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Society

Fewer than 1 Million Gay Couple Households in U.S. in 2019

September 17, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. — In 2019, there were slightly fewer than 1 million same-sex couple households in the U.S., and a majority of those couples were married, according to new figures the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.

Of the 980,000 same-sex couple households, 58% were married couples and 42% were unmarried partners, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

There were slightly more female couple households than male couple households.

The U.S. had 122 million households in 2019. The number of gays and lesbian households in the U.S. is greater than 980,000 since that figure only reflected same-sex couples living together.

The 2019 American Community Survey for the first time included updated relationship categories that better captured the characteristics and number of same-sex households in the U.S. than in years past.

Since 2014, the year before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage across the U.S., the number of married same-sex households has increased by almost 70%, rising to 568,110 couples.

According to the survey, same-sex married households were more likely to be in the workforce than opposite-sex married households, 84.6% compared to 80.4%.

However, there was a difference between gay and lesbian couples. Married women in same-sex households were much more likely to be working than married women in opposite-sex households, but the reverse was true for married men in same-sex households. They were less likely to be working than married men in opposite-sex households, according to the Census Bureau.

The District of Columbia had the greatest concentration of same-sex households, at 2.4% of households, followed by Delaware (1.3%), Oregon (1.2%), Massachusetts (1.2%) and Washington State (1.1%).

In the survey, the average age of a respondent in a same-sex marriage was 48, and the average age of the spouse was 47. Of those who responded to the survey as being in a same-sex married household, 82% identified as white, almost 7% identified themselves as Black and almost 4% were Asian. More than 13% were Hispanic.

More than 16% of same-sex married households were interracial couples, double the rate for opposite-sex married couples.

Same-sex married couples had a higher median income than opposite-sex married couples, $107,210 compared to $96,932. In same-sex marriages, male couples earned more than female couples, $123,646 versus $87,690.

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