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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Census Bureau Releases Report on Same-Sex Couple Households

Press Release Number CB21-TPS.22

FEB. 24, 2021 – The U.S. Census Bureau announced the release of a new report that examines characteristics and geographic distribution of the nation’s estimated 980,000 same-sex couple households. The report, “Same-Sex Couple Households: 2019,” is based on 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates. The ACS is the leading source for community and local-level data.

Highlights include:

  • About 58% of couples in the nation’s 980,000 same-sex households were married and  about 42% were unmarried partners.
  • Among both married and unmarried same-sex couples, there were more female than male couple households.
  • Eleven states plus the District of Columbia had higher percentages of same-sex couple households (among coupled households) than the national average of 1.5%, with Washington, D.C., having the highest at 7.1%.  
  • The San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metropolitan/Micropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA MSA, and the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA were among metro areas with the highest percentages of same-sex couple households.
  • Both same- and opposite-sex married couple households were more likely than unmarried couple households to have children under 18 present. But same-sex married couple households were about half as likely as opposite-sex married couples to have children.

Detailed tabulations and related information are available on the Census Bureau’s Families and Households page at <www.census.gov/topics/families/families-and-households.html>.

The ACS is a nationwide survey designed to provide timely and reliable data every year on the demographic, social, economic and housing characteristics of the nation, states, counties, and other localities. The survey has an annual sample size of about 3.5 million addresses across the United States and Puerto Rico and includes both housing units and group quarters. The ACS is conducted in every county in the nation. ACS 1-year estimates are released for geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or greater. ACS 5-year estimates are released for all geographic areas. For information on the ACS sample design and other topics, visit <www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/>.

Data in this report are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. Comparisons of estimates take sampling error into account and are significant at the 90% confidence level or higher unless otherwise noted. Because of rounding, some details may not sum to totals. For information on sampling and estimation methods, confidentiality protection and sampling/nonsampling errors, see the Accuracy of the Data documents for 2019.

No news release associated with this report. Tip sheet only.



Leslie Malone
Public Information Office

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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