The United States Census Bureau has for the first time put a number on the amount of same-sex couples in the country. So, how many same-sex couples currently live in America, according to the Census?
According to the latest data, there are 131,729 same-sex couples in the U.S.
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.
The new, preferred figures revise earlier estimates of same-sex unmarried partners released this summer from the 2010 Census Summary File 1 because Census Bureau staff discovered an inconsistency in the responses in the 2010 Census summary file statistics that artificially inflated the number of same-sex couples. In addition, a breakdown of couples who reported as same-sex spouses is now available. The summary file counts originally showed that there were 349,377 married couple households and 552,620 same-sex unmarried partner households.
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.
Census Bureau Director Robert Groves conveys the importance of counting the nation's same-sex couples. "We understand how important it is for all groups to have accurate statistics that reflect who we are as a nation," said Groves. "As scientists, we noticed the inconsistency and developed the revised estimates to provide a more accurate portrait of the number of same-sex couples. We're providing all three - the revised, original and ACS estimates - together to provide users with the full, transparent picture of our current measurement of same-sex couples."