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The demographics of same-sex „marriages“ in Norway and Sweden


  • Gunnar Andersson

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Turid Noack
  • Ane Seierstad
  • Harald Weedon-Fekjær


The present study provides an investigation of the demographics of same-sex marriages, or registered partnerships (“registrerade partnerskap”), in Norway and Sweden. We give an overview of the demographic characteristics of such spouses, and study patterns in divorce risks. A comparison with similar dynamics of heterosexual marriages is provided. Our study is based on longitudinal information from the population registers of the two countries covering all persons in partnerships. Our demographic analyses involve information on characteristics such as age, sex, geographical background, experience of previous opposite-sex marriage, biological parenthood, and educational attainment of the partners involved. We find that in many respects the distributions of married populations over these characteristics differ by the sex composition of couples. Patterns in divorce risks are quite similar in same-sex and opposite-sex marriages, but divorce-risk levels are considerably higher in same-sex partnerships. The divorce risk in female partnerships is practically double that of the risk in partnerships of men.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunnar Andersson & Turid Noack & Ane Seierstad & Harald Weedon-Fekjær, 2004. "The demographics of same-sex „marriages“ in Norway and Sweden," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-018, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2004-018

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Erik Plug & Peter Berkhout, 2004. "Effects of sexual preferences on earnings in the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 117-131, February.
    2. Marika Jalovaara, 2002. "Socioeconomic differentials in divorce risk by duration of marriage," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 7(16), pages 537-564, November.
    3. Lisa Jepsen & Christopher Jepsen, 2002. "An empirical analysis of the matching patterns of same-sex and opposite-sex couples," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(3), pages 435-453, August.
    4. Dan Black & Gary Gates & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2000. "Demographics of the gay and lesbian population in the United States: Evidence from available systematic data sources," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(2), pages 139-154, May.
    5. Black, Dan & Gates, Gary & Sanders, Seth & Taylor, Lowell, 2002. "Why Do Gay Men Live in San Francisco?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 54-76, January.
    6. Gray, Ronald & Leridon, Henri & Spira, Alfred (ed.), 1993. "Biomedical and Demographic Determinants of Reproduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283713.
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    More about this item


    Norway; Sweden; divorce; homosexuality;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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