How Old You'll Be When You Marry In Australia (And How Long Your Divorce Will Take)

In 2013, 118,962 couples married in Australia and 47,638 couples were divorced. We're older when both those things happen — but just how much older depends on where you live and whether you have been married before. Plus: how long divorce takes and how many of us don't get married in church.

Wedding picture from Shutterstock

The median age to be married was 31.5 years for males and 29.5 years for females, both up 0.1 years on the 2012 figures. However, there's a little more variation when you look at the states, and when you consider previous marital status. Here are those figures (all ages in years):

  NSW Vic Qld SA WA Tas. NT ACT Aust
Male, Never married 29.8 30.1 29.8 29.8 30.1 30.0 30.2 29.9 29.9
Male, Widowed 62.3 56.8 64.3 62.1 61.9 57.5 63.7 63.5 62.0
Male, Divorced 46.2 46.6 47.1 47.8 48.5 49.2 49.6 48.0 47.0
Male, All 31.3 31.3 31.7 31.5 31.9 32.4 32.7 31.4 31.5
Female, Never married 28.2 28.6 28.1 28.1 28.4 28.4 28.8 28.2 28.3
Female, Widowed 54.6 49.4 57.6 57.2 53.4 56.8 46.5 58.3 54.6
Female, Divorced 42.2 41.8 43.3 44.5 44.1 46.1 45.6 43.8 42.9
Female, All 29.3 29.4 29.6 29.5 29.8 30.2 30.2 29.4 29.5

The other numbers that jumped out at us were the length of time between separation and divorce. Here are the median figures back to 2003, which consistently sit around 3.5 years:

  1993 2003 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Length marriage to separation 7.6 8.7 8.7 8.8 8.7 8.6 8.5
Length marriage to divorce 10.7 12.2 12.3 12.3 12.2 12.2 12.1
Time to divorce 3.1 3.5 3.6 3.5 3.5 3.6 3.6

You can't file for a divorce until you have been separated for 12 months and one day, but clearly the process takes longer in most cases.

A final fact to consider? 72.5 per cent of all marriages were conducted by civil celebrants. With gay marriage legislation expected in Parliament today, it's worth bearing that number in mind when any "religious" basis of marriage is discussed, because clearly it's not a factor for the majority of marriages already.

ABS


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