Study: Number of Gay Couples in Utah Increasing

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A recent study conducted by the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA, has determined that the number of reported gay couples in Utah have increased by over one thousand in the last five years.

Using census data researchers at the Institute determined that there were 4,307 same-sex couples living in Utah as of 2005 up from 3,370 in 2000, the first time the US census allowed gave the option of recording same-sex unmarried partners. According to the Institute, the substantial increase “likely reflects same-sex couples’ growing willingness to disclose their partnerships on government surveys.” Although the national Census has yet to ask respondents about sexual orientation, the study estimated that there were 53,832 gay, lesbian or bisexual residents living in Utah.

The United States Census is taken every 10 years.

In a five page report released on the Institute’s Web site study authors Adam P. Romero, Clifford J. Rosky, M.V. Lee Badgett and Gary J. Gates reported several more findings about gay and lesbian couples in Utah. According to them, same-sex couples can be found in every county in the state from 1,964 reported households in Salt Lake County to just one each in sparsely populated Daggett and Wayne Counties. Fifty-one percent were estimated to be female couples. They also appear to be more ethnically diverse (16 percent of same-sex couples are nonwhite versus 11 percent of married couples), more likely to have a college degree and significantly less likely to be home owners.

The study also found that more than 1,200 children are being raised by gay or lesbian parents, with 19 percent of these couples raising children under age 18. Researchers also said that roughly two percent of the state’s adopted children (or 367) live with a gay or lesbian parent.

The study also defied the stereotype that same-sex couples earn more than their heterosexual counterparts. Researchers found that men in same-sex couples, on average, earn $37,111 per year, a significant shortfall from the average $45,414 brought home by married men. Interestingly, the salaries for women in same-sex couples were significantly higher than they were for married women – $27,752 verses $20,654.

To view the complete study, visit

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