Marriage numbers declining

Numbers of couples marrying in Australian dioceses over the last 10 years


  • The graphs above show that across Australian dioceses, in large cities as well as in less populated areas, there has been a uniform, marked decline in the numbers of couples approaching the Catholic Church to marry.
  • In the Archdiocese of Canberra Goulburn, despite the increasing Catholic population, the number of Catholic marriages celebrated each year has fallen by over 50% in the last decade.
  • These stats often don’t count strong Catholic migrant communities like the Canberra Syro Malabar community. They had 25 couples marry last year, but all in India. The stats also don’t account for overseas “destination weddings” which have become more popular in the last decade.
  • On the upside, of those couples who ARE approaching the church for marriage, they are perhaps making a more intentional decision which is demonstrated by the fact that groups like Ministry to the Newly Married have more young couples approaching them for mentoring than they have older couples ready to mentor them.

The Australian Bishops, following the lead of Pope Francis, are asking how we can rebuild a culture of marriage in our time. If you’d like discuss, discern and plan some ways forward in our local Archdiocese please register to join us at the event below.