Latest Divorce Rates in Australia

Divorce rates fluctuate from country to country and year to year. Statistics allow us to track these changes, but to what end? Some people suggest that divorce rates can be related to broader social issues. In the United Kingdom, for example, there is a suggestion that the increase in the divorce rate is due to the financial recession and the extra stress that this has placed on relationships.

In Australia there is a divorce rate of one in three, this means that out of every three marriages one will end in divorce. This is lower than other countries in the world. With a rate of 55%, Sweden has the highest rate of divorce with the United States sitting at 46%. What is interesting about statistics is that they cover a very specific area of interest. For example a survey on marriage discounts couples who are in a committed relationship but are not married.

29% of Australians will never marry; they will enter into longstanding relationships but never marry, so where are the stats recording the break-ups of these relationships? A trend has emerged in the last two decades where people are making the conscious decision not to get married. This is not necessarily any kind of statement, but the question is really whether marriage still has a place in modern society.

With the rates of divorce indicating that a third of marriages fail, one can understand the scepticism. Marriage began as a means of exchanging the commodity of fertility and work power that a woman represented. The woman was exchanged for a dowry which was paid to her family as a way of compensating the loss of her labour potential. This still happens in many traditional cultures, but is not followed in most Western cultures. Rather, marriage has been used as a political unifier and only relatively recently has it been given wholly romantic connotations that are picked up in every Hollywood movie you see.

Today marriage is a legal contract between two people, unifying property and money. It is little wonder then that people are choosing not to get married but to simply live as a couple. Add to this the ridiculous cost of a wedding and you have one more reason to choose not to get married. Fear of divorce should not be a reason to refrain from marriage, but if for you the legal aspects of marriage are unnecessary or can be accomplished in other ways, then you may feel that marriage is not for you.

If, however, despite all of this you chose to get married, or still want to get married, then there are any number of ways that you can go about it that will work for you. Most Australians live with their partner before they get married which allows them the time to get to know each other in a domestic environment. This could be why marriages are lasting longer now than they did twenty years ago. People are getting married later and living together beforehand meaning that less pressure is put on the marriage and the respective partners.

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