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The 'tremendous increase' in same-sex households: By the numbers
New census data show the remarkable degree to which gay marriage and same-sex unions have "come out" since 2000
A same sex couple, holding their four-month-old baby, exchange wedding vows at City Hall in San Francisco in 2004: In terms of census representation, same-sex households have increased by 80 percent since 2000.
A same sex couple, holding their four-month-old baby, exchange wedding vows at City Hall in San Francisco in 2004: In terms of census representation, same-sex households have increased by 80 percent since 2000.
Kim Kulish/Corbis
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roponents of legal recognition for same-sex partnerships had a big decade between 2000 and 2010, and new U.S. Census Bureau figures reflect that shift. The 2010 census was the first to allow gay couples to list themselves as married — a status that wasn't legally available before 2004 — but the number of recorded same-sex households of all sorts surged, according to initial estimates released in August. While the bureau's new "preferred estimate" of gay households released Tuesday marks a sizable drop from those August numbers, it's still a "tremendous increase" over previous figures with wide-ranging implications, says Brian Moulton at the Human Rights Campaign. These gay couples aren't "suddenly popping out of nowhere," either, he adds. The new data reflect the "degree people feel comfortable coming out on the census form." Here's a look at the numbers:

646,464
Number of households headed by a same-sex couple in 2010

901,997
Number of same-sex households in the Census Bureau's initial August estimate 

358,390
Number of same-sex households in 2000 Census

80
Percentage increase in same-sex households from 2000 to 2010

6
Number of states (including Washington, D.C.) that allowed gay marriage in 2010

0
Number of states that allowed gay marriage in 2000

131,729
Number of same-sex households where the gay couple says they're married

70
Percentage of those couples who are legally married, according to Williams Institute estimates

64,223
Number of married households where the gay couple is male (49 percent)

67,506
Number of married households where the gay couple is female (51 percent)

514,735
Number of same-sex households where the gay couple is not married

0.55
Percentage of U.S. households headed by gay couples

182
Number of opposite-sex households per every 1 same-sex household

44
Percentage of Massachusetts same-sex households where gay couple is legally married

10.3
Percentage of Maine same-sex households where gay couple is legally married

559
Number of same-sex households in North Dakota

4,822
Number of same-sex households in Washington, D.C.

98,153
Number of same-sex households in California

Sources: Businessweek, CNN, Contra Costa Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, AP

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