.0) - issued 1998.

    23 A compendium of demographic data for each state and territory has been released annually in state and territory specific electronic products, Demography (cat. nos 3311.0-8.55.001) since the 2002 reference year. This compendium data is also available in hardcopy form between reference years 1996 to 2001 (cat. nos 3311.1-8) . Should users require detailed state and territory data on marriages, divorces or ERP prior to the release of these compendia please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or by sending an email to client.services@abs.gov.au.

    24 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.

    Additional statistics available

    25 As well as the statistics included in this and related products, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or by sending an email to client.services@abs.gov.au.

    Special articles

    26 There are various special articles containing information on marriages, divorces, children, families and general living arrangements. Many of these articles can be found in Australian Social Trends (cat no. 4102.0). If this publication is accessed on the ABS website it includes a cumulative list of all articles. Other articles can also be found in Year Book Australia (cat no. 1301.0) and Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2001 to 2026 (cat no. 3236.0).