Press

New Census Figures Show Same-Sex Couples in All Kansas Counties; Major Increases for Alabama, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Ohio

Date: 
June 27, 2001

The latest statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week show the world what gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have known all along: that GLBT people exist in small towns and rural areas and not just in large urban areas, as the stereotype often holds.

Census statistics show that same-sex couples live in every one of the 105 counties in Kansas - ranging from sparsely populated Greeley County, with just over 1,500 residents to Sedgwick County, Kansas' most populated county with more than 450,000 residents.

The new data show that the number of respondents who reported in the year 2000 that they make up same-sex partner households increased since 1990 by more than 600 percent in Alabama; more than 500 percent in Kansas; more than 400 percent in Ohio; more than 300 percent in Missouri; and more than 200 percent in New York. The new statistics reveal the most comprehensive picture ever recorded of the changing nature of the U.S. family in the 21st Century.

U.S. Census Bureau figures documenting same-sex partner households have now been released from 15 states and the District of Columbia. On Tuesday, July 3, the U.S. Census Bureau is tentatively scheduled to release data for Colorado, North Dakota, New Mexico, Maryland and Oregon. And on Wednesday, July 11, statistics tentatively are scheduled to be released for Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, Utah and Washington. A schedule for the remaining states has yet to be released.

NOTE TO EDITORS: The exact figures from the states released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week are included at the end of this press release and can be found at the NGLTF Census 2000 Resource Page.

"The Kansas statistics show that we are indeed everywhere," said Lorri L. Jean, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We are in large cities and small cities, farm counties and tiny hamlets. This knowledge will help us move forward on the local level as we work to ensure that every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender family receives the same services, benefits and treatment given to other families."

Paula Ettelbrick, NGLTF's family policy director, noted that the U.S. Census does not count single GLBT people, but since 1990 has counted unmarried, same-sex partner households. In 1990, the category of "unmarried partner" appeared on the Census form for the first time. Approximately 150,000 households nationwide self-reported as same-sex unmarried partners - a severe undercount compounded by the U.S. Census Bureau's disqualification of same-sex couples who marked "spouse" to describe their relationship. This year, Ettelbrick noted, the Census reported that it would change same-sex partners who marked "spouse" to "unmarried partner," resulting in a better count.

"The Census numbers reflect the changing face of our society," Ettelbrick said. "As a community, we clearly shifted our focus in the 1990s to securing our family relationships through domestic partner benefits, adoption rights and same-sex marriage. The Census numbers mirror the unprecedented rise in the visibility of our families during the past decade."

During the spring of 2000, the NGLTF Policy Institute and the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies sponsored a nationwide campaign called Make Your Family Count!. This public education campaign, which reached approximately 18 million newspaper readers, was aimed at encouraging same-sex couples within GLBT communities to be counted in the U.S. Census.

The statistics released Wednesday show:

  • In Alabama, a 659 percent increase, from 1,069 to 8,109 same-sex partner households.

  • In Kansas, a 514 percent increase, from 647 to 3,973 same-sex partner households.

  • In Missouri, a 388 percent increase, from 1,931 to 9,428 same-sex partner households.

  • In New York, a 238 percent increase, from 13,748 to 46,490 same-sex partner households.

  • In Ohio, a 401 percent increase, from 3,777 to 18,937 same-sex partner households.

Released June 20:

  • In Connecticut, a 254 percent increase, from 2,088 to 7,386 same-sex partner households.

  • In the District of Columbia, a 66 percent increase, from 2,213 to 3,678 same-sex partner households.

  • In Illinois, a 268 percent increase, from 6,220 to 22,887 same-sex partner households.

  • In Indiana, a 428 percent increase, from 1,935 to 10,219 same-sex partner households.

  • In Louisiana, a 562 percent increase, from 1,331 to 8,808 same-sex partner households.

  • In Massachusetts, a 229 percent increase, from 5,194 to 17,099 same-sex partner households.

  • In Montana, a 326 percent increase, from 286 to 1,218 same-sex partner households.

  • In Nebraska, a 413 percent increase, from 455 to 2,332 same-sex partner households.

  • In Nevada, a 711 percent increase, from 613 to 4,973 same-sex partner households.

Released on June 13:

  • In Delaware, a 781 percent increase, from 212 to 1,868 same-sex partner households.

  • In Vermont, a 422 percent increase, from 370 to 1,933 same-sex partner households.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.