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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

U.S. Census Bureau Releases CPS Estimates of Same-Sex Households

Press Release Number CB19-TPS.51

NOV. 19, 2019 — For the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau released estimates of same-sex couples in its annual America’s Families and Living Arrangements tables package.

According to estimates from the 2019 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC), there are 543,000 same-sex married couple households and 469,000 households with same-sex unmarried partners living together. This compares to 61.4 million opposite-sex married and 8 million opposite-sex unmarried partner households. In addition, 191,000 children live with same-sex parents.

The CPS recently made  improvements in survey measures and processing to better gauge the makeup of U.S. households. Among the updates: changing the relationship to householder question to include opposite-sex/same-sex options and adding gender neutral parent identification questions that allow respondents to identify as having two mothers or two fathers present in the household.

The focus on same-sex couples reflects growing family diversity in the United States, which also includes unmarried partners living together. Among adults ages 18 and over, 18.5 million (7%) are living together, up from 14.2 million (6%) in 2009. Cohabiting couples also compose a larger share of all coupled households now, accounting for 12% of coupled households compared to 10% in 2009.

Other Highlights:


  • There are 36.5 million one-person households, which is 28% of all households. In 1960, one-person households represented only 13% of all households.


  • The number of families with own children under 18 present has declined in the last two decades. In 2019, 41% of all families lived with their own children under 18, compared to 45% in 2009 and 48% in 1999.


  • In 2019, 32% of all adults age 15 and over had never been married, up from 23% in 1950.
  • The estimated median age to marry for the first time is 29.8 for men and 28.0 for women, up from ages 23.7 and 20.5, respectively, in 1947.
  • Over a quarter (26%) of children under age 15 living in married-couple families have a stay-at-home mother, compared to only 1% with a stay-at-home father.

Living arrangements

  • More than half (54%) of young adults ages 18 to 24 live in their parental home, compared to 16% of those ages 25 to 34.

These statistics come from the 2019 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which has collected statistics on families for more than 60 years. The data show characteristics of households, living arrangements, married/unmarried couples and children.

For more data on families and living arrangements, visit Families and Living Arrangements on census.gov.

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Kristina Barrett
Public Information Office


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