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4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, July 2013  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/07/2013   
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CORRECTION - please note the time period regarding children living with same-sex couples is 2001, not 2006 as stated in the earlier media release.

25 July 2013
Embargoed: 11.30 am Canberra Time

Same-sex couples in Australia

The latest Australian Social Trends (AST) report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) looks at the characteristics of same-sex couples in Australia.

ABS Assistant Director of Social and Progress Reporting, Ms Jane Griffin-Warwicke, said that in the latest Census 33,700 couples reported living together in a same-sex relationship, with 17,600 male couples and 16,100 female couples.

“There were also almost twice as many children living in same-sex couple families as there were in 2001, with most of these children living in female same-sex couple families,” said Ms Griffin-Warwicke

The AST report shows housework is more evenly shared in same-sex couples, unlike opposite-sex couples where women tend to do more than men.

“We found that while people in same-sex couples tend to be younger than people in opposite sex couples, they also tend to have a greater age gap between partners.

“In around a quarter of male same-sex couples there was an age difference of 10 or more years between the partners, compared with only 8 per cent for opposite-sex couples. For women in same-sex couples, 15 per cent had a similar age difference,” said Ms Griffin-Warwicke.

The analysis showed that people in same-sex couples tend to be more highly educated than those in opposite-sex couples, with almost double having a Bachelor degree or higher qualification.

“Same-sex couples also tend to have higher labour force participation, higher incomes and move more often than other couples,” Ms Griffin-Warwicke said.

In 2011, the top ten suburbs for male and female same-sex couples living in capital cities were all in inner Sydney.

“People in same-sex couples were also more likely to report having no religion, but around two in five said they were Christian,” said Ms Griffin-Warwicke.

All AST articles are available in full and for free online at

Media notes:

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.

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