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 Indiana 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:
- 274 same-sex couples
- 90 children under age 18 being raised by same-sex couples
- 40,121 different-sex married couples
- 30,175 children under age 18 being raised by different-sex married couples
Tabulations from Census 2010 show that there are 11,074 same-sex couples living in Indiana. These couples were identified in all but one of Indiana’s counties. The majority of same-sex couples are female (56%).
The average age of individuals in same-sex couples in Indiana is nearly eight years younger than that of different-sex married couples—43.0 and 50.6 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 (3%) while the lowest percentage of different-sex married couples is in the youngest age group of those under age 30 (8%).
A greater percentage of individuals in same-sex couples than in different-sex married couples in Indiana are members of racial or ethnic minorities. Table 2 shows that, in Indiana, 15% of individuals in same-sex couples and 11% of individuals in different-sex married couples are racial or ethnic minorities.
Same-sex couples with children
Nearly one in five same-sex couples in Indiana (17%) are raising children under age 18 in their homes. 1,832 same-sex-couple households in the state are raising 3,214 children.
Nearly two thirds (62%) of children being raised by same-sex couples in Indiana are biological children, 15% are grandchildren, 12% are adopted, 4% are stepchildren, and 2% are foster children. This implies that same-sex couples in the state are raising an estimated 1,996 biological children, 474 grandchildren, 386 adopted children, 117 stepchildren, and 53 foster children. An additional 6% of children being raised by same-sex couples in Indiana are identified as other relatives and non-relatives.
Among couples with children, same-sex couples in Indiana are approximately five times more likely than their different-sex married counterparts to be raising an adopted child. An estimated 17.7% of same-sex couples with children have an adopted child, compared to 3.6% of different-sex married couples with children. Approximately 12% of the children of same-sex couples in Indiana are adopted, compared to 3% of the children of different-sex married couples.
Same-sex couples with children are also more likely to be fostering a child than different-sex married couples with children in Indiana. An estimated 1.5% of same-sex couples with children have a foster child, compared to 0.4% of different-sex married couples with children. Approximately 2% of the children of same-sex couples in Indiana are fostered, compared to 0.3% of the children of different-sex married couples.
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% less than the median annual household income of comparable different-sex married couples ($72,156 versus $74,957).
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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