New Data from Marriage Licenses for Same-Sex Couples

By M.V. Lee Badgett, Christy Mallory
December 2014

windsor graphicA series of analyses based on data gathered from state administrative agencies in early 2014 show patterns of relationship recognition for same-sex couples across the U.S.

The first analysis shows that female couples are more likely to formalize their relationships than male couples. Female couples account for just over half (51%) of all same-sex couples in the U.S. However, data from the state agencies show that 64% of same-sex couples who entered into legal statuses were female couples. Click here for “Relationship Recognition Patterns of Same-Sex Couples by Gender

The second analysis found that, on average, 1.1% of same-sex couples dissolve their legal relationships each year. This rate is lower than the annual divorce rate for married different-sex couples (2%).  Click here for “Patterns of Relationship Recognition for Same-Sex Couples: Divorce and Terminations

The third analysis suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Windsor case in 2013 likely contributed to a significant increase in the number of same-sex couples marrying—even in the states that had marriage equality long before the decision. The administrative data show that the number of same-sex couples who married nearly doubled in marriage equality states from 2012 to 2013. Click here for “The Windsor Effect on Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

Click here for the press release.