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CRUDE 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, 1995–2015
In 2015, the crude marriage rate was 4.8 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population, compared with 5.4 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2005 and 6.1 in 1995.
MEDIAN AGE AT MARRIAGE
The median age at marriage for males in 2015 was 31.8 years an increase from 31.5 in 2013 and 2014. The median age at marriage for females in 2015 was 29.8 years, an increase of 0.2 years since 2014.
1.3 Median age at marriage, Australia, 1995–2015
The median age at first marriage in 2015 was 30.1 years for males and 28.5 years for females. Median age at first marriage for males and females has increased by 0.1 years since 2014. Median age at first marriage has remained relatively stable for both males and females for more than a decade, increasing by 0.6 years from 29.5 years for males and 0.9 years from 27.6 for females since 2005.
1.4 Median age at first marriage, Australia, 1995–2015
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 2015, the highest age–specific marriage rates were for people between 25–29 years of age, with 37.9 marriages per 1,000 males and 44.0 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 31.7 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1995 to 12.8 per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2015, while the rate for females declined from 51.2 to 21.1.
While the age-specific marriage rate for males between 20–29 years of age has decreased since 1995, it has increased slightly for males between 30–39 years of age. The age-specific marriage rate for males between 30–34 years of age has increased from 28.6 per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1995 to 32.3 per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2015. The age-specific marriage rate for males between 35–39 years of age has increased from 15.0 per 1,000 estimated resident population to 17.2 per 1,000 estimated resident population over the same period.
Similar changes have occurred in age-specific marriage rates for females. The age-specific marriage rate for females between 20–29 years of age has decreased since 1995 and it has increased slightly for females between 30–39 years of age. For females between 30–34 years of age the age-specific marriage rates have increased from 21.4 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1995 to 28.6 per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2015. The age-specific marriage rate for females between 35–39 years of age has increased from 11.3 per 1,000 estimated resident population to 13.8 per 1,000 estimated resident population over the same period.
Table 1.5 Age specific marriage rates(a)(b), Selected years, Australia
PREVIOUS MARITAL STATUS
In 2015, 92,151 brides (81.1% of all brides) and 89,826 grooms (79.1% of all grooms) had not married previously. This is an increase of 3.0% for grooms and 3.4% for brides over the past decade.
1.6 Previously never married, Australia, 1995–2015
Of the 113,595 marriages registered in 2015, 71.9% were between a bride and groom never previously married. A further 16.3% were first marriages for one partner, while 11.7% were remarriages for both partners.
In 2015, 20.9% of grooms and 18.9% of brides had been married before. There were 22,246 grooms (19.6% of all grooms) and 19,818 brides (17.4% of all brides) who had been previously divorced.
1.7 Previously divorced, Australia, 1995–2015
In 2015, 1,627 brides (1.4% of all brides) and 1,531 grooms (1.3% of all grooms) who registered for marriage, were widowed. There has been a steady decline in the proportion of brides and grooms who were previously widowed.
1.8 Previously widowed, Australia, 1995–2015
The proportion of marriages performed by civil celebrants has increased over the past 20 years. In 2015, 74.9% of all marriages were performed by civil celebrants. Civil marriages have outnumbered religious ceremonies since 1999. In 2015, the most common rites used among the 28,419 marriages performed by ministers of religion, were Catholic rites (31.3%) followed by Anglican (14.2%).
1.9 Type of celebrant, Australia, 1995–2015(a)
(a) Information on type of celebrant was not available for 1995.
In 2015, couples who cohabited before marrying were more likely to marry in a civil ceremony than those who lived apart, with 81.0% of couples cohabiting married in a civil ceremony, compared with 46.6% of those who lived apart.
COUNTRY OF BIRTH
The proportion of marriages between two Australian born people has been gradually decreasing since 1993. Over the last decade, the proportion of marriages between two people born in Australia has decreased from 61.4% in 2005 to 54.2% of all marriages in 2015. Conversely, the proportion of marriages between two people born in the same overseas country has increased over the same period, from 8.7% in 2005 to 13.9% in 2015. Marriages of people born in different countries accounted for 31.9% of all marriages in 2015 compared with 29.9% in 2005.
1.10 Median age, males and females, by selected countries of birth, 1995-2015
In 2015, the median age of grooms and brides born in Australia was 31.6 years and 29.5 years respectively. Among the countries analysed, the youngest median age was for brides born in India (27.9 years) and grooms born in China (28.4 years). Brides (34.8 years) and grooms (38.6 years) born in the UK had the oldest median ages.
COHABITATION PRIOR TO MARRIAGE
The majority of couples registering their marriage in 2015 cohabited prior to marriage (81.0%). This is an increase from the proportion cohabiting before marriage in 2014 (79.4%) and is the highest proportion to date.
1.11 Proportion of cohabitation prior to marriage, Australia, 2005–2015
Couples who cohabited prior to marriage tended to be slightly older than those who had not lived together prior to marriage. In 2015, the median age of males who lived with their wife before marriage was 31.6 years, compared with 31.8 years for all males who married in 2014. Similarly, the median age of females who lived with their husbands before marriage was 29.5 years, compared with 29.9 years for all females who married in 2014.
MONTH OF MARRIAGE
Of the 113,595 marriages registered in 2015, the most popular month of celebration for marriages was October with 13,614 (12.0%) marriages. The month of July was the least popular month for marriages with only 5,563 (4.9%) 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, 2015
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, 1995–2015
In 2015, most jurisdictions reported decreases in the number of marriages from 2014. The largest of these was Vic which decreased by 3,252 (-11.3%) following a 1,287 (4.7%) increase from 2013. Qld (down by 1,414 or -5.7%) and NSW (down by 1,269 or -3.1%) experienced other relatively large decreases from 2014.
New South Wales recorded the highest crude marriage rate in 2015 (5.3 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population), whilst the Northern Territory had the lowest crude marriage rate, with 3.4 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population.
Marriages performed by ministers of religion as a proportion of all marriages in 2015 were highest in New South Wales (29.0%) and lowest in the Northern Territory (17.2%).
In 2015, the proportion of marriages where couples lived together prior to marriage was lowest in New South Wales (76.3%) and highest in Queensland (87.7%).
Table 1.14 Selected marriage indicators(a), States and territories of registration(b), 2015(c)
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