Official same-sex unions in France (2014)

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The annual total number of marriages in France in 2014 was higher than the 2013 figure due to same-sex unions. The number of different-sex marriages dropped slightly: -300, while the total number of marriages in 2014 was a few thousand above what it was in 2013: 241,000 as against 238,600. Approximately 10,000 same-sex marriages were registered in the course of the year, as against 7,500 in 2013. However, the two years are not entirely comparable as the reform authorizing same-sex marriage only went into effect in mid-2013.

In 2013, 3% of official unions (marriages and civil unions combined) were between persons of the same sex. For 2014, the figure is close to 4%. The proportion of men and women forming an official union with a person of the same sex varied by age (see Figure): it was highest for persons over 55 (nearly 1 in 8 men, and 1 in 14 women), lowest for persons under 35.

The number of same-sex marriages in 2014 came to 10,000, as against 7,500 from late May to the end of December 2013. If we divide these figures by the number of months in the given year that same-sex couples could legally get married (6 months in 2013, 12 in 2014), the monthly average for 2013 would stand at 1,070 and for 2014, 830. That difference is due in part to the fact that couples “waiting” to formalize their union did so soon as they could after the law went into effect; i.e., in 2013 if possible. Same-sex marriages could only begin to be celebrated in June of that year, so the first two quarters (a period when relatively few marriages or civil unions are contracted) cannot be included in calculating the monthly average for 2013.

The number of same-sex civil unions fell by more than 900 from 2012-2013, and remained fairly stable in 2014: 2,857 same-sex unions contracted in the first two quarters of 2014, as against 2970 in the first two quarters of 2013.

The proportion of same-sex civil unions has never been so low: close to 3.5%. Figures for the first two quarters of 2014 confirm this downward trend. Some of the same-sex couples who got married would probably have contracted a civil union if the legislation had not been changed.

Source: M. Mazuy, M. Barbieri, D. Breton, H. d’Albis, 2015, The Demographic Situation in France: Recent Developments and Trends over the Last 70 Years, Ined, Population, 70 (3)

Contact: Magali Mazuy

Online: December 2015