Publication Details

Gorman-Murray, A. W., Brennan-Horley, C. R., McLean, K., Waitt, G. R. & Gibson, C. R. (2010). Mapping same-sex couple family households in Australia. Journal of Maps, 382-392.


The map (1:1,218,987) accompanying this report is the first to depict the distribution of same-sex couple family households across Australia. The map and the report contribute to emerging scholarship combining critical geographies of sexualities with quantitative techniques and GIS in order to advance the political claims of sexual minorities. The data were collected through the 2006 Census and obtained via consultation with the Australian Bureau of Statistics. These data included the number of same-sex couple family households for all Statistical Divisions across Australia and for Statistical Sub-Divisions within metropolitan capital cities. Geographical concentrations of same-sex couple family households were determined by calculating the proportion of couple family households that were same-sex in each Statistical Division and Statistical Sub-Division, since the Census defines same-sex couples as a subset of couple family households. To visualise where the proportions fell above and below the national average, and thus where concentrations were found, these ratios were converted to location quotients using the Australian average as the denominator. The map combines different scales – Statistical Divisions and Statistical Sub-Divisions – to illustrate distributional patterns between inner-city and suburban areas, as well as between urban and regional localities, across Australia. While high concentrations are found in inner-cities, there are also significant suburban and regional concentrations, thus contesting assumptions about same-sex couples’ inner-city residential choices. Moreover, since same-sex couples were found in most Statistical Divisions, those areas below the national average cannot be considered devoid of these families, with implications for the effective operationalisation of equal rights legislation.



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