Item from the Smart Marriages Archive, reproduced in the Divorce Statistics Collection

Divorces

Rate per 1,000 married women

1947 - 5.0
1954 - 3.1
1961 - 2.8
1966 - 3.8
1971 - 4.2
1976 - 18.8
1981 - 11.9
1986 - 10.6
1991 - 11.5
1996 - 12.9

Unlilateral no-fault divorce legislation was introduced in Australia in
1975. There were 52,500 divorces granted in 1996, the second highest since
the record number of 63,230 in 1976 following the introduction of the
Family Law Act.

Marriage rate per 1,000 married women

1947 - 43.9
1954 - 34.2
1961 - 32.0
1966 - 37.0
1971 - 38.2
1976 - 32.8
1981 - 32.7
1986 - 29.9
1991 - 28.8
1995 - 27.0

There were 106,100 marriages in 1996. In terms of weddings per 1,000
people, this was the lowest rate since 1900.

The median age at marriage has increased from 23.4 years for grooms and
21,1 years for brides in 1971 to 27.6 years for grooms and 25.2 for brides
in 1996.

Cohabitation before marriage has increased from about 18 per cent in 1975
to almost 60 per cent today.

Weddings

Registered civil celebrants were introduced in Australia in 1973. As the
following statistics indicate, an increasing number of couples are being
married by a civil celebrant, rather than a religious celebrant.

1980
Religious celebrant - 69,153 weddings (63.7%)
Civil celebrant - 39,400 (36.3%)

1985
Religious - 69,284 (60%)
Civil - 42,209 (40%)

1990
Religious - 67,704 (57.9%)
Civil - 49,255 (42.1%)

1996
Religious - 56,462 (53.2%)
Civil - 49,641 (46.8%)

The category Civil Celebrant includes marriages in Registry Offices, In
1996, approximately 8 per cent of marriages were performed in Registry
Offices.



Remarriage

Remarriage rates have more than halved since 1971, falling for males from
246 per 1,000 divorced persons to 120 by 1991; and for females from 215 per
thousand divorced persons to 101 by 1991.

Sources: Kevin Andrews & Michelle Curtis, 'Changing Australia' (Sydney,
Federation Press, 1998); and Australian Bureau of Statistics data,
generally taken from census years.

With kind regards,
Kevin Andrews, Threshold Magazine (see their listing on CMFCE Directory for more info)


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