According to revised estimates from the 2010 Census, there were 131,729 same-sex married couple households and 514,735 same-sex unmarried partner households in the United States.
The results of the 2010 Census revised estimates are closer to the results of the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) for same-sex married and unmarried partners. The 2010 ACS estimated same-sex married couples at 152,335 and same-sex unmarried partners at 440,989. ...
Statistics on same-sex couple households are derived from two questions on the census and ACS questionnaire: relationship to householder and the sex of each person. When data were captured for these two questions on the 2010 Census door-to-door form, the wrong box may have been checked for the sex of a small percentage of opposite-sex spouses and unmarried partners. Because the population of opposite-sex married couples is large and the population of same-sex married couples in particular is small, an error of this type artificially inflates the number of same-sex married partners.
The Census Bureau adds: "The 2010 Census preferred estimates have been peer-reviewed by Gary Gates, a demographer with the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, by Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and by Megan Sweeney, professor of sociology at UCLA. These experts concluded the methodology behind these revised estimates was sound."
The Williams Institute sends this release:
The Williams Institute conducted a survey of same-sex couples immediately after Census 2010 showing that most same-sex couples who described themselves as spouses are in legally recognized relationships, but not all are actually married. The analyses suggest that approximately 70% reported that they were legally married, and another 15% said that they were in civil unions or registered domestic partnerships. The remaining 15% indicated that while they were not actually in a legally recognized relationship, they considered themselves to be spouses.
Same-sex couples can marry in six states and the District of Columbia. Thirteen states offer non-marital forms of relationship recognition like civil unions or registered domestic partnership.
The Williams Institute estimates that about 50,000 same-sex couples have married in the following states, and in the following numbers: Massachusetts (2004-2009) 16,129; California (2008) 18,000; Connecticut (2008-2010) 6,752; Iowa (2009-2010) 2,099; Vermont (2009-2010) 1,425; New Hampshire (2010) 1,805; District of Columbia (2010) 3,500. Data on marriages in New York are not yet available. In addition, as many as 30,000 same-sex couples may have been married outside of the US. The Williams Institute also estimates that approximately 100,000 same-sex couples are in non-marital forms of relationship recognition like civil unions and registered domestic partnerships.
Gates and the Williams Institute's data are quoted in our special for the October 2011 EBONY: "Making It Work: Black Same Sex Couples Raising Kids in the South." The article is page 80 of the print edition.
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