The Australian Bureau of Statistics released preliminary data showing 3,149 same-sex marriages were registered in the first six months of marriage equality.

Though full data around marriage and divorce rates is due to be released in November 2019, the ABS decided to release early figures due to public interest.

The figure covers same-sex marriages registered between 9 December 2017 and 30 June 2018, but does not include instances where either spouse marked their gender as ‘X’ rather than ‘M’ or ‘F’.

The ABS said that the 2016 census formally recorded nearly 47,000 same-sex couples living together, with 63 per cent of those living in New South Wales.

Over a third of the weddings which took place in the first six months of legality were registered in New South Wales, with 1,090 (34.6 per cent) recorded in the state.

1,773 same-sex female couples registered marriages in that period, constituting 56.3 per cent of marriages registered to same-sex male couples’ 43.7 per cent.

This disparity was higher in some states and territories, with same-sex female couples making up 67.2 per cent of same-sex marriages registered in Tasmania, 66.1 per cent in the ACT, 65.4 per cent in Western Australia, 61.2 per cent in Queensland and 60.9 per cent in the Northern Territory.

Of those marriages registered, 85.8 per cent of men involved had not been married before, compared to 80.5 per cent of women.

The median age at marriage was much higher among men at 48.5 years compared to 39 years for female same-sex couples.

Of those aged 39 or below who entered into same-sex marriages, just 36 per cent were men.

March and April proved the most popular months for weddings in the first six months, showing the popularity of autumn weddings, with figures trailing off into June as winter deepened (the ABS notes that the number of weekends in each month varies and should be taken into account with these figures).

Saturday 21 April was the most popular wedding date in the first six months of 2018.

21 weddings took place in December 2017, which would have required special permission given most couples were required to wait at least a month after providing an authorised celebrant a Notice of Intended Marriage form.

Fascinatingly, if not surprisingly, 99 per cent of all same-sex marriages conducted throughout the period were performed by civil celebrants rather than religious ones.

Buzzfeed Australia‘s Josh Taylor reported in early November that nearly 5,000 same-sex couples were believed to have tied the knot since same-sex marriage became law, which included date beyond the June 30 cut-off used by the ABS.

More data from the ABS figures can be found on the Bureau website.

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