Seven years after Canada legalised same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian couples are running to the altar in record numbers.

Between 2006 and 2011, the number of same-sex married couples more than doubled, according to new census data released today.

AFP reports the data showed that married couples haveĀ overall declined as a proportion of all families during the period.

However, the number of declared same-sex couples has skyrocketed since same-sex marriage was legalised in Canada in July 2005.

The census counted 64,575 same-sex couples in 2011, up 42.4 percent from 2006.

Of these, 21,015 were same-sex married couples (up 181.5 percent) and 43,560 were same-sex common-law couples (up 15 percent).

Gay and lesbian couples accounted for 0.8 percent of all couples in Canada.

For the first time, people living alone (3,673,300) also outnumbered the number of couples living in a household with children (3,524,915).