Statisticians have claimed that the number of same-sex couples in Germany has doubled in the past decade.

A micro-census conducted by federal statisticians in Wiesbaden say that the number of gay couples appearing in the figures has risen by 30,000 to 68,000 since 2006.

The researchers responsible for the micro-census say that the scale of the change is probably due to gay couples becoming more willing to reveal their sexuality, rather than an increase in actual same-sex relationships.

They also said that the figure may under-represent gay couples, as households had the option to answer the questions or not.

Gay marriage became legal in Germany in 2001. Since then, 15,000 people have entered such partnerships, and around two thirds of these partnerships are between men.