Same-sex couples recorded as living together increased by 50% since 2015, according to latest ONS data

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15th August 2019 13:02 - Public Consultation

Same-sex couples increased by 50% since 2015: The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics has found that the number of same-sex couples recorded as living together has increased by 50% since 2018.

The annual ONS research questioned 40,000 people and looked at trends in living arrangements and families. It found that in 2018 there were 232,000 same-sex couple families recorded as living together in the UK (with more than a quarter of the couples, married). This compares to just 152,000 three years ago.

An ONS statistician suggested that the dramatic increase is likely to have been driven by legislation brought in during the first half of 2014 enabling same sex-couples to get married. This may have resulted in more couples living together, or feeling more comfortable to disclose both their relationship and living status.

Other highlights from the survey found that over the last decade there has been an 8% rise in the number families in the UK, growing from 17.7 million in 2008 to 19.1 million 2018. This, notes the ONS press release, is in line with the overall growth of the UK population (7.5%).

The survey also found the number of total households has grown by 350,000 from last year to reach 27.6 million – an increase of 1.7 million a decade ago in 2008. 

The most usual family in terms of ‘type’ in the 2018 research were married and civil partner couple families – sharing 67.1% of the total, with cohabiting couple families second (17.9%) and single parent families in third (15%).

Co-habiting couple families, however, were found to be the fastest growing family type as many people are choosing to live together first before marriage, or without plans to get wed.

The survey also found an increase in people living on their own up from 7.7 million in 2017 to over 8 million in 2018. It also found a quarter of young adults (aged 20-34) are still living at their family home, equating to 3.4 million.

*For the research, the ONS defines 'family' as, "a married, civil partnered or cohabiting couple with or without children, or a lone parent, with at least one child, who live at the same address. Children may be dependent or non-dependent."

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