Marriage, Australian style

Last year Australians registered the highest number of marriages since 1990 -- more than 116,000 -- but statistics indicate that most would have been living together already, taking the shine off the good news. Predating the financial crisis, in Australia anyway, 2007 looked like a good year to get married for the 30-somethings who had been delaying the step.

Almost 77 per cent of couples nationally cohabit before they marry, and 63 per cent choose a civil celebrant to officiate at the wedding; 20 years ago 60 per cent of marriages were conducted by a minister of religion. The average of age of men marrying for the first time is now 29.6 and for women 27.6, compared with 26 and 24 in 1989. This represents a decline of marriage not only among those in their late twenties but also those in their early 30s over the past two decades. The proportion of Australians who eventually marry has fallen from about 90 per cent to 80 per cent over the past 30 years. ~ Sydney Morning Herald, Oct 1



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