Walking away from the altar

by | Sep 25, 2016 | Australia, demography, social issues

Almost a quarter of a million people will get married in Australia this year, and only a quarter of those will choose a religious minister to conduct their wedding.

Religion, it seems, has an ever decreasing role in Australian weddings.


Roughly speaking, Australians today are half as likely to have a religious wedding as their parents, and less than a third as likely as their grandparents[1].

Voter demographics, however, do not reflect those about to walk down the aisle (or whatever kids do at weddings these days).


  • 70% of people getting married are under 35
  • 70% of voters are over 35!

If current trends continue, weddings are less and less likely to be officiated by religious ministers.

Should a community with an outdated view of religion’s role in marriage have a say on what role it has in the future?

Sometimes the future is so obvious; to stand in its way seems little more than a petulant stomp.


Featured Image:
Mr & Mrs Beyer, circa 1876-1882
Author/Creator: Stewart & Co., photographer.
Date: ca. 1876-ca. 1882

Sourced from the Victorian State Library:




  • 3306.0.55.001 – Marriages, Australia, various years (http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3306.0.55.001)
  • 3310.0 – Marriages and Divorces, Australia, various years (http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3310.0)
  • 2011 Australian Census (http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/home/Census?opendocument&ref=topBar)


[1] Broadly calculating the average, based on average age of weddings over the past 50 years, the average grandparent was married in the late 1950s.