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The Future of Same-Sex Marriage by the Numbers

THURSDAY, MAR 28, 2013

This week, the Supreme Court heard two cases that could change same-sex marriage laws nationwide.  If the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 are ruled illegal, same-sex couples around the nation could rush to the altar this summer.

To help measure the impact of this ruling on the population, Social Explorer took a look at data on same-sex couples.  The Census and American Community Survey collect data on unmarried partners living together.  These numbers offer some insight into how many co-habitating same-sex partners might consider marriage if it became a legal right.

According to the 2011 American Community Survey:

  • There were 605,472 same-sex unmarried partners nationwide.
  • Those couples accounted for 9 percent of all unmarried partner households.
  • There were 87,078 unmarried same-sex partners in California.
  • California accounts for 14.4 percent of same-sex partners living together.

The New York Times household comparison tool created with Social Explorer and IPUMS data and analysis shows that unmarried same-sex partners have higher incomes than both married couples and unmarried opposite-sex partners.

You can explore a more detailed view of same-sex unmarried partners in California, your neighborhood, and elsewhere using Social Explorer's five-year American Community Survey map.

Interactive Map of Same-Sex Unmarried Partners (American Community Survey 2006-10)

Click to Explore


Check out Social Explorer's map and report tools to find out more about same-sex couples and other groups.

(Photo from Wikimedia Commons.)

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