Australian divorce rate increases

Australia’s divorce rate climbed five per cent according to the latest figures realised by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Tuesday.

In 2017 there were 49,032 divorces granted in Australia, significantly more than the 46,604 divorces granted in 2016.

Despite the increase in people granted a divorce, the numbers are still a fair way shy of the 55,330 who were granted a legal separation in 2001.

The ABS figures also showed that the age at which people were marrying continued to climb higher.

The median age at marriage for males in 2017 was 32.0 years, an increase from 31.9 years of age in 2016. The median age at marriage for females in 2017 was 30.1 years, an increase of 0.2 years since 2016.

Queensland continues to have the highest divorce rate of 2.3 divorces per 1000 estimated resident population, an increase of 0.1 per cent over the previous year. The Northern Territory has the lowest divorce rate at 1.6 divorces per 1000 estimated resident population, only marginally ahead of NSW (1.7 divorces per 1000 estimated resident population).

The age group with the highest rate of divorce were men aged between 45–49 (9.5 per 1000) and women aged between 40–44 (9.5 per 1000).

This year’s ABS statistics for the first time also included figures relating to same-sex marriage.

Data from the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages show that 3149 same-sex weddings were held in Australia in the first six months since the legislative change. Over one third of same-sex marriages have been in NSW.

Same-sex female couples were more eager to wed following amendments to Australia’s marriage laws, with 1773 (56.3 per cent) registered by 30 June 2018, compared to 1376 (43.7 per cent) male same-sex couples. 

The median age at marriage for male same-sex couples as at 30 June 2018 was 48.5 years of age, compared to 39.0 years of age for female same-sex couples. 

The younger age ranges (primarily between 20–44 years of age) had a higher proportion of females marrying, while male same-sex marriages outnumbered females in older age groups (65 years of age and over). 

Why do you think Queenslanders divorce at a higher rate than couples in the Northern Territory?

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Written by Ben

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