The U. S. Census Bureau recently released figures relating to same-sex households in several states, some of which have passed gay marriage laws. These are just a few:
- More than 10 years after Vermont pioneered the civil union, the number of same-sex couples counted by the U.S. census continues to grow. Vermont now has 1,774 female same-sex households and 1,024 male same-sex households, up from 1,171 and 762, respectively, in 2000. There are now about 11 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the state.
Vermont was the first state to offer same-sex unions in the form of civil unions, beginning in 2000. In 2009, it approved gay marriage, becoming the fourth state to do so.
- The number of households in Minnesota with same-sex couples rose by 50 percent over the past decade to nearly 14,000, according to new figures from the 2010 Census, even as the state heads toward a constitutional vote on same-sex marriage in next year’s election. Census data showed 13,718 gay and lesbian households in the state, or less than 1 percent of the total. Just over 3,000 of those same-sex households also had children.
- The number of gay and lesbian households in Montana has grown more than 54 percent over the last decade, and more than a quarter of those couples are raising children.
Census data show there were 2,295 Montana households with same-sex couples in 2010. That’s compared to 1,482 in 2000. More than 28 percent, or 655 households, are raising children under 18 years old. The 2010 Census tracked that information for the first time.
The total number of unmarried households, including gay and heterosexual partners, increased from 17,696 in 2000 to 27,484 last year. That’s a 55 percent increase. But that’s still a small percentage of the total number of households in Montana, which the Census put at 409,607.
- Oklahoma became one the first states to ban on gay marriage seven years ago, yet the number of residents who say they are living with a same-sex partner has increased dramatically over the past 10 years.
The number of male respondents who said they were living with male partners increased to 4,393 in 2010, a 56 percent increase from the 2000 Census. The number of women who said they were living with female partners went up more than 83 percent over the same period, from 2,952 to 5,409, the Census found. There was also a nearly 63 percent increase in the number of respondents, gay and straight, who said they were unmarried and living with their partner, from 53,307 in 2000 to 86,694 last year.
The Census Bureau first began counting same-sex couples in the 2000 Census, when same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in any state. By the time the 2010 Census was taken, it was legal in five states plus the District of Columbia.