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Ohio ranks as a top 10 state for the most same-sex couple households, new census estimates show

by Nov 24, 2022Local News, Social Events

Ohio continues to rank 8th in the country for the most same-sex couples living together, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2021, 36,819 same-sex couples lived together, about 0.8% of the state’s total population. This was an increase of 5,333 from 2019, the last time this data was collected. It included 15,387 more couples than in 2011, a 72% increase over a decade.

The increase from 2019 to 2021 is also the largest increase between any two years during the same period.

However, it has not been a steady increase. Twice in the last 10 years, same-sex households in the state decreased, first in 2012 (from 21,432 homes to 20,251) and then in 2019 (32,863 to 31,486).

California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Georgia are the seven other states with a higher number of same-sex households than Ohio, with California having a total of 163,964 homes.

The picture is slightly different regarding the percentage of same-sex households in a state. The District of Columbia comes out on top, with 2.5% of the population living in same-sex households. This is followed by Hawaii, Delaware, Oregon, Massachusetts, California, Florida, New York, Connecticut and Washington, with more than 1% of the state’s households reporting same-sex living situations.

Last year was the first time the number of same-sex couple households exceeded 1 million in the country, according to the census. Of them, about 710,000 of them were married, and 500,000 were unmarried.

The average age of same-sex married couples was 48.9 years, lower than opposite-sex married couples (52.8 years). However, the average age of same-sex unmarried couples was 42 years, higher than opposite-sex unmarried couples (39.9 years).

More unmarried, same-sex households had at least one partner with a bachelor’s degree (29.6%) than their opposite-sex counterparts (18,1%). However, female same-sex couple households only had a median income of ($92,470) compared to male same-sex households ($116,800.)

The data is collected by the American Community Survey, which does not identify all couples living together, as it only contains information about household members in relation to the head of the household. The option for identifying opposite or same-sex partners on the survey first appeared on the 2019 questionnaire.

Last week, the U.S. Senate voted to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, which would protect same-sex marriages with religious freedom exemptions. The bipartisan bill was partly a response to the Supreme Court ruling reversing abortion protections under Roe v. Wade, looking to codify marriage rights. The bill still must pass a final Senate vote and another vote in the House of Representatives before President Biden can sign it into law.

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Same-sex households in Ohio rose 72% over last decade

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