INTRODUCTION TO THE STANDARD
Registered Marital Status establishes whether people are currently or have ever been in a registered marriage. Social Marital Status is a related concept that establishes people's current living arrangements by relationship status. The two concepts measure different personal characteristics and are treated as independent variables with separate classifications. The standard variables can be used independently or cross-classified, depending on the purpose of the analysis. Registered Marital Status is also used in the derivation of Social Marital Status.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recommends that Registered Marital Status is output where official marriage arrangements are specifically required for analysis, and that Social Marital Status is output when information on current living arrangements and partnerships is required.