Text description: Couple relationships

Key trends

  • The rate of marriage has declined in Australia, and couples have been marrying later. Nevertheless, most adults today are married or will marry during the course of their lives.
  • Combined trends in relationship formation and stability have led to a decline in the overall partnership rates.
  • The divorce rate was at a high plateau in the 1980s and 1990s but a downward trend has emerged since. There is a general acceptance for an unhappy marriage to end, even if there are children involved.
  • Social attitudes towards marriage, cohabitation and same-sex relationships have changed, with acceptance of diversity growing in Australia.
  • Cohabiting relationships have become increasingly common, especially among young people. Cohabitation without the intention of marrying has become increasingly accepted.

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