3310.0 - Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2017  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2018   
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27 November 2018
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

ABS releases first national data on same sex marriages

More than half of Australia’s same sex marriages were registered by women and more than one-third of same-sex married couples lived in New South Wales, according to new preliminary data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

A total of 3,149 same-sex weddings were held in Australia between 9 December 2017, when amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 came into effect, and 30 June 2018.

James Eynstone-Hinkins, Director of the ABS Health and Vitals Statistics Section, said the data provided new insights into the demographics and location of same-sex marriages across Australia.

“There are distinct differences between male and female same-sex marriages that emerge from this data,” Mr Eynstone-Hinkins said.

“There were more female same-sex couples marrying, representing 56.3 per cent (1,773) of the total registrations by 30 June 2018 compared to 43.7 per cent (1,376) for male same-sex couples.

“In addition, the median age at which male same-sex couples got married was almost 10 years older than females – 48.5 years compared to 39 years.

“The most popular time for same-sex couples to get married was March, accounting for 22.7 per cent (714) of marriages over the six month period.”

Of the states and territories, 34.6 per cent of same-sex marriages (1,090) were in New South Wales, followed by Victoria (26.2 per cent, 826) and Queensland (18.9 per cent, 595).

The data was released as part of Marriages and Divorces 2017 which also showed that the median age at which females married exceeded 30 (30.1) for the first time, up from 29.3 years in 2007. For males, the median in 2017 was 32.0 years, compared to 31.6 years in 2007.

As in 2016, Queensland continued to have the highest divorce rate of 2.3 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population (2.2 per 1,000 in 2016) while the Northern Territory again had the lowest divorce rate at 1.6 per 1,000 in 2017 (1.3 per 1,000 in 2016).

Media Notes:
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
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