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The highest percentage of divorces granted for males were found in the 45-49 age group, with 9.2%. Divorce for females occurred predominantly for 40-44 year olds, with 9.1% of all divorces granted to this age group.
The median age at marriage for males divorcing in 2016 was 29.0 years, compared with 26.7 years for females. Median age at separation for males granted a divorce in 2016 was 41.8 years, whereas the median age for females was 39.1 years. In 2016, the median age of males at divorce was 45.5 years and 42.9 years for females.
2.4 Median age at divorce, Australia, 1996–2016
The median age at divorce has been increasing for both males and females over the past 20 years. This trend continued in 2016, with the median age at divorce increasing 0.2 years from 2015 for both males and females. The median age at divorce in 2016 was 45.5 years for males and 42.9 years for females.
AGE-SPECIFIC DIVORCE RATES
Age-specific divorce rates can provide a more detailed picture of the ages at which people are granted a divorce. These rates give an indication of the proportion of all males or females in a particular age group granted a divorce per 1,000 estimated resident population of the same age group. More information regarding the calculation of age-specific divorce rates is provided in the Glossary and Explanatory Notes 41-43.
In 2016, the divorce rate either decreased or remained stable compared to 2015 for both males and females in every age group. The age-specific divorce rates were highest for males in the 45-49 years age group at 9.2 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population, and were also high for males in the 40-44 years age group (8.9 per 1,000 estimated resident population). The age-specific divorce rate was highest for females in the 40-44 years age group (9.1 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population), with both the 35-39 years and 45-49 years age groups also recording higher divorce rates at 8.6 and 8.9 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population respectively.
2.5 Age-specific divorce rates(a), Australia, Selected years, 1996–2016
DIVORCES INVOLVING CHILDREN
In 2016, there were 21,864 divorces involving children under 18 years of age. This represents 46.9% of all divorces granted.
2.6 Proportion of divorces involving children, Australia, 1996–2016
The number of children affected by divorce has decreased from 42,303 in 2015 to 40,202 in 2016. The average number of children for divorces involving children remains at 1.8 children per divorce.
LENGTH OF MARRIAGE OF DIVORCING COUPLES
The median duration of marriage to divorce increased from 11.0 years in 1996 to a peak of 12.5 years in 2006. Since 2006, the median duration of marriage to divorce has decreased to 12.0 years in 2016.
Similarly, the median duration of marriage to separation increased from 7.6 years in 1996 to a peak of 8.9 years in 2006. In 2016, the median duration of marriage to separation was 8.4 years.
2.7 Median duration to separation and divorce, Australia, 1996–2016
APPLICANT FOR DIVORCE
Over the last 20 years, the proportion of joint applications for divorce has been increasing. In 2010, the number of joint applications outnumbered male applications and female applications for the first time. In 2016, the proportion of joint applications decreased but remains the highest applicant type at 42.7% of all applications.
2.8 Type of divorce applicant, Australia, 1996-2016
STATE AND TERRITORY DATA
Divorce statistics in this publication are presented by the state or territory where the court granting divorce was located, rather than the state or territory of usual residence of the applicants. The ABS advises caution in the interpretation of data at a state or territory level as applicants for divorce may apply through their nearest court rather than a court in their state or territory of usual residence. For further information refer to Explanatory Notes 33-38.
In 2016, the number of divorces granted in all states and territory decreased, in all but Western Australia compared with 2015. Western Australia granted 518 (10.3%) more divorces than in 2015.
2.9 Number of divorces, States and territories(a), Selected years, 1996-2016
Queensland continues to have the highest crude divorce rate of 2.2 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population, while the Northern Territory had the lowest divorce rate at 1.3 per 1, 000 estimated resident population.
Queensland and Western Australia reported the highest proportion of all divorces involving children, at 49.4% and 48.3% respectively. New South Wales (44.8%) and Tasmania (45.6%) reported the lowest proportion of divorces involving children.
Tasmania had the highest median ages at divorce for males and females in 2016. The median age at divorce for males was 48.1 years in Tasmania and for females, the median age at divorce was 45.6 years.
Median length of marriage prior to divorce was highest in Tasmania (14.1 years) followed by Australian Capital Territory (13.5 years), while the Northern Territory (at 11.0 years) had the shortest median length of marriage to divorce.
In 2016, all states and territories except South Australia and Tasmania recorded more joint applications for divorce than male applications or female applications. For both South Australia and Tasmania, the greater number of applications for divorce belonged to the females.
2.10 Selected divorce indicators, States and territories(a), 2016
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