Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Study Offers First Demographic Picture of Same-sex Spouses

The Williams Institute

University of California College of Law

The Williams Institute has released a report analyzing new data from the US Census Bureau. This study is the first to examine the differences and similarities among same-sex couples and married different-sex couples in the 2008 American Community Survey (ACS). The report finds that same-sex spouses were reported in every state and are more common in states, such as Massachusetts, that permit marriage for same-sex couples or some form of legal recognition.

Williams Distinguished Scholar and study author Gary J. Gates notes that, "Despite the complicated legal status of same-sex couples in this country, many see themselves as spouses and, demographically, they look very much like married couples." When comparing same-sex spouses to same-sex unmarried couples and to married different-sex couples, the report finds many similarities between same-sex and different-sex spouses. They are similar in terms of age, education, household income, and homeownership rates. The report's findings underscore the significance of the Census Bureau's recent decision to more accurately report the responses of same-sex couples in the United States, whether as spouses or as unmarried partners.

Click here for the press release.

Click here for the full report.

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