3311.1 - Demography, New South Wales, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2002   
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December 18, 2002
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Marriage in NSW - the inside story

The median age at which couples get married in NSW has continued to increase, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Between 1991 and 2001, the median age of grooms increased from 28.5 years to 30.3 years while the median age of brides increased from 26.1 years to 28.3 years.

There were 3,214 fewer marriages in NSW during 2001 than in the previous year and the crude marriage rate declined from 6.7 marriages per 1,000 population in 1991 to 5.5 in 2001.

Of those people who identified themselves as being in a couple relationship in 2001, 88% were in a registered marriage and 12% were in a de-facto marriage.

The proportion of NSW couples who lived together prior to marriage continued to increase (68% in 2001 up from 61% in 1997). Older couples were more likely to live together before marriage - more than three-quarters of brides and grooms aged 50 years and over had lived together before getting married in 2001, compared to just over half the brides and grooms aged 19 years and under.

Between 1991 and 2001, the proportion of marriages performed by ministers of religion declined from 61% to 50%. In 2001 the proportion of couples being married by ministers was higher among those who did not live together before marriage (71%) than among those who did (41%).

Further information is available in Demography, New South Wales, 2001 (cat. no. 3311.1) which contains a comprehensive overview of the population, births, deaths, marriages, divorces and migration for the state.