Back in 2015 RealNewsOne published an article on Australia’s gay profile. At that time the debate around same-sex marriage was raging and feelings were high. Tony Abbott was Prime Minister and Rosie Batty was Australian of the year. The Dalai Lama visited Australia and the Commonwealth Bank posted a $9.1 billion profit. Two years later in the Same-Sex marriage survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 74.5% of Australians indicated that they supported Same-Sex Marriage.
So, fours years later what has changed? In 2015 there were about 33,700 Australian living in a same sex relationship, 2019 there are about 46,800. That is an increase of about 39%. In 20 years since 1996, this figure has quadrupled. It is safe to say that more and more people in Australia are feeling safer to express who they really are. According to the ABS ounger people accounted for almost all of the increase in the number of same-sex couples. Half (51%) of the increase was for the cohort aged 20-29 years, with an additional 35% of the increase in the cohort aged 30-39.
Where Same Sex Couples Live
In 2015, the majority of Australia’s same-sex couples lived in New South Wales. That was broken down to 41% of Australia’s male same-sex couples and 34% of female same-sex couples lived in NSW. In 2019, the majority still live in NSW (35.83%) with the break down being 39.02% of Australia’s male same-sex couples living in NSW and 32.54% of females in NSW. Victoria saw a slight increase of same-sex couples with 26% in 2015 to 27% in 2019.
In 2015 the majority of same-sex couples lived in Darlinghurst, Potts Point and Surry Hills. While 2019:
|Male Same-Sex Couples||Female Same-Sex Couples|
|Darlinghurst, NSW||17.5||St Peters, NSW||5.8|
|Elizabeth Bay, NSW||16.5||Erskinville, NSW||5.3|
|Surry Hills, NSW||16.3||Darlington, NSW||5.1|
The average age in 2015 was 40 and that hasn’t changed in 2019.People in same-sex couples tended to be younger than people in opposite-sex couples. the average age for heterosexual couples is 48. According to the ABS only 5.3% of people in same-sex couples were aged 65 or more, compared with 20% of people in opposite-sex couples. The difference in the reported number of same-sex couples in older age groups may in part reflect the willingness of people aged 65 years or over to identify themselves as being in a same-sex relationship.
The proportion of same-sex couple families with children increased from 12% in 2015 to 15% in 2019. As was the case in 2015, female same-sex couples were more likely to have children than male same-sex couples. In 2019, one quarter (25%) of female same-sex couples had children, compared with 4.5% of male same-sex couples. Close to 55% of opposite-sex couples had children.
Same-sex couples with children, on average, had fewer children living with them than opposite-sex couples. Over half of male and female same-sex couples with children had only one child in the family (54% and 51% respectively), while one third had two children. In contrast, opposite-sex couples were less likely to have one child than two children in their family (36% compared with 42%).
Employment & Wages
In 2019 over half of employed people in same-sex couples worked as managers or professionals (51%). The most common occupations for men in same-sex couples were Retail manager and Sales assistant, with the next common occupations being Advertising, public relations and sales managers and Registered nurses. For women in same-sex couples, the most common occupation was Registered nurse, with the next most common occupations being Sales assistant; Retail manager and Secondary school teacher.
In 2019 23% of men in same-sex couples earned $2,000 or more a week, compared with 18% of men in opposite-sex couples. For women, the difference was greater. Women in same-sex couples were twice as likely to be earning $2,000 or more a week as women in opposite-sex couples (14% compared with 6%). In 2015 males in a same-sex relationship, 18 % earn $2000 or more per week compared to 14% of males in a straight relationship, while female in a same sex reaction ship earned three times as much as females in a straight relationship.
In 2019, same-sex couple families were more likely to live in a dwelling that was being rented (39%) than opposite-sex couple families (23%). However, they were less likely to live in a dwelling that was owned outright (16% of same-sex couple families compared to 31% of opposite-sex couple families). This difference can partly be attributed to the younger age profile of same-sex couples, but might also be related to where they live and their housing choices.