Story at a glance
- There were 1.2 million same-sex households in 2021, up from about 500,000 in 2008
- The states with the highest number of same-sex households are Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Delaware, Oregon, California, Florida and New York
- Congress is poised to pass legislation extending federal protection of the right to same-sex marriage
The number of same-sex households in the U.S. surpassed 1 million for the first time, according to new census data.
There were about 1.2 million same-sex households in 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. About 710,000 of those households were married, while 500,000 were unmarried.
The percent of same-sex households included in the American household population as a whole increased to nearly 1 percent across the country.
Over the years, the number of same-sex households in the U.S. has steadily increased, with about 540,000 reported in 2008. And in 2019, the last year the Census reported data, there were about 980,000 same-sex households in the country.
The results are taken from the annual American Community Survey, a leading resource for detailed population and household estimates from the Census Bureau.
States with the highest number of same-sex households include Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Delaware, Oregon, California, Florida and New York, all of which include more than 1 percent of same-sex households in the total household population.
Washington, D.C., reported about 2.5 percent of its population as living in a same-sex household, while California has the most same-sex households at 163,964.
There were about 631,900 female same-sex households and 577,600 male same-sex households, while the average age for both was 46 years old.
A majority in the survey identified as white, while 12 percent identified as two or more races and 8 percent as Black.
The news comes as Congress is poised to protect the right to same-sex marriage for the first time.
The Senate passed a bipartisan bill this week codifying protections afforded in the 2015 Supreme Court ruling Obergefell v. Hodges, which some feared was in danger after the court’s conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade this summer.
The Respect for Marriage Act now heads to the House, which the lower chamber is expected to pass next week to send the legislation to President Biden’s desk.