Source: The Australian, Tuesday September 12, 1995, p.1
By social affairs correspondent TOM DUSEVIC 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 relationships. 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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