The latest findings from the Australian Institute of Family Studies on divorce have been released. The figures show the divorce rate overall has been going down since 2000, though the rate among people over 50 has maintained its trend of increasing.
The figures show that there has been an overall decline from 2.6 divorces per 1000 marriages in 2000 to 2.1 divorces in 2013. In keeping with the trend regarding Australians waiting longer to divorce, it has been found that there are slightly less divorces involving kids under 18.
One in three divorces involve a husband over 50 and one in four divorces a involve wife over 50, the figures show. The jump in divorces involving longer-term marriages can be partly explained by the older age people are when they first marry, the fact that they are increasingly waiting for the kids to grow up or leave school before divorcing, and the fact that Australians are staying in the workforce for longer. The labour force participation rate jumped from 48.6% in 2000 to 64.2% in 2013. This increase in workforce participation is thought to give people a greater financial freedom in later life, with the greater financial independence especially benefitting older females.
The increase in de facto couples is also thought to also contribute to the lower divorce rate as those split-ups are not included in the statistics.