ABS marriage and divorce statistics - November 2018

Now available from the ABS



Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 3310.0 focuses on the 112,954 marriages registered and 49.032 divorces granted in 2017. Articles on key characteristics of marriages and divorces are included in this issue, as well as comprehensive data cubes covering key areas of interest at a national, and state and territory level. 

Amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 came into effect on the 9 December 2017 legalising same-sex marriage in Australia. An article providing 2018 preliminary estimates of Australian same-sex marriages from the commencement of legislative change up to and including the 30 June 2018 is included in this release. Information on all Australian marriages registered in 2018 will be released as per the normal publication schedule in November 2019. 

All data is presented on a state or territory of registration basis rather than a state or territory of usual residence.

Key points for 2017 include:


  • The number of marriages decreased in 2017 by 5,447 (4.6%) and the crude marriage rate decreased from 4.9 in 2016 to 4.6 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2017.
  • 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.
  • The majority of marriages continues to be overseen by Civil celebrants. The proportion of marriage ceremonies overseen by a civil celebrant increased to 78.0 per cent of all marriages in 2017.
  • In 2017, the majority of brides (80.9%) and grooms (79.3%) had not been married before.


  • The number of divorces granted increased by 2,428 (5.2%) in 2017 and the crude divorce rate increased from 1.9 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2016 to 2.0 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2017.
  • The median age at divorce for both males and females was unchanged in 2017. For males the median age at divorce was 45.5 years of age and the median age of females was 42.9 years of age.
  • The median duration from marriage to divorce in 2017 also remained stable at 12.0 years.

Here too is an overview of the number of marriage celebrants in the different Sub-divisions as of today (4.12.2018)

73% of marriage celebrants are religious celebrants and 27% are civil celebrants.

27% of all marriage celebrants perform 78% of all marriages.

Using the 2017 figures for marriage (112,954) and the percentage of those done by civil celebrants (ie 78% - Subdivisions C and B ) the average number of marriages per celebrant per year is 10.3



Last modified on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 20:41