A Demographic Analysis of Registered Partnerships (legal same-sex unions): The Case of Norway

  • Turid NoackEmail author
  • Ane Seierstad
  • Harald Weedon-fekjær


In 1993, Norway became the second country in the world to introduce registered partnerships. As with same-sex marriages, registered partnerships give the same rights and duties as marriages for opposite sex couples, with a few exceptions. The present article describes this ‘new’ demographic event based on Norwegian experiences. Compared to the number of new cases each year of opposite-sex marriages, registered partnerships amount to less than 1%. Gay partnerships are more common than lesbian partnerships, but the proportion of female partnerships has increased since the law came into force. In one out of five partnerships, one or both partners have been previously married to a person of the opposite sex. At the time they entered into the partnership, 24% of the women and 13 of the men had at least one child. When examining the registered partnerships entered into in Norway between 1993 and 2001 we estimated the probability of divorce to be 16% after six years. We also carried out a multivariate analysis of the divorce risk and found that the divorce risk for female partnerships is double that of the risk for male partnerships. Another high risk group is partnerships between a Norwegian and a person from a non-Nordic country.


divorce Norway proportional hazards regression registered partnership same-sex marriage 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Turid Noack
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ane Seierstad
    • 1
  • Harald Weedon-fekjær
    • 2
  1. 1.Statistics NorwayOsloNorway
  2. 2.Section of Medical StatisticsUniversity of OsloNorway

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