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Same-sex couples in Census 2010: Race and Ethnicity

Same-sex couples in Census 2010: Race and Ethnicity

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Published by istanley
Newly released Census 2010 data, analyzed by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, highlight unique aspects of racial and ethnic diversity within same-sex couples. They are more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be interracial or interethnic, and couples that include a racial or ethnic minority are more likely to be raising children. Fully a third of same-sex couples that include an Hispanic partner are raising children.
Newly released Census 2010 data, analyzed by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, highlight unique aspects of racial and ethnic diversity within same-sex couples. They are more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be interracial or interethnic, and couples that include a racial or ethnic minority are more likely to be raising children. Fully a third of same-sex couples that include an Hispanic partner are raising children.

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Published by: istanley on Apr 27, 2012
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04/27/2012

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Same-sex couples in Census 2010:Race and Ethnicity
by Gary J. Gates, PhD
With the publication of  Households and Families: 2010,the US Census Bureau released the first data from Census 2010 on the racial and ethnic compositions of households headed by couples in the UnitedStates, including same-sex couples. This research brief summarizes the 2010 data for same-sex couplehouseholds and compares them to their different-sex counterparts, both married and unmarried. TheCensus Bureau did not release data that would allow for consideration of the characteristics of marriedsame-sex couples compared to those in civil unions or registered domestic partnerships or those whoare not in a legally recognized relationship. All of these groups are combined into the category of same-sex couple households.
Same-sex couple households increased more rapidlythan different-sex couple households
The number of same-sexcouple households hasincreased between 2000 and2010 at a faster rate than theincreases observed for allhouseholds, or for married orunmarried different-sex couplehouseholds (see Figure 1). Thenumber of same-sex couplehouseholds increased by morethan 80% from 358,390 in 2000to 646,464 in 2010. Different-sex unmarried couplehouseholds increased by 40%while increases in different-sexmarried couple householdswere less than 4%. The totalnumber of households in theUS increased by nearly 11%.
10.7%3.7%40.2%80.4%
All householdsDifferent-sex married couplesDifferent-sex unmarried couplesSame-sex couples
Figure 1. Percent increase between 2000 and 2010
by household type
 
Same-sex couples are as likely as different-sex married couplesto include a racial or ethnic minority
The Census data describes couples by the race or ethnicity of the “householder”, who was Person 1 onthe Census form and is usually the person in whose name the home is either owned or rented. Amongdifferent-sex unmarried partners, just 74% of householders were White. In general, the racial/ethnicdistribution of householders does not differ much between same-sex couples and different-sex marriedcouples, while different-sex unmarried couples include a larger proportion of racial/ethnic minorities(see Figure 2). For both same-sex and different-sex married couples, 81% of householders were White.Compared to different-sex married couples, same-sex couples had slightly higher proportions of African-American householders and slightly smaller proportions of Asian householders. The proportion of Hispanic householders did not differ between the two groups (12%).
81%7%0.7%5%0.1%4%2%12%74%13%1.4%2%0.2%7%3%17%81%9%1.0%3%0.2%4%3%12%
WhiteAfrican-AmericanAm Indian/AK NatAsianNat HI/Pac IslOther raceTwo+ racesHispanicIncludes HispanicsAny race
Figure 2. Percent of couples with a specifiedrace/ethnicity of the householder
Different-sex married couplesDifferent-sex unmarried couplesSame-sex couples
 
Same-sex couples with children include a larger portion of racial/ethnicminorities than different-sex married couples
In general, couples where thehouseholder is a racial or ethnicminority are more likely to beraising their “own” children(defined as biological or adoptedchildren of the householder and adifferent-sex spouse or, in thecase of same-sex couples ordifferent-sex unmarried couples,biological or adopted children of  just the householder). This isparticularly true for same-sexcouples. Among those raisingchildren, 28% of householders insame-sex couples are non-Whitecompared to 24% of householders in different-sexmarried couples. Amongdifferent-sex unmarried couples,36% of householders are non-white (see Figure 3).Among all racial and ethnicgroups, same-sex couples are lesslikely to be raising children thantheir different-sex counterparts.However, like their different-sexcounterparts, same-sex coupleswith a householder who is a racialor ethnic minority are more likelyto have children (see Figure 4).Fully a third of same-sex coupleswith an Hispanic householder areraising children compared to just17% of same-sex couples with anon-Hispanic White householder. A quarter of same-sex couples with either an African-American orAsian householder have children. Among same-sex couples with an American Indian or Alaska Nativehouseholder, the figure is 29% and among those with a Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander householder,fully a third are raising children.
76%8%0.8%6%0.2%7%2%18%64%17%1.9%2%0.2%11%4%26%72%11%1.5%4%0.3%8%4%22%
WhiteAfrican-AmericanAm Indian/AK NatAsianNat HI/Pac IslOther raceTwo+ racesHispanicIncludes HispanicsAny race
Figure 3. Percent of couples with "own" childrenwith a specified race/ethncity of householder
Different-sex marriedDifferent-sex unmarriedSame-sex
37%62%45%48%53%57%69%56%31%61%52%54%32%52%66%49%17%33%25%29%25%33%40%25%
Non-HispanicWhiteHispanic(any race)African-AmericanAmericanIndian/AK NativeAsianNative HI/PacificIslanderOther raceTwo or moreracesIncludes Hispanic respondents
Figure 4. Percent of coiuples raising "own" children
by couple type and race/ethnicity of householder
Different-sex marriedDifferent-sex unmarriedSame-sex

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