CHART: Texas has 4th-most same-sex couples in U.S. despite losing 21K in revised estimate

Posted on 29 Sep 2011 at 10:28am

A new analysis of 2010 Census data shows that Texas has the fourth-highest total number of same-sex couples in the U.S., behind California, New York and Florida. California leads the way with 98,153 same-sex couples, the analysis shows, followed by New York with 48,932, Florida with 48,496 and Texas with 46,401.

Although Texas has the fourth-highest number of same-sex couples, the Lone Star State is 22nd per capita — with 5.20 same-sex couples for every 1,000 households. Vermont has the highest rate of same-sex couples, at 8.36 per 1,000 households.

Lisa Keen at Keen News Service explains that the Census Bureau’s revised (or “preferred”) estimates for same-sex couples are significantly lower than those put out this summer:

According to the data, the Census Bureau counted 901,997 same-sex couple households in the 2010 survey, but it believes only 646,464 of those are really same-sex couples. The other 255,533, said Census Bureau official Martin O’Connell, are heterosexual couples whose Census forms inadvertently misidentified the gender of one of the partners. …

The Census Bureau used data from Texas to illustrate how well first names corresponded with the gender identification and, therefore, how reliable the designation of same-sex couples held up. Of 31,763 households designated originally as a male-male couple, only 14,439 (45 percent) qualified as including “highly likely male” — that is, both partners or spouses had first names that are almost certainly male names, such as Thomas or John.

Despite the revision, Dallas still has the 13th-highest rate of same-sex couples in cities with populations of more than 250,000 — although the rate has dropped from 15.01 to 12.25 per 1,000 households. And Austin, the only other Texas city in the top 25, remains 15th at 11.76 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

The new estimates also include, for the first time, a breakdown of how many same-sex couples identified as “married” on Census forms.

About 20 percent of same-sex couples nationwide identified as married, with the highest rates (44 percent in Massachusetts, for example) occurring in states where same-sex marriage is in fact legal. In Texas, 8,397 of 38,004 same-sex couples identified as married — or 18 percent.

View the Williams Institute’s full report on the new Census estimates here.

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