ANZAC facts and figures from the ABS (Media Release)

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April 24, 2008
ANZAC facts and figures from the ABS

Over 1.5 million Australian men and women have served in eight major wars or conflicts during the twentieth century.

More than 100,000 people died in action, more than 200,000 were wounded and more than 30,000 were taken as prisoners of war.

Marriage rates have generally increased during times of war; the highest rate recorded in Australia was 12 marriages per thousand people in 1942. This compares to a rate of 6 per thousand in 1931 and 5.5 in 2006. (Note: This is the crude marriage rate.)

For both world wars the ABS conducted 'war censuses' under special legislation. Every man aged 18 to 60 years (65 years for World War II) was required to register, and a second form was to be filled out by all people with wealth or property to declare.

During World War II, 993,000 Australians served in the armed forces - 926,900 men and 66,100 women.

In 2006-07 there were 113,700 Australian war veterans receiving service pensions.

The 2006 ANZAC Day Dawn Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial attracted 27,000 people.

More information on Australia's involvement in both world wars can be found in Year Book Australia, 1946-47 (cat. no. 1301.0) feature article: Australian Services during World War II, 1939-45 (enlistments, casualties, decorations etc) and Year Book Australia 1923 (cat. no. 1301.0)Chapter 14 - Defence, available for free download from <>.

Media Note:
Paragraph 1 source: Year Book Australia, 1988 (cat. no. 1301.0) feature article Australians at War. Australian Social Trends, 1996 (cat. no. 4102.0) article Family Functioning: War Veterans and their Carers.

Paragraph 2 source: Statistics relating to marriage rates can be found in Marriages, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 3306.0.55.001)and the article Family Formation: Trends in marriage and divorce, in Australian Social Trends, 1995 (cat. no. 4102.0).

Paragraph 3 source: Informing a Nation: the evolution of the Australian Bureau of Statistics 1905 - 2005 (cat. no. 1382.0) includes further information about the war censuses and issues relating to counting the Australian population during the Wars (pp. 87 and 117).

Paragraph 4 source: Year Book Australia, 1946-47 and Year Book Australia 1923 (cat. no. 1301.0).

Paragraph 5 source: Year Book Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 1301.0) includes data sourced from the Department of Veterans' Affairs in the section Income and Community Support.

Paragraph 6 source: Australian Capital Territory in Focus, 2007 (cat. no. 1307.0) includes data about Events and Exhibitions in the ACT.