Source: The Australian, Tuesday September 12, 1995, p.1

Four in ten

By social affairs 
   FOUR in 10 Australian 
marriages will end within 30 
years, according to a new 
analysis of divorce trends during 
the past three decades. 
   A study issued yesterday by the 
Bureau of Statistics found 10 per 
cent of marriages failed within 
six years, 20 per cent by 10 
years, 30 per cent by 20 years 
and 40 per cent by 30 years. 
   Eventually, 43 per cent of all 
marriages fail according to the 
ABS study titled How many 
marriages end in divorce? 
   For teenagers who marry, the 
odds look even more ominous. 
Seven out of every 10 teenage 
bridegrooms are divorced within 
a decade and every second teenage 
bride is a divorcee before her 
10th wedding anniversary. 
   Based on 1994 divorce 
expectation projections, 
"virtually all" teenage grooms 
are likely to be divorced within 
20 years, compared with about 70 
per cent of teenage brides. 
   Those who remarry, especially 
people in their 20s, are at high 
risk of divorcing again. About 
three out of 10 remarrying 
twentysomethings are divorced 
again within a decade. 
   Generally speaking, expected 
divorce rates tumble as the age at 
marriage rises. 
   According to separate ABS 
figures issued yesterday for 
marriages and divorces in 1994, 
divorce is on the rise, the rate of 
people tying the knot is at its 
lowest point since the Great 
Depression. Last year, marriage 
breakdown was at its highest 
level since the introduction of no- 
fault divorce in the Family Law 
Act two decades ago. The number 
of divorces granted last year was 
up by 12 per cent since 1984. 
   The "crude" marriage rate 
(marriages per 1000 people) fell 
to 6.2 in 1994-close to the 
1930s all-time low and well down 
from the Wold War II high of 
12-as Australians delayed 
marriage and opted for de facto 
   The median age of grooms (29 
years) and brides (26.6 years) has 
jumped by five years during the 
past two decades and the 
proportion of people aged over 
15 now married has dropped from 
66 per cent in 1961 to 57 per 
cent last year.

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