Same-sex couples in Germany - where do they live?

Thomas Stein, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED), UAB
Andrea Lengerer, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

As same-sex couples are a minority they are present in the vast majority of developed societies. Due to scarcity of research this work extends insights in same-sex couples’ regional distribution, exemplary for Germany. The aggregate (regional level) is made up of the Federal States and further coarsening of the Municipal Size Classes. The units of analyzes are individuals living in a same-sex union. Data from four different years of the Scientific Use File of the German 1% Microcensus are used. Quantification solely works if same-sex couples live together in one household. Firstly the article focuses on descriptives giving counts on how many same-sex unions live in which Federal State respectively Municipal Size Class in Germany. We answer the following questions: Which areas in Germany are highly frequented, which are quite unpopular? Are there differences between rural and urban regions? Is there variation in the results comparing male and female same-sex unions? Our findings regularly show higher counts for male same-sex couples than they do for their female peers. Regional differences are stronger for gays than lesbians in union. In relative terms, compared to heterosexual unions living in one household, same-sex couples show highest presence in the city states Berlin and Hamburg. Furthermore regional variation for men raises steadily with more recent years. Even though current visibility of same-sex couples could be better this work pioneers in mapping the presence of same-sex partnerships in Germany. Secondly we perform a multilevel analysis to investigate which regional characteristics influence the locational choice of same-sex couples. These characteristics are per Federal State mean age, share of highest education, share of supporters of Christian religions, among others. Preliminary results indicate that the accepting level of homosexuality by Federal State and Municipal Size Class reduces the variation between the Federal State/ Municipal Size Class - aggregate significantly.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session 1