Same-sex marriages in UK: What the numbers show

Around 167,000 people in England and Wales are likely to be in same-sex marriages, according to the latest available figures.

The number has been on a broad upwards path since ceremonies became legal in both nations in March 2014.

Some 26,000 people are estimated to have been in a same-sex marriage in England and Wales by the end of 2015, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

By 2018, the figure had reached nearly 121,000, then held steady for the next few years before climbing to 167,000 in 2022.

This represents 0.7% of the total number of married people in England and Wales – up from 0.1% in 2015.

(PA Graphics)

The number jumped to 6,493 in 2015, the first full calendar year in which the ceremony was legal in both nations, and remained broadly level for the rest of the decade, with 7,019 same-sex weddings taking place in 2016, 6,932 in 2017, 6,925 in 2018 and 6,728 in 2019.

In 2020, the last year for which data on ceremonies is currently available, Covid-19 restrictions saw the number drop sharply, to 2,811.

There has been a similar trend in Scotland, where same-sex marriages became legal on December 16 2014.

Some 367 marriages were recorded in the few remaining days before the end of 2014, followed by 1,671 in 2015, according to the National Records of Scotland.

The number then held steady in 2016 (998), 2017 (982), 2018 (979) and 2019 (912), before falling steeply in 2020 (423).

Data for Scotland is more recent than that for England and Wales, and shows the number picked up in both 2021 (819) and 2022 (1,112).

Same-sex marriages have been legal in Northern Ireland since January 13 2020.

Some 158 took place in 2020, with 396 in 2021 and 266 in 2022, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

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