Young Australians don’t say ‘I do’

Census showed fewer young people are marrying (Pexels)

There are now scarcely more than half a million married young Australians, continuing a decades-long downward trend that has seen the institution go out of fashion, perhaps never to recover, The Australian reports.

Shortly after World War II, more than two-thirds of people aged 25 to 29 were married in that year’s census; this figure dropped to almost one-quarter in 2016.

Despite migration and population growth, even the raw numbers went backwards for this age group between 2011 and 2016, from 447,413 to 447,236.

Matrimony among those in their early 20s has also reversed in absolute and real terms, with the total number in wedlock falling from 93,186 to 83,497 over the same period, dropping as a share of the total age group from 6.37 per cent to 5.3 per cent.

In 1947, more than one-third of people aged 20 to 24 were married.

Today, fewer than half of Australians count themselves as married but a further 11 per cent are separated or divorced and 5 per cent are widowed; 35 per cent of Australians last year said they had never been married, a figure that crept up from 34.3 per cent in 2011.

Even as Australians slowly turn away from the tradition of marriage, a separate debate about whether to allow the nation’s 46,800 same-sex couples the option of marrying has consumed the parliament.

Federal minister and Leader of the House Christopher Pyne detonated a bomb under Malcolm Turnbull this week when he told a group of moderate Liberals they were in the “winner’s circle” on the issue and that legalising same-sex marriage could happen “sooner than everyone thinks”.

Conservative MPs warned that any move away from taking the issue to a national vote would trigger a spill motion “that day” regardless of whether the Prime Minister initiated it or not.

Last year, 10 per cent of Australians were in a de facto marriage.


Young no longer wedded to the concept of matrimony  (The Australian)

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