Spain Has the Highest Share of Same Sex Marriage

Discover how the participation of LGBTI+ persons in political and electoral processes can enhance human rights and build stronger democracies, as detailed in a new UNDP publication.

Spain, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005, has the highest share among countries andEcudor has the lowest rates, according to a latest analysis by the PEW Research Centre.

The analysis said that 3.4% of the 148,588 marriages registered in 2021 in Spain were same-sex. In Ecuador, where same sex marriage was legalised in 2019, only 0.4 per cent were between same sex.


The United Kingdom had the second-highest share of same-sex marriages at 3.3%. However, in the UK, data is reported for three subnational jurisdictions – England and Wales together, Scotland and Northern Ireland – rather than for the country as a whole.

In 2020, the most recent year figures are available for all three units, same-sex marriages accounted for 3.3% of all marriages in England and Wales, 3.5% in Scotland, and 4.2% in Northern Ireland – making the same-sex marriage share 3.3% for the entire UK. Scotland and Northern Ireland have since published marriage data for 2021, with same-sex marriage rates that year of 3.4% and 5.0%, respectively, but the Office for National Statistics for England and Wales has yet to do so.


The analysis shows that a majority of same-sex marriages were between two women. The biggest disparity was in Taiwan, where 1,794 of the 2,493 same-sex marriages recorded in 2022, or 72.0%, were between two women. The highest share of marriages between men was in Costa Rica, where they comprised 370 of the 677 same-sex marriages (54.7%) recorded in 2022.


The PEW Centre said directly comparable figures for the United States aren’t available because marriage registrations are kept at the state and local levels rather than nationally. Moreover, notall jurisdictions keep separate counts of same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. However, the Census Bureau estimates that as of 2021, 711,129 of the nation’s 61.3 million married-couple households, or 1.2%, involved same-sex married couples.


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