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Census Overestimated ‘Same-Sex’ Households

From some pickers of nits at the Chicago Tribune:

Census Bureau backtracks on number of same-sex households

By William Mullen
September 27, 2011

Mistakes made on some 2010 census forms led the U.S. Census Bureau to report an "artificially inflated" number of same-sex households in August, census officials said Tuesday.

While the Census Bureau reported 901,997 same-sex households nationally in August, new calculations of the 2010 census indicate there are 648,464 such households.

They were only off by 39%. But who’s counting? It’s not like it’s a census or anything.

Besides, if you don’t jack up the numbers your special interest group might not get all the federal benefits it’s due.

In Illinois, the same-sex household total was revised downward from 32,469 to 23,049. The revised state number is less than 1 percent more than the 22,887 figure reported in the 2000 census. Using the original census figures, the Tribune in August reported the statewide increase was 40 percent.

"What went wrong is something that we have known about for some time," said UCLA School of Law demographer Gary Gates, whom the census called in to review the revised figures for accuracy.

Unclear census forms led heterosexual couples in some cases to check boxes identifying themselves as same-sex couples, Gates said

Couples probably check the box thinking it is is asking if they have ‘some sex.’ (Newlyweds, anyway.)

"As scientists, we noticed the inconsistency and developed the revised estimates to provide a more accurate portrait of the number of same-sex couples," Robert Graves, director of the Census Bureau, said in a statement.

‘Census scientists’ sound a lot like ‘global warming scientists.’

Which raises the question, why are the Census Bureau even ‘estimating’ in the first place? We thought the idea of a census was to actually count heads. (Or whatever.)

Gates said similar mistakes may have been made in 2000.

"In August, the figures showed the increase nationally in same-sex households to be in the neighborhood of 50 percent, and I really think that increase is probably about right if we had corrected figures for the 2000 census too," he said

Too late. They’ve already got their federal grants.

By the way, if two maiden aunts live together, does the government count them as a same sex household?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 29th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Census Overestimated ‘Same-Sex’ Households”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    (long, complicated and foul Chinese curse) … now the Federal Government can’t even count to potato?

  2. P. Aaron says:

    Dems looking for more ‘votes-voters’?

  3. proreason says:

    how is the Obamy household supposed to be classified?

    “fingers’ crossed sex” ?
    “no sex” ?
    “opposite sex technically” ?
    “sex in a test tube” ?
    “don’t ask don’t tell” ?

  4. Rusty Shackleford says:

    When Michelle Obama was pregnant, perhaps her biggest frustration was trying to figure out if the kid was hers.


  5. bobdog says:

    No, I can understand the confusion.

    “Same Sex?” just means “Sex unchanged from last census?” Seems to me if they wanted to know how many people had sex change operations, they could have just asked.

  6. Mithrandir says:

    Government Excuse: “Oh, we counted bored housewives who complained about having the SAME SEX night after night.”

    Another blow to the 10% Society. It appears that 1.2 million gay people live together……out of 310 million. But I am sure there are 29.8 million more gay people that they haven’t counted accurately yet…..maybe even more than that!

  7. Right of the People says:

    This is what happens when you let ACORN help with the census.

  8. Anonymoose says:

    “There are something like 60 million different-sex (heterosexual) couples in the U.S., and if five or six per thousand make a mistake….”

    So where is this mythical 10% of the population being gay? The very highest percentage (DC) is only 1.93.

    However, I remember how vague the form was:


    Here’s the only questions they asked:

    How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
    Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?
    What is your telephone number?
    What is Person 1’s sex?
    What is Person 1’s age and Date of Birth?
    Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?
    What is Person 1’s race?
    Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?

    And it repeats for Person 2, Person 3, etc. I don’t see how anyone can “mistakenly” identify as a same-sex couple as there’s no way to specify who is connected to who, it’s all inferred. How do they tell if a straight person is married or single? Or just living with someone? Since even in the states where they can “marry” gays don’t always take the same last name, how can they tell when two guys in the same house are a gay couple, relatives, just college roommates? It’s all very strange.

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