3311.2 - Demography, Victoria, 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/1997   
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December 18, 1997
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Victorians are delaying marriage, children and death

The publication, Demography, Victoria, 1996, based on the State's registrations of births, deaths, marriages and divorces in 1996, was released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Highlights include:

  • Victoria experienced a population growth rate of 0.9 per cent in 1996 which was below the Australian growth rate of 1.3 per cent.
  • There was a net population gain from overseas migration of 26,714 persons but a net population loss from interstate migration of 13,822 persons. The net loss due to interstate migration continues to decrease from the high of 31,533 recorded in 1993.

  • In 1996 there were 61,121 births registered to mothers usually resident in Victoria. Age-specific birth rates indicate that increasing numbers of women are postponing childbirth. This is reflected in the increasing median age of mothers of 29.9 years in 1996, compared to 28.0 years in 1986.
  • The proportion of ex-nuptial births fell slightly from 1995, and is now 21.6 per cent of all births compared with 12.3 per cent in 1986. However, for 86.0 per cent of these births, paternity was acknowledged, up from 68.6 per cent a decade ago.

  • There were 32,665 deaths of Victorian residents registered in 1996. The standardised death rate for Victoria was 6.3 per 1000 population. The median age at death rose for both males (from 71.5 years in 1986 to 74.7 years in 1996) and females (from 78.4 years in 1986 to 81.3 years in 1996). These were the highest recorded, in 1996, for men and women across all Australian States and Territories.
  • The leading causes of death were malignant neoplasms (cancer) and heart disease which accounted for 27.7 per cent and 22.3 per cent of deaths respectively.

Marriages and Divorces
  • The 1996 crude marriage rate, at 5.7 per 1,000 population, was the lowest since the same rate of 5.7 in 1931. The median age at marriage has been increasing steadily for several years for both men and women and in 1996 stood at 29.4 years of age for the bridegroom and 27.3 years of age for the bride.
  • There were 12,491 divorces granted in Victoria in 1996, 5.5 per cent higher than in 1995 and the highest figure since 1976 when 16,633 divorces were granted, which was immediately after the introduction of the Commonwealth Family Law Act (1975) in January 1976.

Demography, Victoria, 1996 (cat. no. 3311.2) is available from ABS Bookshops.