WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Census Bureau has reported that same-sex married couples have a higher median household income than opposite-sex married couples, but their poverty rates are not significantly different, according to 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) findings released on Sept. 17.
The ACS asked respondents about their relationship to the householder (person who rents or owns a home and whose name is on the deed/lease). Until last year, respondents could only identify themselves as a spouse or an unmarried partner (sometimes referred to as cohabiting couple).
Categories for the ACS were labeled opposite-sex and same-sex with regard to relationships.
Data found that same-sex married couples accounted for just 1.0 percent of married-couple households in the U.S., partly due to fewer same-sex relationships overall, which were also low among unmarried partners (5.1 percent). Lower marriage rates among same-sex households also contribute, showing that 88 percent of opposite-sex- and 58 percent of same-sex-couple
households were married. Among same-sex married-couple households, 47 percent were male couples and 53 percent were female couples.
With regard to household income and poverty status, overall, same-sex married couples had a higher median household income than opposite-sex married couples at $107,200 and $96,930, respectively.
Same-sex female married couples had a lower median household income than same-sex male married couples, $95,720 and $123,600, respectively.
Same-sex male married couples had a higher income than opposite-sex married couples but the difference in median household income between opposite-sex and female same-sex married couples was not statistically significant.
Of the 1.1 million same-sex couples surveyed, 14.7 percent had at least one child under18 in their household, compared with 37.8 percent of opposite-sex couples, according to the Current Population Survey.
Data showed that same-sex couples has fewer children than those of opposite-sex couples, many with only one child.
Family dynamics in today’s society are not like they were a generation ago. Families can be made up of both same-sex and opposite-sex single, unmarried, married, divorced and separated units. Some have children, some do not. Children can be biological, stepchildren, fostered or adopted.
The ACS data collected reported that same-sex parents were more likely to be female. And same-sex couples were more likely than opposite-sex couples to adopt a child and/or foster children.