Census & LGBT Demographic Studies

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    Top 5 Large Metro Areas 1990 vs 2014

    Comparing LGBT Rankings by Metro Area: 1990-2014

    By Gary Gates
    March 2015

    For two decades, San Francisco, Austin and Seattle residents have been among the most likely in the country to report that they are part of a same-sex couple or are LGBT. But growing social acceptance of LGBT people, even in conservative Utah, may explain why Salt Lake City now ranks among metro areas with the highest proportion of residents who identify as LGBT. This report analyzes data from a Gallup ranking of the 50 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas based on their percentage of residents who identified as LGBT in surveys conducted from 2012 to 2014 and 1990 Census data to rank the same metro areas by the number of same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

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    AR MO NE ND SD

    Demographics of Same-sex Couples in Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota: Analyses of the 2013 American Community Survey

    By Gary Gates
    March 2015

    Analyzing data from the 2013 US American Community Survey, this report considers the demographic, economic, and geographic characteristics of same-sex couples (married and unmarried), especially those raising children, in Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Comparisons are made with their different-sex counterparts.

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    Human Services for Low-Income and At-Risk LGBT Populations: An Assessment of the Knowledge Base and Research Needs

    By Andrew Burwick, Gary Gates, Scott Baumgartner, Daniel Friend
    December 2014

    This report discusses what is known about low-income and at-risk LGBT people and their interactions with human services, especially services funded by ACF, and identifies important areas for further research. To provide context for the needs assessment findings, the assessment begins by describing the scope and estimated size of the LGBT population in the United States as well as factors that may contribute to social and economic disadvantages for LGBT people. The assessment then presents the framework and methods for the needs assessment and ultimately recommends potential areas for future research to enhance the knowledge base surrounding the human service needs of low-income and at-risk LGBT populations.

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    Demographics of Same-sex Couples in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee: Analyses of the 2013 American Community Survey

    By Gary J. Gates
    March 2015

    Analyzing data from the 2013 US American Community Survey, this report considers the demographic, economic, and geographic characteristics of same-sex couples (married and unmarried), especially those raising children, in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Comparisons are made with their different-sex counterparts.

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    Demographics of Married and Unmarried Same-sex Couples: Analyses of the 2013 American Community Survey

    By Gary J. Gates
    March 2015

    The US Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey marked the first time that a large national demographic survey explicitly identified both married and unmarried same-sex couples, allowing for separate analyses of these two groups. Married same-sex couples are five times more likely to be raising adopted or foster children than their different-sex counterparts, and have more economic resources than unmarried same-sex couples. These analyses outlined compare the demographic, economic, and geographic characteristics of these two groups, especially those raising children. Comparisons are also made with married and unmarried different-sex couples.

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    Same-Sex Couples in Puerto Rico: A demographic summary

    By Gary J. Gates
    January 2015

    Based on data from Census 2010, there are 6,614 same-sex couples living in Puerto Rico. The majority of same-sex couples are female (70%). In Puerto Rico, 97% of individuals in same-sex couples are Latino/a, compared to 98.8% of individuals in different-sex married couples. Fifteen percent of same-sex couples in the territory (17%) are raising children under age 18 in their homes. More than 710 same-sex-couple households in the territory are raising more than 1,250 children. Same-sex couples with children are nearly 9 times more likely to be fostering a child than different-sex married couples with children in Puerto Rico. The median annual household income of same-sex couples with children under age 18 in the home is 8% less than the median annual household income of different-sex married couples ($33,337 versus $36,367).

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    The LGBT Divide: A Data Portrait of LGBT People in the Midwestern, Mountain & Southern States

    By Amira Hasenbush, Andrew R. Flores, Angeliki Kastanis, Brad Sears, Gary J. Gates
    December 2014

    By Amira Hasenbush, Andrew R. Flores, Angeliki Kastanis, Brad Sears, Gary J. Gates December 2014 LGBT Americans in the 29 states without state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation consistently see greater disparities than in the 21 states with such laws, including less social acceptance, greater economic vulnerability, especially among African-American …

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    New Data from Marriage Licenses for Same-Sex Couples

    By M.V. Lee Badgett, Christy Mallory
    December 2014

    Administrative data from the states that recognized marriage and other relationship statuses for same-sex couples in early 2014 show that female couples are more likely to formalize their relationships than male couples; and that same-sex couples overall dissolve their legal relationships at a lower rate than different-sex couples. The data also suggest that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Windsor case in 2013 likely contributed to a marked increase in the number of same-sex couples marrying.

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    LGB Vote 2014

    By Andrew R. Flores, Gary J. Gates
    December 2014

    By Andrew Flores, Gary J. Gates December 2014 Exit polls from the 2014 midterm election suggest that 4% of the electorate identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, representing the highest recorded LGB turnout in a midterm election since 1998. These LGB voters, 75% in fact, overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates in key congressional races. If LGB people …

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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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