3306.0.55.001 - Marriages, Australia, 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2004   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All


1 This electronic product, Marriages, Australia 2003 (cat. no. 3306.0.55.001) provides information on marriages registered in Australia. This product replaces Marriages and Divorces, Australia (cat. no. 3310.0). Information on divorces from 2002 onwards will be available in the new electronic product, Divorces, Australia (3307.0.55.001).

2 A glossary is provided at the end of the publication detailing definitions of terminology used.

3 In this product detailed statistics are provided for Australia and summary figures are given for states and territories.


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

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

6 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.


7 Marriage statistics in this publication refer to marriages registered by the registrar in each state and territory during the year shown. 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.

8 In 1984, there were abnormal delays in the registration of New South Wales 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 New South Wales and Australia, see Marriages and Divorces Australia, 2002 (cat. no. 3310.0), Explanatory Note 8.


9 The latest available marital status estimates are at 30 June 2001 and are based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing (2001 census). In this publication marital status estimates at 30 June 1997 to 30 June 2000 have been revised and together with 2001 estimates are now final. Marital status estimates at 30 June 2002 are not yet available.

10 The ERP is the official population estimates series compiled according to the place of usual residence of the population.

11 Australia's population estimates for the period since 1971 are compiled according to the place of usual residence of the population. 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 <https://www.abs.gov.au>. From the navigation bar select Themes; Demography; Concepts, Sources and Methods.


12 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.

13 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.

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

15 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). Because of 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 marital status estimates.


16 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 months after the end of the financial year and final estimates after the following census. The estimates in this publication, with the exception of marital status estimates for which 2002 data are not available, are final for the years prior to 2002 and preliminary for 2002.

17 Single year age estimates are not shown for persons aged 85 years or older. Estimates for each age up to 99 years have, however, been calculated and are available on request.


Reliability of estimates

18 Statistics are shown in units without being rounded. However, accuracy down to the last unit is not claimed and should not be assumed. This is particularly the case for single year of age data.

States and territories

19 As a result of an amendment, made in 1992, to the Acts Interpretation Act, the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands have been included as part of geographic Australia, hence another category of the state and territory classification has been created. This category, known as Other Territories, includes Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Jervis Bay Territory.

Country of birth

20 The classification of countries in this publication is the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC). For more detailed information refer to the ABS publication Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) (cat. no. 1269.0). The SACC is also available in electronic form: Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) - on Floppy Disk (cat. no. 1269.0.15.001).

Suppression of small cells

21 For marriage data, cells with small values have been randomised to protect confidentiality.

Related products

22 Other ABS products which may be of interest are:
AusStats - electronic data <
Australian Demographic Statistics
, (cat. no. 3101.0) - issued quarterly
Australian Historical Population Statistics
, (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001),
https://www.abs.gov.au>. From the navigation bar select Themes;
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)
Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods,
https://www.abs.gov.au>. From the navigation bar select Themes;
Demography; Concepts, Sources and Methods

Divorces, Australia
, (cat. no. 3307.0) - issued annually to 1993
Divorces, Australia
, (cat. no. 3307.0.55.001) - 2002
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.

Additional statistics available

23 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, 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.

24 AusStats is a web based information service which provides the ABS full standard product range online. It also includes companion data in multidimensional datasets in SuperTABLE format, and time series spreadsheets.

25 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 <https://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.