Divorce rate lowest since 1976… Are we to thank? 86



View Profile

Our generation is one of those where it is almost as common to be divorced as still married. We rushed into things, we were young, we had social expectations placed on our shoulders and faced the pressures of having a family and raising children all our lives. And sadly, this lead our relationships, that often seemed perfect on the outside, to crack. So we faced divorce. But has our own experience made us wonderful teachers? The generation of our children seem to have learnt from our mistakes so does that mean we’ve done our job as parents, as teachers and as support systems and we’ve actually done a good job? The numbers sure do suggest it!

According to the Sydney Morning Herald based on statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the following are the facts on divorce and marriage in Australia:

  • Average age at first marriage in 1977 is 22.6
  • Average age at first marriage in 2010 is 29.1

It shows that we’ve taught our children maturity and not to rush. Two things that we, arguably, didn’t do when we were going through the same time in our lives.

It also suggests that our children are having children later than we did and this means they are equipped with extra maturity when they face one of the most challenging times in their lives. Fewer than half of the divorces today actually involve young children – also a post 1976 low so this may shed some light to the reasons why divorce is happening today.

It isn’t about struggling as a family unit, it isn’t about neglecting children or not errant parenting. It is truly about the breakdown of a relationship between two people for whatever reasons.

Right now, the divorce per 1000 people rate is at just 2.1 – a pretty small figure however the Social Services Minister, Mr Kevin Andrews has said he would like to get it lower. For a long time we considered the divorce rate skyrocketing because society simply didn’t care anymore and we coined the generations below ours, the “disposable society”. But if we take a good look at ourselves, it is sadly us who endured it all. It is us who went through this.

But the thing to know is, we taught the other generations how to make it work. Or at least they have learn from our mistakes. And for that, I think we deserve a pat on the back.

Tell us, have you been divorced? When did it happen? How have your children’s relationships worked out? Can you see a trend? 




Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My 40th wedding anniversary next year, married young had our children young, best way to do it.

    3 REPLY
    • Married 42yrs last week and we were young and had the children young like you, the best way and now still young enough to enjoy are grandchildren.

    • We’ve been married 44 years, I was married at 20 , engaged after 10months, my parents were married for 57 years until my Dad passed away, Mum was 19 and Dad was 18 when they were married ( and no they didn’t have to), but it was during the war

  2. Lots of people do not get married so it makes sense that there fewer divorced out there

  3. Been divorced 18years love it. Both my children are very happily married. I take my hat off to older couples who have understanding and loving partners. You are so lucky.

  4. My husband and I celebrated our forty years of marriage in a couple of days. The years went by so quickly. We have our disagreements and probably annoy each other at times, however the the positives far out weigh any negatives. I am content to be in this married state for as long as possible. I am thankful that I met a man with true grit! ( to qoute the words from Glenn Campbell’s famous ballad.)

  5. I think the figures are incorrect because how many of the younger ones had live together relationships that failed before marriage. Just marriage without the paper but not in the figures. So they do the same just another way to skin a cat. And let us wait till they are in their 80 s and we will see long term !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *