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Number of same-sex couple families up by more than 50 percent

Lily Wakefield August 7, 2019
same-sex family

In 2018, 29.4 percent of same-sex couples living as families were married. (Envato Elements)

The number of same-sex couples living as a family, with or without children, has increased by more than half since 2015, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In 2015, there were 152,000 same-sex couple families living in the UK, and in 2018 there were 232,000, an increase of 53.2 percent. 

ONS statistician Sophie Sanders told the BBC that the huge increase in same-sex who reported living together as a family was partly due to legislation, such as equal marriage, but also down people feeling more comfortable disclosing that they are part of a same-sex family.

Since the legalisation of equal marriage came in to force in 2014, the number of married same-sex couples has continued to grow rapidly, and numbers cohabiting or in civil partnerships has decreased.

In 2015, just 8.9 percent of same-sex couples living as families were married, but in 2018 that figure rose to 29.4 percent.

Another study suggested that children raised by same-sex couples did better at school. (Envato Elements)

More opposite-sex couples are choosing to live together without getting married

However, data showed that opposite-sex couples were moving in the opposite direction, although at a slower rate, with more choosing to live together without getting married.

Joe Nellis, communications coordinator for the LGBT Foundation, also told the BBC: “It is positive to see that more same-sex couples feel confident and able to disclose their relationship and household status.

“We have made significant developments in LGBT equality legislation, including marriage equality in England, Wales and Scotland, which has given more LGBT people the confidence to live their lives openly.

“It is important to remember that if we’re not counted, we don’t count.”

A study earlier this year in the Netherlands, which compared 1,200 kids raised by same-sex couples and more than a million children raised by opposite-sex couples, indicated that children raised by same-sex couples did better at school. 

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