Census & LGBT Demographic Studies

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    National Trends in Public Opinion on LGBT Rights in the United States

    By Andrew Flores
    November 2014

    This report analyzes over 325 national public opinion surveys dating back to June 1977 that ask the public their opinions on LGBT rights. The report finds that national trends indicate a rapid and significant increase over the last three decades in public support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United States. On average, public support for marriage equality has more than doubled since the early 2000s.

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    LGB Families and Relationships: Analyses of the 2013 National Health Interview Survey

    By Gary J. Gates
    September 2014

    The addition of a sexual orientation identity measure to the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) offers a new data source to consider characteristics of families and explore differences among those led by same-sex and different-sex married and unmarried couples and LGB individuals who are not married or cohabiting. These analyses consider differences and similarities across these groups with regard to demographic characteristics including gender, age, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, geographic location, and child-rearing.

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    LGBT Demographics: Comparisons among population-based surveys

    By Gary J. Gates
    September 2014

    Estimates of the percent of adults who identified as LGB or LGBT varied across surveys from between 2.2% and 4.0%, implying that between 5.2 million and 9.5 million individuals aged 18 and older are LGBT. Despite this variation in prevalence estimates, the analyzed surveys show many demographic similarities among respondents who choose to identify as LGB or LGBT. LGBT identity was more common among younger populations. LGBT populations generally shared the racial and ethnic characteristics of non-LGBT individuals. Adults were more likely to identify as LGBT in the Northeast and West than in the South and Midwest.

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    Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minority Respondents on Population-Based Surveys

    By GenIUSS Group
    September 2014

    Most federally-supported population-based surveys do not include measures to identify transgender and other gender minority respondents. This report assesses current practices in sex and gender-related population research and offers strategies for establishing consistent, scientifically rigorous procedures for gathering information relevant to the needs and experiences of transgender people and other gender minorities.

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    Healthcare Disadvantages and Discrepancies for LGBT Adults

    Gary J. Gates
    August 26, 2014

    LGBT adults are more likely than their non-LGBT counterparts to lack health insurance coverage. LGBT adults, particularly LGBT women, are more likely than non-LGBT individuals to report that they do not have a personal doctor. Among all adults, 29% of LGBT individuals did not have doctor compared to 21% of non-LGBT individuals. Among women, the gap was 29% for LGBT and 16% for non-LGBT. The differences in insurance coverage persist even when taking into account differences between LGBT and non-LGBT adults with regard to age, sex, race and ethnicity, educational attainment, state of residence, and population density.

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    Financial, Social, and Emotional Challenges for LGBT Adults

    Gary J. Gates
    August 2014

    LGBT individuals, particularly LGBT women, are less likely to be thriving across a range of measures of their health and well-being. Nearly 4 in 10 non-LGBT adults (39%) indicated that they were thriving in their financial lives compared to less than 3 in 10 LGBT adults (29%). The difference represents the biggest gap between the proportion of LGBT and non-LGBT adults who indicated that they were thriving across multiple measures of well-being analyzed in this study. The gap among women was 12 percentage points compared to an 8 percentage point difference among men.

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    Same-Sex Couples in Wisconsin: A demographic summary

    By Gary J. Gates
    August 2014

    Based on the Census 2010, there are 9,179 same-sex couples living in Wisconsin. The majority of same-sex couples are female (57%). One in five same-sex couples in the state (20%) are raising children under age 18 in their homes. More than 1,790 same-sex-couple households in the state are raising nearly 3,200 children. One in three individuals in same-sex couples who are members of racial or ethnic minorities (36%) are raising a child under age 18, compared to 17% of their White counterparts. The median annual household income of same-sex couples with children under age 18 in the home is 43% lower than the median annual household income of comparable different-sex married couples ($46,778 versus $82,767).

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    Same-Sex Couples in Indiana: A demographic summary

    By Gary J. Gates
    August 2014

    Based on the Census 2010, there are 11,074 same-sex couples living in Indiana. The majority of same-sex couples are female (56%). Nearly one in five same-sex couples in the state (17%) are raising children under age 18 in their homes. More than 1,830 same-sex-couple households in the state are raising nearly 3,200 children. One in four individuals in same-sex couples who are members of racial or ethnic minorities (26%) are raising a child under age 18, compared to 14% of their White counterparts. The median annual household income of same-sex couples with children under age 18 in the home is 4% lower than the median annual household income of comparable different-sex married couples ($72,156 versus $74,957).

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    Friend-of-the-Court Briefs Submitted by Williams Institute Scholars in 6th Circuit Marriage Case

    May 2014

    Williams Institute scholars, along with leading women’s legal organizations, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in the case of Obergefell v. Himes. The amicus brief argues that, like laws that discriminate based on sex, laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation warrant heightened judicial scrutiny because, among other considerations, such laws are based on overbroad gender stereotypes. Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar, Gary Gates, also submitted a brief on the demographic of same-sex couples and their families in Ohio.

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    Same-sex Couples in Ohio: A demographic summary

    By Gary J. Gates
    April 2014

    Based on the Census 2010, there are 19,684 same-sex couples living in Ohio. The majority of same-sex couples are female (54%). Nearly one in five same-sex couples in the state (19%) are raising children under age 18 in their homes. More than 3,760 same-sex-couple households in the state are raising nearly 6,800 children. Nearly three in ten individuals in same-sex couples who are members of racial or ethnic minorities (29%) are raising a child under age 18, compared to 18% of their White counterparts.

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    Same-sex Couples in Virginia: A demographic summary

    By Gary J. Gates
    April 2014

    Based on the 2010 Census, there are 14,243 same-sex couples living in Virginia. The majority of same-sex couples are female (51%). Nearly one fifth of individuals in same-sex couples in Virginia are members of racial or ethnic minorities. Latinos and Latinas comprise 11% of individuals in same-sex couples and 6% of those in different-sex married couples. The portion of African-Americans is 4% among those in same-sex couples and 12% among those in different-sex married couples. Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders comprise 3% of individuals in same-sex couples and 7% of those in different-sex married couples.

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    Race/Ethnicity, Gender and Socioeconomic Wellbeing of Individuals in Same-sex Couples

    By Angeliki Kastanis, Bianca Wilson
    February 2014

    Similar patterns of racial disparities in income and employment exist among individuals in same-sex and different-sex couples. The report also found that racial/ethnic minority individuals in same-sex couples tend to live in areas where there are higher proportions of individuals of their own race or ethnicity. Among same-sex couples, African-American, Latino, American-Indian and Alaskan Native respondents have lower incomes, lower college completion rates and higher unemployment rates than White, Asian and Pacific Islander respondents.

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    Same-sex Couples in Hawaii: A demographic summary

    By Gary J. Gates
    October 2013

    Based on the Census 2010, there are 3,239 same-sex couples living in Hawaii. These couples were identified in all of Hawaii’s counties. The majority of same-sex couples are male (53%), accounting for 1,715 couples. There are 1,524 female couples. The average age of individuals in couples in Hawaii is nearly the same for those in same-sex and different-sex couples, 51.6and 50.2 years old, respectively.

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    Same-sex couples in Nevada: A demographic summary

    By Gary J. Gates
    October 2013

    Based on Census 2010, there are 7,140 same-sex couples living in Nevada. These couples were identified in all but one of Nevada’s counties. The majority of same-sex couples are male (53%), accounting for 3,768 couples. There are 3,372 female couples. The average age of individuals in same-sex couples in Nevada is more than four years younger than that of different-sex couples—43.8 and 48.2 years old, respectively. Nearly a third of individuals in same-sex couples in Nevada are members of racial or ethnic minorities.

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    LGBT African-American Individuals and African-American Same-Sex Couples

    By Angeliki Kastanis, Gary J. Gates
    October 2013

    An estimated 1,018,700 or 3.7 percent of African-American adults consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and 34 percent of African-American same-sex couples are raising children. Currently, the estimated 84,000 African-American individuals in same-sex couples tend to live in areas where there are higher proportions of African-Americans. A quarter of African-American same-sex couples live in Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Maryland. Overall, LGBT African-Americans have higher unemployment rates when compared to their non-LGBT counterparts.

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    LGBT Latino/a Individuals and Latino/a Same-Sex Couples

    By Angeliki Kastanis, Gary J. Gates
    October 2013

    An estimated 1.4 million or 4.3 percent of Latino/a adults consider themselves LGBT and 29 percent of Latino/a same-sex couples are raising children. The estimated 146,100 Latino/a individuals in same-sex couples tend to live in areas where there are higher proportions of Latinos/as. A third of Latino/a same-sex couples live in New Mexico, California, and Texas. Nationally, Latino/a individuals in same-sex couples are faring better than Latinos/as in different-sex couples. Twenty-six percent of all Latinos/as in same-sex couples have completed a college degree or more, compared to 14 percent of Latinos/as in different-sex couples.

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    LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander Individuals and Same-Sex Couples

    By Angeliki Kastanis, Gary J. Gates
    September 2013

    An estimated 325,000 or 2.8% of all Asian and Pacific Islander (API) adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Nationally, API LGBT individuals have lower rates of employment and academic achievement than their non-LGBT counterparts. Nearly 33,000 API LGBT individuals are in same-sex couples, a third of which live in California, Hawaii and New York. Further analysis reveals vulnerable LGBT subgroups including Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, female same-sex couples, and couples where both partners are API.

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    Infographic: HAWAI’I

    October 2013

    A new infographic by the Williams Institute shows there are more than 53,900 LGBT individuals in Hawai’i and approximately 3,200 same-sex couples in the state. Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in Hawai’i could affect nearly 54,000 LGBT individuals and more than 3,000 couples living in the state. It would also bring up to $217 million to the state economy.

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    New Patterns of Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community

    By M.V. Lee Badgett, Laura E. Durso, Alyssa Schneebaum
    June 2013

    As poverty rates for nearly all populations increased during the recession, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Americans remained more likely to be poor than heterosexual people. Gender, race, education and geography all influence poverty rates among LGB populations, and children of same-sex couples are particularly vulnerable to poverty. The study updates and extends a similar, first-of-its kind Williams Institute report released in 2009 that was based on data from the first half of the last decade

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    INFOGRAPHIC: % of Same-sex Couples Raising Children in Top Metro Areas (MSAs)

    May 2013

    Same-sex couples raising children live in areas all across the country. Many of these areas, including Salt Lake City, Memphis and San Antonio, are located in states that currently have a constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples. Mississippi has the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children at 26 percent. Top metro areas are comprised of a large population center and adjacent communities that are economically integrated with that center.

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