Same-Sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Population: New Estimates from the American Community Survey

By Gary J. Gates
October 2006

The release of new data from the American Community Survey (ACS) offers the first opportunity since Census 2000 to update our knowledge of same-sex couples in the United States.  This report assesses changes in the geographic characteristics of same-sex couples and estimates the size of the gay, lesbian, and bisexual population in states, large metropolitan areas, and all Congressional Districts (109th Congress).  Analyses reveal that the number of same-sex couples in the U.S. grew by more than 30 percent to almost 777,000.  The largest percentage increases occurred throughout the Midwest, an area that had relatively low rates of same-sex couples in Census 2000.  Six of the eight states with a 2006 ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage experienced increases in the number of same-sex couples in excess of the national rate of 30 percent.  The ACS data also reveal that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people are found in all Congressional Districts in the U.S.

Click here for the full report.