LOS ANGELES, October 4, 2011 ( – The federal government inflated census figures for “married” same-sex households by over 160%, the U.S. Census Bureau announced September 27. Officials revised their count of same-sex couples who described themselves as “spouses” from 349,377 to 131,729. They also revised their count of same-sex unmarried-partner households from 552,620 to 514,735.

In total, just over one-half of one percent of households in the country were same-sex, slightly lower than the 2000 census found.

Officials said the overall numbers released this summer were inflated because of an “inconsistency in responses…that artificially inflated the number of same-sex couples.”

“When data were captured for these two questions on the 2010 census door-to-door form, the wrong box may have been checked for the sex of a small percentage of opposite-sex spouses and unmarried partners,” according to the agency. “Because the population of opposite-sex married couples is large and the population of same-sex married couples in particular is small, an error of this type artificially inflates the number of same-sex married partners.”

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The Census Bureau found that California had the most same-sex households, “married” and unmarried, of any state. In California, 0.726% of households were same-sex couples, lower than the 2000 census figure for the state.

The District of Columbia had the highest proportion of same-sex couples at 1.172%, followed by Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maine, and then, California.

The Census Bureau estimates that fewer than 50,000 official same-sex “marriages” have taken place in the U.S. California recorded the largest number of any state, an estimated 18,000. In Massachusetts, 44% of same-sex couples listed themselves as “married” and in Iowa, 33% did so. The census found “married” same-sex couples in every state.

The Obama administration directed the Census Bureau to include same-sex “marriages” and unions in the 2010 census. While the census has in the past collected volunteered data on same-sex “marriages,” the Obama administration abandoned the previous interpretation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act as prohibiting the release of such data.

The 2010 Census estimates were peer-reviewed by Gary Gates, a demographer with the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, by Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and by Megan Sweeney, professor of sociology at UCLA.



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