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Same-Sex Parents: A Statistical Snapshot

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey was the first to collect detailed demographic data on both married and unmarried same-sex couples nationally, including information on same-sex couples raising children. The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law analyzed that data, along with information from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey. The institute estimates that, as of 2013:

Related: Estimates Emerge on Number of Students With Same-Sex Parents

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Nearly 210,000 children under the age of 18—almost 145,000 of them school-age—lived in some 122,000 households with same-sex parents.

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A third of those children were being raised by married same-sex couples, and that proportion was even higher—just over half—in the District of Columbia and states that allowed same-sex marriage in 2013.

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Female same-sex couples accounted for more than three-quarters of such couples raising children.

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Same-sex couples were almost three times as likely as different-sex couples to be raising adopted or foster children.

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Racial or ethnic minorities accounted for more than a third of same-sex couples raising children.

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Those in same-sex couples raising children were about three years younger on average—38.6 years old—than individuals in different-sex couples raising children.

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Nearly a quarter of children being raised by same-sex couples were living in poverty.

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However, fewer than one in 10 of the children in married same-sex households were living in poverty. And married same-sex couples with children had significantly higher annual median household incomes than same-sex couples who were unmarried—$97,000 vs. $75,000—along with higher rates of home ownership.

Source: The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law | Design: Francis Sheehan

Vol. 34, Issue 29

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