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):
|Male, Never married||29.8||30.1||29.8||29.8||30.1||30.0||30.2||29.9||29.9|
|Female, Never married||28.2||28.6||28.1||28.1||28.4||28.4||28.8||28.2||28.3|
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:
|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.