Catholic Church says would-be Aussie brides are being too fussy
Australia is experiencing a huge decline in the number of available men, with the church telling the Herald Sun women should also forget living with their partners before tying the knot.
Statistics show there are just 86,000 eligible blokes for 1.3 million females aged between 25 and 34.
The dire outlook has been backed by Liberal lawmaker Kevin Andrews, who is researching changes in marriage and families in Australia and has suggested the swing towards de facto partnerships is not helping.
But the reverend Father Tony Kerin, episcopal vicar for justice and social service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, said women wanted the best of both worlds.
“Are women getting too choosy? I’d say yes,” said Kerin, speaking on behalf of the archdiocese.
“I think many are setting aside their aspirations for later, but by the time they get around to it, they’ve missed their chance. In trying to have it all, they end up missing out.”
Kerin said the rate of marriage had halved despite nearly four in five people still wanting to settle down.
“For many, it remains an unattainable dream,” he said.
Statistics show that 78 percent of couples live together before they are married. But Kerin said de facto relationships were twice as likely to break down compared with couples who had not lived together.
Andrews said the perception that cohabitation increased the chance of a happy marriage was false.
“About half of people cohabiting go on to marry the person they are living with and the other half separate,” he said.
Demographer Bernard Salt calculated there are 1.3 million women aged 25-34 in Australia.
But of the 1.343 million men in the same age bracket, only 86,000 single, heterosexual, well-off, young men were available after excluding those who were already married (485,000), in a de facto relationship (185,000), gay (7,000), a single parent (12,000) or earning less than AU$60,000 (US$61,000) a year.