This research brief offers analyses of data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) to describe the characteristics of same-sex couples and their families in Florida compared to their different-sex married counterparts.
Same-sex couples are identified in the ACS when an adult in the household is identified as either the “husband/wife” or “unmarried partner” of the person who filled out the survey, referred to as the householder, and both partners or spouses are of the same sex. These analyses combine ACS Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files from 2010, 2011, and 2012, yielding sample sizes of:
- 1,243 same-sex couples
- 255 children under age 18 being raised by same-sex couples
- 113,225 different-sex married couples
- 68,884 children under age 18 being raised by different-sex married couples
Tabulations from Census 2010 show that there are 48,496 same-sex couples living in Florida. The majority of same-sex couples are male (55%).
The average age of individuals in same-sex couples in Florida is nearly seven years younger than that of different-sex married couples—46.7 and 53.6 years old, respectively. Table 1 shows the percentages of adults in same-sex and different-sex married couples by age group. The lowest percentage of same-sex couples is in the 65 and over group (9%) while the lowest percentage of different-sex married couples is in the youngest age group of those under age 30 (5%).
A lower percentage of individuals in same-sex couples than in different-sex married couples in Florida are members of racial or ethnic minorities. Table 2 shows that, in Florida, 26% of individuals in same-sex couples and 32% of individuals in different-sex married couples are racial or ethnic minorities.
Same-sex couples with children
16% of same-sex couples in Florida are raising children under age 18 in their homes. 7,699 same-sex-couple households in the state are raising 13,548 children.
Nearly two thirds (65%) of children being raised by same-sex couples in Florida are biological children, 10% are grandchildren, 9% are stepchildren, 4% are adopted, and 0.4% are foster children. This implies that same-sex couples in the state are raising an estimated 8,807 biological children, 1,418 grandchildren, 1,116 stepchildren, 564 adopted children, and 51 foster children. An additional 11% of children being raised by same-sex couples in Florida are identified as other relatives and non-relatives.
Among couples with children, same-sex couples in Florida are approximately 1.5 times more likely than their different-sex married counterparts to be raising an adopted child. An estimated 4.4% of same-sex couples with children have an adopted child, compared to 2.9% of different-sex married couples with children. Approximately 4% of the children of same-sex couples in Florida are adopted, compared to 2% of the children of different-sex married couples.
Same-sex couples with children in Florida are approximately 6 times more likely than different-sex married couples with children to be fostering a child. An estimated 1.4% of same-sex couples with children have a foster child, compared to 0.2% of different-sex married couples with children. Approximately o.38% of the children of same-sex couples in Florida are fostered, compared to 0.2% of the children of different-sex married couples.
Nearly one in four individuals in same-sex couples who are members of racial or ethnic minorities (24%) are raising a child under age 18, compared to 13% of their White counterparts.
The median annual household income of same-sex couples with children under age 18 in the home is 16% less than the median annual household income of comparable different-sex married couples—$59,605 compared to $71,095.
This may in part be because, compared to different-sex married couples raising children, same-sex couples with children include a higher portion of female couples, who tend to have lower earnings than different-sex married couples.
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