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Marriage in Australia is changing but still going strong

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I am a sucker for a good wedding. Whether it’s an elegant formal event or a barefoot hippy affair, what I love best is the sense of optimism and good will in the air.

But I wasn’t invited to any weddings in 2018, and I can’t recall any in 2017 either. It was quite different in my late 20s and early 30s, when there were always a few every year.

No doubt it’s partly my stage of life, but there’s also a definite trend for fewer people to get married.

Most weddings in Australia are secular, and the institution persists despite legal alternatives.Credit:iStock

In 2017 there were 112,954 new marriages registered in Australia – 5447 fewer than in 2016. That’s according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released late last month.

To look at it over time, taking account of population growth, the best measure is the crude marriage rate – the number of new marriages per 1000 persons in a given year. In 2017 it was 4.6, in 2007 it was 5.5 and in 1997 it was 5.8.

Some might see this as evidence of the institution of marriage declining in popularity, but I see it as reflective of the fact there’s less social pressure to marry for the sake of it.

Surely, it can only be a good thing if people are able to make the choice to marry because it’s what they truly........

© Brisbane Times