Divorce Statistics in Australia to Get Broken up About

Divorce statistics in Australia

Being single again doesn’t sound so bad if things aren’t going well with your spouse anymore, right? Not all marriages play out like a fairy tale, after all. Considering that the average marriage length for Aussies is 12.2 years, this applies to a lot of people. But what are the exact numbers, facts and figures?

To help you find out how many people get divorced, we’ve gathered some divorce statistics in Australia. Let’s check them out!

Divorce Statistics in Australia to Digest Before Tying the Knot

  • The divorce rate in Australia was 1.9 per 1,000 people in 2019.
  • 49,116 divorces were granted in Australia in 2019.
  • The median age at divorce in Oz in 2019 was 45.9 years for men and 43.1 for women.
  • The median Australian length of a marriage before divorce is 12.2 years.
  • Same-sex couples accounted for less than 1% of all Australian divorces in 2019.
  • Over one-quarter of Aussie couples divorce over communication problems.
  • Around 60% of second marriages in Australia end in divorce.
  • The most or 9,970 of Aussie couples who divorced in 2019 had two children.
  • 14,393 divorces were granted in New South Wales in 2019.
  • Australia’s divorce rate in 2019 was about a third lower than the USA’s.

Divorce Rate in Australia Statistics

1. The divorce rate in Australia was 1.9 per 1,000 people in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Australia’s crude divorce rate hovered around 1.9-2 divorces per 1,000 people in the six years from 2014 to 2019, according to the most recent available divorce rate statistics. For context, the crude marriage rate in Australia in 2019 was 4.5 marriages per 1,000 people.

2. 49,116 divorces were granted in Australia in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

In 2019, there were 113,815 registered marriages, but how many marriages end in divorce in the country? Fortunately, the number of splits was less than half that of registered unions—just under 50,000, according to the latest ABS stats.

3. The median age at divorce in Oz in 2019 was 45.9 years for men and 43.1 for women.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The median marriage separation age for males based on the latest 2019 stats is 42 years, while for females—39.3. The median Australia marriage age for couples who went their separate ways that year was around 29.4 for men and 27.1 for women.

4. In 2019, males aged 45-49 had the highest divorce rate at 9.3 per 1,000 people.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Most divorces for both men and women in Oz occur in their forties. Specifically, most divorces happen to men in their mid to late forties and women aged 40-44. Among the latter, the divorce rate in 2019 was 9.1 per 1,000 people.

According to the same divorce in Australia statistics, for people under 45, the crude divorce rate was higher among women, while in all age groups above that, among men.

5. The median Australian length of a marriage before divorce is 12.2 years.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

For Aussies, the median length of a marriage before the couple separates is 8.5 years, while the divorce is usually finalised 3-4 years later, in a little over a dozen years.

6. Same-sex couples accounted for less than 1% of all Australian divorces in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The gay marriage divorce rate Down Under is really low. In 2019, only 104 same-sex marriages ended. Of these, 34 were between men, while double that, i.e. 70 were between women.

7. In 2019, the male median age at marriage was 32.3 years, while the female one 30.5.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics) (Brides)

The average age to get married in Australia has been gradually increasing over the past 20 years, landing in people’s early 30s in 2019.

For comparison, it seems that American males and females tend to get hitched a little earlier than Aussies since the median marriage age for men in the USA in 2018 was 29.8, while for women—27.8 years.

8. Over one-quarter of Aussie couples divorce over communication problems.

(Associated Relationship & Marriage Counsellors)

The top reported reasons for divorce in Australia are the following:

  • 27% of couples had trouble communicating.
  • In 21% of marriages, there was loss of connection.
  • According to infidelity statistics in Australia, 20% of partners separated over cheating or trust issues.
  • 7.4% of spouses got divorced due to physical and/or emotional abuse.
  • Drug and alcohol issues were the cause of 7.4% of marriage breakdowns.
  • 4.7% of wedded pairs Down Under called it quits because of financial issues.
  • The divorce stats in Australia also tells us that physical and mental health issues split up 4.7% of couples.
  • Work and time pressures caused 2.7% of spouses to go their separate ways.
  • 0.6% of life partners got divorced because of meddling family members.

9. Around 60% of second marriages in Australia end in divorce.

(Damien Greer Lawyers)

Among 16% of Australian couples who divorced, one of the partners had already been married before, whereas, in 12% of them, both partners had walked down the aisle prior.

Among first-time newlyweds, in turn, the divorce rate in 2016 was 30%, making the second marriage divorce rate in Australia double that of first unions. Sadly, second and third marriages are more likely to fall apart than first ones.

10. Over 30% fewer Aussie couples wed in the first half of 2020 due to Covid.

(Statista) (The Guardian)

Compared to previous years, there’s been a significant decline in the number of marriages in Australia due to the coronavirus outbreak. The average number of marriages that occur in a year in Australia is usually upwards of 55,000, but in the first six months of 2020, it was 38,000, or nearly one-third lower than before.

Additionally, the percentage of divorce jumped up as well. For 55% of individuals, there were challenges due to their living arrangements, with 42% reporting that the lockdowns had strained their relationship, leading to more separations than usual.

Children of Divorce Statistics

11. In 2019, there were 9,174 divorces in Australia involving one child.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The greatest number of parents who got divorced in 2019 had an only child who was a 16-year-old—900 splits. Nevertheless, parents of babies who were less than one year old went through the fewest divorces—44.

12. The most or 9,970 of Aussie couples who divorced in 2019 had two children.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Divorce stats in Australia tell us that of the nearly 10,000 couples with two children who parted ways in 2019, in the most or 856 of the cases, the younger ankle-biter was 7. Conversely, the fewest or just 20 marriage breakdowns happened between parents of two whose younger child was 17 years old.

13. In 2019, 3,103 divorces were between couples with three children.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

According to relationship statistics in Australia, when it comes to marriages with three children, the highest number of divorces was between parents whose youngest was seven.

On the other hand, the lowest number of dissolutions between people who had three children was among those whose youngest was 15 years old—11. Further, there weren’t any divorces between parents whose youngest was 17.

14. 664 Aussie divorces in 2019 were between parents of four.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The highest number of divorces (95) among people with four children in 2019 likewise happened in cases where the youngest was seven years old.

The fewest divorces happened between parents of four where the youngest was 13 years old—six. However, there were zero breakups between parents whose youngest kids were 15, 16 and 17.

15. In 2019, there were 158 divorces involving five or more children.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Since there aren’t many couples with five or more children in Australia, the percentage of divorce between them is similarly very low. In 2019, the most or 26 uncouplings happened between people whose youngest was four years old.

The fewest divorces happened between parents in this group whose youngest of the bunch was 11 years old—three. There weren’t any breakups of families of this type where the youngest child was aged 12, 13, 15, 16 or 17.

Divorce Statistics by State

16. 14,393 divorces were granted in New South Wales in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

According to divorce stats in Australia, the crude divorce rate in NSW in 2019 was 1.8 divorces per 1,000 people. The median duration of marriage until divorce was 11.4 years. Of all New South Wales divorces that year, 6,448 involved children.

17. In Victoria, there were 11,861 divorces in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

We find from divorce rate statistics that in Vic, the crude divorce rate in 2019 was 1.8 per 1,000 persons. Of all divorces that year, nearly half or 5,477 involved kids. The Victorian median marriage duration to divorce was 11.9 years.

18. In Queensland, 11,575 divorces were granted in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

In 2019, 5,762 of the divorces granted in Qld involved children. The crude divorce rate there was 2.3 per 1,000 people, whereas the median length of marriage until divorce was 13 years.

19. 3,394 divorces were granted in Southern Australia in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The South Australian divorce rates in 2019 were 1.9 divorces per 1,000 population. Of all SA couples who called it quits that year, 1,640 had offspring. The median duration of a marriage before divorce was 12.9 years.

20. There were 5,145 divorces granted in Western Australia in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The crude divorce rate in WA in 2019 was 2 in 1,000 people, according to ABS divorce rate statistics. The median marriage length before getting a divorce was 12.6 years. About half or a total of 2,442 of WA divorces involved little ones.

21. In 2019, there were 985 divorces in Tasmania.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The Tas divorce rate in 2019 was 1.8 per 1,000 individuals. Of all divorces that year, more than half or 476 involved children, while the median amount of time couples spent married before parting ways was 13.8 years.

22. In the Northern Territory, there were 369 granted divorces in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Looking at the Australian divorce rates tells us that the fewest marriage dissolutions of all states in 2019 were recorded in the NT, of which roughly one-third (156) involved tots. The divorce rate there was 1.5 per 1,000 people, while the median length of marriage until divorce was 10.8 years.

23. In 2019, in the Australian Capital Territory, there were 1,394 divorces.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Of all divorces in the ACT in 2019, 668 involved children. The median length of marriages until separation was 8.9 years, whereas until divorce, 12.2 years—same as the national average.

How to Get a Divorce in Australia

24. How do you get a divorce in Australia?

(Family Court of Australia)

To qualify for a divorce application in Australia, you have to live in the country, be a citizen by birth or have been granted citizenship, or last but not least—you need to have lived Down Under for a year before filing for divorce. This applies both if you got married in the country and overseas.

You can apply online by completing the Application for Divorce and paying the filing fee. There are two types of applications—Sole and Joint. For the Sole Application, you’re the applicant, and the other party is the respondent. If you’re filing a Joint Application, however, you’re both known as joint applicants.

25. In Oz, you must be separated from someone for over 12 months to divorce them.

(Family Court of Australia)

The reasons for divorce in Australia don’t matter, as no-fault divorce has been allowed since 1975. You’ll only have to prove to the court that you and your partner have been living separately for at least a year and one day and have no intention of getting back together, hence the desire to dissolve the marriage. If there are children involved, the court can grant a divorce only if proper arrangements have been made for them.

Australian vs International Divorce Statistics

26. Australia’s divorce rate in 2019 was about a third lower than the USA’s.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics) (Statista)

If we compare Australia’s rate with divorce statistics worldwide, there are big variations. For example, in America, the divorce rate in 2019 was substantially higher than in Oz—2.7 versus 1.9 per 1,000 people.

27. Europe’s lowest divorce rates in 2018 were recorded in Malta and Slovenia.

(Statista)

According to the latest available divorce statistics, Malta and Slovenia are at the bottom of the divorce rate list among European countries. Namely, in 2018, there were 0.7 divorces per 1,000 people in Malta, which is impressive since it’s among the states with the lowest average ages at first marriage.

In Slovenia, in turn, the divorce rate that same year was 1.2 per 1,000 inhabitants, which is likewise extremely low compared to, for example, countries like Lithuania, Latvia and Luxembourg, which topped the list with 3.1 divorces per 1,000 individuals. 

Before You Move On

Overall, the crude divorce rate has been relatively constant in the recent history of divorce in Australia. However, things may have changed during the pandemic, and we’ll find out just how much when the Covid divorce rate in Australia has been adequately tallied. Were the lockdowns the final straw for some couples, or did they force them to iron out their differences?

What’s most important is that the number of weddings greatly outweighs that of divorces, and besides, people will always have some reason to separate from a partner and add to the percentage of singles in Australia. Even if it comes to it, we hope that these divorce statistics in Australia have shown you that ending a marriage doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world.

Sources:

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