CHART: The 30 gayest cities in Texas (revised)

A while back we told you how the estimated number of same-sex couples in Texas had gone way down — not because they’re all getting divorced right under AG Greg Abbott’s nose, but due to issues with 2010 Census forms.

When the Census Bureau released its revised (or “preferred”) estimates from the biennial survey last month, the number of same-sex couples in Texas dropped by about 21,000 statewide, or more than 30 percent.

Until today, though, we didn’t fully know how the revised estimates would break down for cities and counties across the state. But thanks to UCLA’s Williams Institute, we now have those figures, too.

As you can see in the chart at right (click to enlarge), despite losing a total of more than 1,000 same-sex couples under the revised estimates, Dallas remains the city with the highest rate in Texas. And Travis County remains the county with the highest rate of hitched gays (Dallas County is No. 2).

You can check out the Williams’ Institutes full report on the revised statistics for Texas here, or view a press release after the jump.

So which city was the biggest loser for same-sex couples under the revised estimates? That would take some figuring, but it might just be Hutto, a small town east of Round Rock in Williamson County. Under the old estimates, Hutto was No. 7 in the state for most same-sex couples per 1,000 households. Under the new ones, it’s nowhere in the top 85. Oops.

—  John Wright

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

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.

—  John Wright