Legally married gay couples won’t show up as such in the official once-a-decade tally in 2010, Census bureau representatives said Thursday.
Citing “statistical problems related to the development of the 2010 census form and the evolving legal state of same-sex relationships,” Census officials have concluded that including married gay couples in the overall snapshot of household marital status could yield an inaccurate number.
Instead, same-sex married couples will be added into the category for unmarried partners, just as they were for the 2000 census.
Because same-sex marriages were not legal in any U.S. state a decade ago, the 2010 census is the first for which the bureau has wrestled with how to count married same-sex couples. In June, at the direction of the White House, census officials announced that they would make the attempt, reversing an earlier decision made under the Bush administration.
The agency plans to make the data on same-sex couples who described themselves as married available on a state-by-state basis.