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1.1 Total marriages, Australia, 1994–2014CRUDE MARRIAGE RATE
The crude marriage rate represents the number of marriages registered during a calendar year per 1,000 estimated resident population at 30 June of the same year. For more information on the calculation of the crude marriage rate refer to Glossary and Explanatory Notes 36–42.
1.2 Crude marriage rates, Australia, 1994–2014
In 2014, the crude marriage rate was 5.2 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population, compared with 6.2 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1994.
MEDIAN AGE AT MARRIAGE
The median age at marriage for males in 2014 was 31.5 years. The median age at marriage for females in 2014 was 29.6 years, an increase of 0.1 years since 2013. Median age at marriage has remained stable for both males and females in recent years.
1.3 Median age at marriage, Australia, 1994–2014
The median age at first marriage in 2014 was 30.0 years for males and 28.4 years for females. Median age at first marriage for males has increased by 0.4 years since 2010. The median age at first marriage for females has increased by 0.5 years, over the same period, to 28.4 years.
1.4 Median age at first marriage, Australia, 1994–2014
AGE-SPECIFIC MARRIAGE RATES
Age-specific marriage rates provide a more detailed picture of the age at which people marry. These rates give an indication of the proportion of all males or females in a particular age group who marry in a given year. Further information on calculating age-specific marriage rates is provided in the Glossary and Explanatory Notes 38–42.
For both males and females in 2014, the highest age–specific marriage rates were for people between 25–29 years of age, with 41.4 marriages per 1,000 males and 48.9 marriages per 1,000 females.
Age-specific marriage rates for males and females between 20–24 years of age have declined over the past 20 years. The rate for males declined from 33.6 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1994 to 14.3 per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2014, while the rate for females declined from 54.3 to 25.0.
While the age-specific marriage rate for males between 20–29 years of age has decreased since 1994, it has increased for males between 30–39 years of age. The age-specific marriage rate for males between 30–34 years of age has increased from 29.1 per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1994 to 35.2 per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2014. The age-specific marriage rate for males between 35–39 years of age has increased from 14.8 per 1,000 estimated resident population to 18.4 per 1,000 estimated resident population over the same period.
Similar changes have occurred in age-specific marriage rates for females. Age-specific marriage rates for females between 20–24 years of age have decreased from 54.3 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1994 to 25.0 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2014. However in contrast to males, the age-specific marriage rate for females between 25–29 years of age has increased from 47.4 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1994 to 48.9 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2014. For females between 30–34 years of age the age-specific marriage rates have increased from 21.5 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1994 to 30.7 per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2014.
Table 1.5 Age specific marriage rates(a)(b), Australia, Selected years, 1994–2014
PREVIOUS MARITAL STATUS
In 2014, 98,444 brides (81.2% of all brides) and 96,620 grooms (79.7% of all grooms) had not married previously. The number of brides and grooms marrying for the first time has increased by 14.8% and 14.3% respectively over the past decade.
1.6 Previously never married, Australia, 1994–2014
Of the 121,197 marriages registered in 2014, 72.5% were between a bride and groom never previously married. A further 16.0% were first marriages for one partner, while 11.5% were remarriages for both partners.
In 2014, 20.3% of grooms and 18.8% of brides had been married before. There were 22,992 grooms (19.0% of all grooms) and 20,984 brides (17.3% of all brides) who had been previously divorced.
1.7 Previously divorced, Australia, 1994–2014
In 2014, 1,770 brides (1.5% of all brides) and 1,584 grooms (1.3% of all grooms) who registered for marriage, were widowed. The past 20 years has seen a decline in the proportion of brides and grooms who were previously widowed.
1.8 Previously widowed, Australia, 1994–2014
The proportion of marriages performed by civil celebrants has increased over the past 20 years. In 2014, 74.1% of all marriages were performed by civil celebrants. Civil marriages have outnumbered religious ceremonies since 1999. In 2014, the most common rites used among the 31,278 marriages performed by ministers of religion, were Catholic rites (31.9%) followed by Anglican (15.1%).
1.9 Type of celebrant, Australia, Selected years, 1994–2014(a)
(a) Information on type of celebrant was not available for 1995.
In 2014, couples who cohabited before marrying were more likely to marry in a civil ceremony than those who lived apart, with 80.4% of couples cohabiting married in a civil ceremony, compared with 19.5% of those who lived apart.
COUNTRY OF BIRTH
The proportion of marriages between two Australian born people has been gradually decreasing since 1994. Over this time, the proportion of marriages between two people born in Australia has decreased from 56.6% in 1994, to 54.5% of all marriages in 2014. Conversely, the proportion of marriages between two people born in the same overseas country has increased over the same period, from 12.0% in 1994 to 13.4% in 2014. Marriages of people born in different countries accounted for 31.7% of all marriages in 2014 compared with 31.3% in 1994.
1.10 Median age, males and females, by selected countries of birth, 2014
In 2014, the median age of grooms and brides born in Australia was 31.4 years and 29.3 years respectively. Among the countries analysed, the youngest median age was for brides born in Lebanon (27.5 years) and grooms born in India (28.0 years). Brides with the oldest median age were born in the UK, where the median age of brides is 34.5 years and grooms with the oldest median age were born in Italy (38.9 years).
COHABITATION PRIOR TO MARRIAGE
The majority of couples registering their marriage in 2014 cohabited prior to marriage (79.4%). This is an increase from the proportion cohabiting before marriage in 2013 (76.6%) and 2012 (77.6%). The proportion of couples registering their marriage in 2014 who cohabited prior to marriage is also higher than the previous peak in 2010 (78.6%).
1.11 Proportion of cohabitation prior to marriage, Australia, 2005–2014
Couples who cohabited prior to marriage tended to be slightly older than those who had not lived together prior to marriage. In 2014, the median age of males who lived with their wife before marriage was 31.8 years, compared with 31.5 years for all males who married in 2014. Similarly, the median age of females who lived with their husbands before marriage was 29.9 years, compared with 29.6 years for all females who married in 2014.
MONTH OF MARRIAGE
Of the 121,197 marriages registered in 2014, the most popular month of celebration for marriages was March with 14,849 (12.3%) marriages. The month of July was the least popular month for marriages with only 5,647 (4.7%) marriages taking place in that month. The number of weekends in a month influences the number of weddings in that month, so this should be taken into consideration when interpreting the data.
1.12 Months of marriage, Australia, 2014
STATE AND TERRITORY DATA
Marriage statistics in this publication are presented by the state or territory where the marriage was registered, rather than the state or territory of usual residence of the couple. For this reason, the ABS advises caution in the interpretation of data at a state or territory level as couples may choose to marry outside their state or territory of usual residence. Refer to Explanatory Notes 27–29 for more information.
1.13 NUMBER OF MARRIAGES(a), States and territories(b), Selected years, 1994–2014
Most jurisdictions reported increases in the number of marriages. The largest of these was Victoria which increased by 1,287 or 4.7% in comparison with 2013, followed by New South Wales (up by 905 or 2.2% from 2013). Queensland (-96), South Australia (-379) and Northern Territory (-73) reported decreases.
New South Wales recorded the highest crude marriage rate in 2014 (5.5 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population), whilst the Northern Territory had the lowest crude marriage rate, with 3.3 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population.
Marriages performed by ministers of religion as a proportion of all marriages in 2014 were highest in New South Wales (29.8%) and lowest in the Northern Territory (17.2%).
In 2014, the proportion of marriages where couples lived together prior to marriage was lowest in New South Wales (73.4%) and highest in Queensland (87.4%).
Table 1.14 Selected marriage indicators(a), States and territories of registration(b), 2014
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