THE number of same-sex couples counted in the 2011 Census was 32% higher than in 2006.
ABS analysts suggested the new figure of 33,714 same-sex couples in Australia could be because people had a greater willingness to identify themselves as same-sex couples in the Census or increased awareness that authorities used Census figures to help make decisions.
But they found same-sex couples were more likely to live in capital cities than in regional Australia, except in northern and mid-NSW and Victoria, where they found relatively high rates.
Same-sex couples accounted for 1.5% of all couples in the local government area of Byron, 1.3% in Lismore, 1.2 % in Bellingen and 1.1% in Newcastle.
In Victoria, same-sex couples accounted for 3.6% of all couples in the local government area of Hepburn 3.6% and 1.5% of those in Mount Alexander.
In 2011, as in previous censuses, more male than female same-sex couples were reported, 17,584 compared with 16,131.
Same-sex couples account for a very small proportion of all couple families. They comprised 0.7% in 2011, up from 0.6% in 2006, and more than twice the proportion in 1996 (0.3%).
Although same-sex partners made up a greater proportion of all partners in the 15-24 years age group, the peak age group for numbers of same-sex partners was 35-44 years.
About 30% of all people in same-sex partnerships fell in that age group.
Just more than one in 10 same-sex couples had children, ages including adult, living with them in their family.
It was much more common for female than male same-sex couples to have children living in the family, 22% compared with 3%.
In total, there were 6120 children under 25 years in same-sex couple families.