The U.S. Census Bureau to start categorizing same-sex married couples as families. (x)
The U.S. Census Bureau will begin categorizing same-sex married couples as families. This will mark the first time the census integrates an estimated 180,000 same-sex married couples with statistics concerning the nation’s 56 million families, according to the 2013 American Community Survey results.
Combining gay and straight married households is not expected to have a significant effect on the statistics used by scholars and planners to analyze the change in families. Andrew J. Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University told The Washington Post, “I think the American public already thinks same-sex married couples are families, and the Census Bureau is just catching up with public opinion.”
When the unmarried partner category was added in 1990, the Census Bureau started collecting data on same-sex couples. All same-sex households were categorized as unmarried partners in the 2000 Census, even when couples reported themselves as spouses. “We’re trying to make changes that reflect what’s happening with American families,” said Rose Kreider, chief of the fertility and family statistics branch of the Census Bureau. “We’ve been working on it for some years, and we’re continuing to work on it to improve the measurement of American families and emerging family forms.”