Melbourne: Straight women should marry earlier and not be too picky to avoid an Aussie man drought, the Catholic Church has warned. According to the Herald Sun, Australia is experiencing a huge decline in the number of available men, with the church telling women that they should also forget about living with their partners before tying the knot.

Statistics have revealed that there are dramatically fewer eligible blokes than single women aged 25 to 34. The dire outlook has been backed by Federal Liberal MP Kevin Andrews, who is researching changes in marriage and families in Australia and has suggested the swing towards de facto partnerships wasn't helping.

A church official said that there has been a massive decline in the number of available men, with statistics claiming there are just 86,000 Mr Rights for 1.3 million women aged between 25 and 34.

Demographer Bernard Salt has calculated that 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 (7000), a single parent (12,000) or earning less than 60,000-dollar a year.

Reverend Father Tony Kerin, episcopal vicar for justice and social service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, told the paper that women wanted the best of both worlds.

"I think many are setting aside their aspirations for later, but by the time they get around to it, they've missed their chance," a news channel quoted Fr Kerin as saying. "In trying to have it all, they end up missing out," he added.


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