Improving Measurement of Same-Sex Couples

Daphne A. Lofquist, U.S. Census Bureau
Jamie Lewis, U.S. Census Bureau

Since the latter half of the 20th century, marital and household relationships in the U.S. have become more complex. Important shifts in American family life include a growth in cohabiting couples and greater recognition of same-sex couples. Since 2003, 13 states and DC have passed laws recognizing same-sex marriage. Since same-sex marital and nonmarital relationships are receiving greater recognition, researchers have started to focus on how same-sex couples report their relationship and marital status on demographic surveys. Prior research shows that improvements in relationship measurement are needed. In the proposed paper, we review four research projects aimed at further enhancing the measurement of same-sex couples. These research projects— ACS-Questionnaire Design Test, AHS, SIPP-Event History Calendar, and administrative linkage—will provide an update on the quantitative testing and research the Census Bureau is conducting as we work toward our goal to produce high-quality estimates of same-sex couples.

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Presented in Session 106: LGBTQ Population in Families and Households