A couple kiss at the conclusion of an Illegal Wedding at the State Library of Victoria during a Rally For Marriage Equality on August 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
A couple kiss at the conclusion of an Illegal Wedding at the State Library of Victoria during a Rally For Marriage Equality on August 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Fewer Aussies heading down the aisle

QUEENSLANDERS are ­getting divorced more than other Australians, as fewer say "I do" each year.

Last year, just 112,954 ­Aussie couples walked down the aisle - a 4.6 per cent drop since 2016.

For the first time, the average age of women tying the knot rose to 30 and men to 32.

McCrindle social researcher Geoff Brailey said the increasing casualisation of the workforce and rising living costs were key factors behind the steadily increasing average marriage age.

"There are shifting expectations to be able to not only earn a full-time wage, but to buy a place before and move out of home before they get married," he said.

 

September was the most popular month for marriages in Queensland, followed by October, while January was the least popular month. Bride to be Natasha Failla, pictured, wearing a replica of Meghan Markle's dress by Melbourne designer Aldo Terlato. Picture: David Caird
September was the most popular month for marriages in Queensland, followed by October, while January was the least popular month. Bride to be Natasha Failla, pictured, wearing a replica of Meghan Markle's dress by Melbourne designer Aldo Terlato. Picture: David Caird

 

"It's delaying some of those traditional markers for people getting married and moving out of home."

The social researcher pointed to decreasing religious belief in the country as a reason for fewer marriages.

"We live in an Australia with a culturally and religiously diverse community," Mr Brailey said.

"While the institution of marriage is available for all, we are seeing a slight move away from religion in society and religious related ceremonies."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed more than 22,000 Queenslanders were married in 2017, achieving the third-highest marriage rate in the country behind Victoria and NSW.

September was the most popular month for marriages in Queensland, with 3330 ­ceremonies, followed by 2639 in October, while January was the least popular month, with 1032 registered celebrations.

While fewer people were getting married, national divorce rates remained steady, with almost 50,000 divorces granted last year.

More than 11,000 Queenslanders called it quits, giving the state the highest divorce rate in the country (2.3). The average age for divorce last year was 45 for men and 42 for women.

Changes to the Marriage Act 1961 in December to allow same-sex couples to marry ­offered the first statistical insights into Australian same-sex marriages. Between December 2017 and June 2018, 3149 same-sex weddings were held in Australia.

tamsin.rose@news.com.au

@tamsinroses



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