New Estimates of Same-Sex Couple Households from the American Community Survey

Martin O'Connell, U.S. Census Bureau
Daphne A. Lofquist, U.S. Census Bureau
Tavia Simmons, U.S. Census Bureau
Terry Lugaila, U.S. Census Bureau

Estimates of same-sex couples from surveys may be sensitive to the format design of the questionnaire. Changes were made to the 2008 American Community Survey (ACS) questionnaire reflecting the addition of questions and the desire to make the overall design of the survey more consistent with the 2010 Census. This resulted in changes to the format and layout of the questionnaire. Technological improvements were also made to the processing systems used in the data collection phase. We believe a latent effect of these design and processing changes was to produce a decline in the estimated number of couples who reported themselves as same-sex spouses between 2007 and 2008 but by doing so, have improved the estimates of same-sex couple households. This paper will evaluate the impact of these changes and examine the potential effect of these changes on overall estimates and characteristics of same-sex couples between 2007 and 2008.

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Presented in Session 165: New Data on Same- and Different-Sex Unions: Issues and Estimates