Over 1.2 million same-sex couple households exist within the United States, according to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The data also showed that there are more married same-sex couples living in the U.S. than ever before, which makes sense considering that marriage equality was only legalized nationwide in 2015.
The data comes from the American Community Survey (ACS), an annual survey sent to nearly 3.5 million households across the nation. The ACS collects demographic information to provide a comprehensive, ongoing view of the U.S. public.
ACS data shows that the number of same-sex households in the U.S. has steadily increased from approximately 540,000 in 2008 to 980,000 in 2019, and then to 1.2 million in 2021 – a more than 122 percent increase from 2008 to 2021.
From 2008 to 2015, ACS data showed that the number of households with unmarried same-sex couples in the U.S. was consistently higher than the number of households with married same-sex couples. This is hardly surprising considering that only 16 states had legalized same-sex marriage before 2014.
However, every year since 2016, the ACS has reported the number of households with married same-sex couples has surpassed the number of households with unmarried same-sex couples.
In 2021, the ACS counted around 500,000 households of unmarried same-sex couples. Interestingly, this is about the same number as was counted by the ACS in 2013. Also in 2021, the ACS counted over 700,000 households with married same-sex couples in the U.S. — an all-time high.
ACS data also showed that 31.6 percent of same-sex married couples were interracial, compared to just 18.4 percent of married couples, according to The Washington Blade.
While 29.6 percent of unmarried same-sex couples both had bachelor’s degrees, only 18.1 percent of unmarried opposite-sex couples held the same degrees.
The data also showed that while the average age of same-sex married couples was 48.9 years, the average age of opposite-sex married couples was 52.8 years. Comparatively, the average age of same-sex unmarried couples was 42 years while the average age of opposite-sex unmarried couples was 39.9 years.