Census & LGBT Demographic Studies

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    Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the LGBT Community

    By Taylor N.T. Brown, Adam P. Romero, and Gary J. Gates
    July 2016

    This study analyzes the extent of food insecurity experiences and participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) among LGBT adults and adults in same-sex couples. Using data from four representative, population-based surveys the authors find higher rates of these experiences among LGBT adults and adults in same-sex couples than among non-LGBT adults and adults in different-sex couples.

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    How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States

    By Andrew R. Flores, Jody L. Herman, Gary J. Gates, and Taylor N. T. Brown
    June 2016

    By Andrew R. Flores, Jody L. Herman, Gary J. Gates, and Taylor N. T. Brown June 2016 Utilizing data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which includes representative state-level surveys, Williams Institute scholars provide up-to-date estimates of the percentage and number of adults who identify as transgender in the United States. Approximately …

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    LGBT in the South

    By Christy Mallory, Andrew Flores and Brad Sears
    March 2016

    Christy Mallory, Andrew Flores and Brad Sears head to Asheville, North Carolina, to the LGBT in the South Conference to discuss the Williams Institute’s research on LGBT demographics and discrimination in the Southern states. Thirty-five percent of the LGBT population in the United States lives in the South, where they are more likely to lack employment protections, earn less than $24,000 a year, and report that they cannot afford food or healthcare.

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    Estimates of Transgender Populations in States with Legislation Impacting Transgender People

    By Jody L. Herman, Christy Mallory, and Bianca D.M. Wilson

    Nearly 300,000 transgender youth and adults may be negatively impacted by legislation introduced in 15 states. These bills would limit access to single-sex restrooms and locker rooms at schools and in public places; limit protections based on gender identity; permit individuals and businesses to discriminate against transgender people based on religious and moral beliefs; and limit the ability to change certain vital records documents, such as birth certificates, or enforce the use of birth certificates to establish an individual’s sex for certain purposes. The report includes a brief description of each bill, which age groups it would affect, and how many transgender people we estimate live in each state.

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    The LGBT Divide in California: A Look at the Socioeconomic Well-being of LGBT People in California

    By Angeliki Kastanis
    January 2016

    While LGBT people in California appear to be doing better than LGBT people nationwide, there is as much disparity within the state as throughout the rest of the United States. This report and data interactive explores disparities in the socioeconomic well-being of LGBT people throughout California, using data from the 2010 U.S. Census and the 2012-2014 Gallup Daily Tracking Survey. These regional patterns mirror those for non-LGBT people, which suggests that broader demographic factors also play an important role in LGBT vulnerability.

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    Marriage and Same-sex Couples after Obergefell

    By Gary J. Gates and Taylor N.T. Brown
    November 2015

    This research brief analyzes the impact of the US Supreme Court’s decisions in Windsor v. United States (June 2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (June 2015) on marriage by same-sex couples. In 2013, the year that the Windsor ruling was issued, an estimated 230,000 same-sex couples were married, 21% of all same-sex couples. By June 2015, when Obergefell was decided, 390,000 same-sex couples were married, 38% of all same-sex couples. As of October 2015, 486,000 same-sex couples were married, or 45% of all same-sex couples. The legal benefits and obligations of marriage now support these married couples, more than a quarter of whom are raising children, and the visibility of these families will likely continue to accelerate public support for marriage equality in the United States.

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    Marriage and Family: LGBT Individuals and Same-sex Couples

    By Gary J. Gates
    October 2015

    As debates about marriage equality cool, researchers can explore new questions about LGBT family dynamics, including how parents divide labor in the absence of gender differences between spouses or partners and whether parent-child relationships change in ways that are consistent with gender norms when a parent transitions from one gender to another.

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    An Estimated 780,000 Americans in Same-Sex Marriages

    By Gary Gates
    April 2015

    The number of legally married same-sex couples in the United States has tripled in the last year. The new estimate suggests that 390,000 out of nearly 1 million same-sex couples are married. Estimates from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey had the figure at 130,000. Even so, about one in six married same-sex couples live in states that currently don’t recognize their marriage. Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted from January to April 2015 on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey. The study included a random sample of 80,568 adults ages 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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    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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    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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