Where to find a date on Valentine's Day with ABS data

Do you feel like you’re unlucky in love? Here at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we don’t believe in luck. We just believe in data. And love.

Accordingly, when thinking about Valentine’s Day 2017, we couldn’t help but start calculating who’s lucky in love, where they live, and what they do. So let’s take a statistical look at Valentine’s Day.

Where is (and isn’t) the love?

People who say that “love is all around” might not be telling the entire truth, because our 2011 Census data reveals that some neighbourhoods contain fewer coupled-up folks than others.
For example, the suburbs of Carlton in Victoria, Murdoch in WA and Haymarket in NSW have the highest proportions of people aged between 18 and 50 who aren’t married or in a de facto relationship.

You might be luckier in love, however, if you live in Tieri, Dundowran Beach, or Augustine Heights in Queensland which have the highest proportions of people who are in de facto or registered marriages in Australia.

Diagram of "Australia's most 'single' places". Highest being Carlton, Victoria, with 75.5% of people aged 18-50 years of age not in registered or de-facto marriage.

Farmer doesn’t need a wife

Hard work perhaps, but what if your line of work said something about your odds in love?
Those working in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry also appear to have been hit by Cupid’s arrow, reporting the highest proportion of people in registered or de facto marriages than any other industry, according to the 2011 Census. On the other hand, those working in the accommodation and food services industry might have to work harder to find 'the one', with the lowest proportion of people in registered or de facto marriages.

Love is the sweetest thing

But it’s even sweeter if you add chocolate. While ABS Australian Health Survey statistics indicate that 16.6 per cent of Australians consume chocolate on any given day, it’s safe to say that it’s going to be well above that on 14 February. On a normal day, plain chocolate is the favourite, with 7 per cent of people reporting to have consumed it, while chocolate based confectionary with other fillings was second most consumed, followed by chocolate based confectionary with nuts.

Diagram of "Australia's most 'married' places". Highest was Tieri, QLD, with 84.6% of people aged 18+ in registered or de-facto marriage.

Roses are red

If you’ve left your run a bit late and the local supermarket has sold out of heart-shaped chocolate, there’s always the option of impressing your special someone with flowers. Our 2011 Census data indicates that Australia had 5,215 florists, and our bet is they’re going to be working overtime to help the nation’s Romeos and Juliettes this Valentine’s Day. Those poor petals.

I love you baby(sitter)

If you have young kids, it’s a distinct possibility that you and your Valentine might want some alone time. But if you’re not willing to run the risk of a Macaulay Culkin / Home Alone scenario, you’d better get a babysitter. However, babysitters might be in high demand in Queensland and the Northern Territory. These two places have the highest proportion of children aged 14 and under in Australia, according to latest ABS Australian Demographic Statistics.

South Australian and Tasmanian couples on the other hand may have enjoyed a few Valentine’s Days together, with those states hosting the largest proportion of people aged 65 years and over (and the lowest proportions of children and working age population).

First comes love, then comes…?

Couples getting married this Valentine’s Day may be older than couples who married in 1995, with the average age of marriage increasing by about three years to 30.1 years of age for men, and 28.5 for women over the past two decades, according to latest ABS Marriages and Divorces data.

But love can come to an end. The average age of divorcing couples is now about five years older than two decades ago (45.3 for men and 42.7 for women).

While Valentine’s Day may be thought of as the most romantic day for a wedding, ABS data shows that March and October were the most popular months to register a marriage in 2015. June and July were the least popular months.
Chart of number of marriages by month of the year. Highest is October, lowest is July.
Source: ABS, Marriages and Divorces, 2015

A night to remember

Need ideas for the perfect date on Valentine’s Day? The ABS' Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events figures show people’s preferences for cultural venues and events vary by age. Young love birds might be heading to the cinema, as data shows this is the most popular activity for 15-17 year olds.

Those over 65 years old could try a classical music concert, with figures showing this is one event that older age groups attended significantly more than their younger counterparts.

Or if you want to stand out by being odd, why not plan a daytime date to the Archives, with only 3.4 per cent of Australians attending this type of venue in 2013-14. Hey, at least you won’t have to pre-book.

We hope you find what you're looking for this Valentine's Day. And if you don't, there's always next year.