3306.0.55.001 - Marriages, Australia, 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/10/2005   
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1 This electronic product, Marriages, Australia 2004 (cat. no. 3306.0.55.001) provides information on marriages registered in Australia during the 2004 calendar year. This product replaces Marriages and Divorces, Australia (cat. no. 3310.0). Information on divorces from 2002 onwards will be available in the 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 of Births, Deaths and Marriages 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. Of all the marriages registered in 2004, 3% occurred in 2003.

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 have been calculated, see Marriages and Divorces Australia, 2002 (cat. no. 3310.0), Explanatory Note 8.

9 In 2004, marriage registrations were sampled for the larger states of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, while the other states and territories were fully enumerated. Sampled forms were subject to full processing. A simple random sample was employed for the sampled states with skip selections of 1 in 7 forms assigned for New South Wales, 1 in 5 forms assigned for Victoria and Queensland, and 1 in 3 forms assigned for South Australia. See technical notes for an explanation and calculation of sampling error.


10 The latest available ERP estimates by marital status 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, 2003 and 2004 are not yet available. This impacts on the data available on first marriage and remarriage rates.

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

12 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.


13 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 and 2003 data are not available, are final for the years prior to 2002 and preliminary for 2002 and 2003 and 2004.


Effects of rounding

14 Due to the effects of rounding, the sums of component cells are not always equal to totals.

States and territories

15 The state and territory classification used in this product relates to state or territory of registration which is based on the state or territory where the marriage is registered. These figures can give a biased view of marriages in states and territories as people who usually reside in one jurisdiction may choose to marry across 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.

Country of birth

16 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

17 For marriage data, cells with small values have been suppressed to protect confidentiality. Tables 5 and 6 that contain country of birth data have been affected such that it is not possible to compare with previous years.

Related products

18 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) - 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.

Additional statistics available

19 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.

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

21 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.