Ceremonies and celebrations - some demographics

This information is provided to assist members in planning their celebrancy services.

This is also the background information for this Video

Want part or full time income celebrant 350


Consider the following information:

  • The rate of marriage per head of population has continued to fall, even though the actual number of marriages has increased.

    marriage rate

  • However the number of available weddings has basically not increased in a significant way over the last 20 years.
    Number marriages 2006 2016 400no marriage pa 2006 2016 400


  • During the last 12 years the number of civil marriage celebrants rose dramatically. Table 2 from Attorney-General Statistics.

    So, whilst the percentage of marriages conducted by civil celebrants rose by 15% (61.3% to 76.40%) in that period, the number of civil marriage celebrants rose by 119% ([11318-5178/ 5178] x 100%)

    TABLE 2 registrations
    This graph shows the number of independent civil celebrants at 5178 in 2006, 11,253 in 2013 and 8968 in 2015. And Number of celebrants in June 2018.

    Note: In June 2018 comparable numbers are 8928 - meaning the number of celebrants is fairly static since 2015.

  • the estimated average number of weddings per civil celebrant is currently 10 per year

  • some celebrants will be able to do more than this average, for a variety of reasons (such as word of mouth, less competition, better marketing, know more people, ). 

These are some statistics from the 2016 National Celebrant Survey conducting by the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA) Inc.
And the 2019 National Celebrant Survey conducting by the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA) Inc.

2016 15 aQ 14A a

  • This means 77% of celebrants make less than $10,000 pa gross, with 66% of celebrants making less than $10,000 pa gross,  and less the 2% can make a full-time wage equivalent - because the wedding cake is basically only so big, and celebrants need to be more proactive in gaining other cermeonies and celebrations.


  • ME will increase the number of marriages pa.
  • There may be an initial higher than average increase, but this should settle down over time.
  • Given the percentage of LGBTIQ people in our population is estimated as 11% or lower, then an increase of this amount would mean conservatively an extra 12,000 marriage pa. This translates into approximately an extra 1.4 marriages per civil celebrant pa.#

Conclusion: Marriage work alone cannot be the basis of a business plan to make a full-time income for the majority of celebrants unless the number of Commonwealth Civil Marriage Celebrants is reduced dramatically.

# Estimated at an additional 6,300 same sex marriages in 2018, assuming the marriage rate for straight couples does not decline further, means an extra 1 marriage per civil celebrant pa rather than 1.4

THE ABS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN AUSTRALIA - A 2018 SNAPSHOT - preliminary findings showed "3,149 same-sex marriages that occurred in the first 6 months since changes were made to thE MARRIAGE ACT 1961. Assuming the same rates for the remainder of 2018, this could mean an additional 6,300 marriages for 2018 assuming the marriage rate for straight couples does not decline further. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2017) 3310.0 – Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2017 Available at: https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3310.0@.nsf/mf/3310.0


One estimate of Types of Possible Ceremonies for every wedding (couple) . . .

cermonies per couple 650For every wedding (couple) there are at least:

  • 2 Welcome to Family(Naming)
  • 2 Coming of Teenage/ Adolescence
  • 2 Coming of Age (18,21st)
  • 2 Graduations
  • 1 Engagement/ Betrothal
  • 10 Birthdays
  • 1 + Home Warming
  • 1 +  Companion Animal Funeral
  • 2 Coming of Wisdom Age
  • 5 Wedding Anniversaries (only one of which may be a Renewal of Vows)
  • 2 Retirement
  • 1 + Closing the Gate (move to retirement/aged care facilities)
  • 2 Funerals and/ or Memorials
  • and ?

i.e. 33+ other possible ceremony options to each wedding possibility.

Conclusion:  That is, in general, twice as many other possible types of ceremonies for each possible wedding (couple), and at least ten times as many special birthdays and wedding anniversaries.


Australian Population by Age 2014

Reference Index Mundi:  Source

Age population 2014 450Age structure 

0–14 years – 18%

15–24 years – 13.30%

25–54 years – 41.8%

55–64 years – 11.8%

65 years and over – 15.1% (2014 estimate)

Conclusion:  Twice as people in the 25 to 54 age group as each of the other  age groupings, but 31 % in the under 24 years age group, and almost as many people  (37%)  in the 55+ age group as in the 25-54 years group.

Which ceremonies might be most appropriate fto market to these groups?.

Population Changes

Reference ABS: Source

This projection is based on the estimated resident population at 31 December 2017 and assumes growth since then of:

  • one birth every 1 minute and 42 seconds,
  • one death every 3 minutes and 16 seconds,
  • one person arriving to live in Australia every 1 minute and 1 second,
  • one Australian resident leaving Australia to live overseas every 1 minute and 51 seconds, leading to
  • an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 23 seconds. 

These assumptions are consistent with figures released in Australian Demographic Statistics, December Quarter 2017 (cat. no. 3101.0).

population changes 2017 650
Conclusion:  Twice as many births to deathsConsider the most likely ceremonies related to birth - baby blessings, baby namings, parenting and grand-parenting ceremonies

More Arrivals and Departures than  births and deaths -  Consider ceremonies related to arrivals (Citizenship affirmation, Welcome to Community) and Farewell ceremonies  


Reference: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance/contents/demographics-of-older-australians/australia-s-changing-age-and-gender-profile

65+ age group predicted to become 25% of population by 2096 from 15% in 2016

Over 65 Population by age 650

Related Information:

Baby Boomers

Suggested theme - "Be humble enough to be the reason to gather your family together to share family history and what will become future generation's family history".

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boomers

Demographers and researchers typically use birth years starting from the early- to mid-1940s and ending anywhere from 1960 to 1964.

Using these years as reference points, the following chart shows the Baby Boomers

  • born in 1945 as having their 75th Birthdays in 2020
  • the last born in 1964 as starting their 55th Birthdays in 2019

 Baby Boomers Birthdays

Conclusion:   Senior Birthdays for the Baby Boomer generation is worth considering as a target market for the next 20 years.
As the Senior population (65+ years) will continue to grow, ceremonies for the 55+ age group needs serious consideration from celebrants wanting increase their celebrancy work and /or income.

Older Australia at a glance

Reference: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance/contents/demographics-of-older-australians/australia-s-changing-age-and-gender-profile

Older Australia at a glance 650


Reference: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance/contents/demographics-of-older-australians/australia-s-changing-age-and-gender-profile

  • Australia's population grew by 1.6% during the year ended 31 December 2017.
  • Natural increase and NOM contributed 38.0% and 62.0% respectively to total population growth for the year ended 31 December 2017.
  • All states and territories recorded positive population growth in the year ended 31 December 2017.
  • Victoria recorded the highest growth rate of all states and territories at 2.3%. The Northern Territory recorded the lowest growth rate at 0.2%.


Currently the average number of marriages per celebrant per year is 10.4 - @ 1 July 2018

workings number marriage per celebrant pa 750

1. Number of marriages =  118,401 marriages (2016)
    ABS Source
2. Percentage of Civil Marriages  = 76.4% (2016)
    ABS Source
3. Number of civil celebrants doing civil marriages = 8444 (25.6.2018)
     AGD Source
4. Number of state officers doing civil marriages = 296 (25.6.2018)
    AGD Source


You may find these other MEMBERS ONLY Sections useful after reading  this information.

  • Celebrancy practice - celebrating love & life

  • Celebrancy practice - honouring life & loss

  •  Special marketing projects

  • Marketing - key strategy for all TCN members

Last modified on Saturday, 18 January 2020 14:14