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UTAH SEPTEMBER 2010

Jody L. Herman, Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow


Christy Mallory, Research Fellow Household (With Children) Incomes
M.V. Lee Badgett, Research Director
Gary J. Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar $ 82,383
$ 68,400
$ 59,120 $ 57,203

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, this report provides
demographic and economic information about same-sex couples
and same-sex couples raising children in Utah. We compare same-
sex “unmarried partners,” which the Census Bureau defines as an
unmarried couple who “shares living quarters and has a close
personal relationship,” to different-sex married couples in Utah. Median Mean
This report uses recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau Same-Sex M arried
to update a previous Williams Institute report based on data
primarily from Census 2000.1

In many ways, the more than 3,800 same-sex couples living in Utah in 2008 are similar to married couples.
According to the American Community Survey [ACS], they live throughout the state, are racially and ethnically
diverse, have partners who depend upon one another financially, and actively participate in Utah’s economy.2 ACS
data also show that 30% of same-sex couples in Utah are raising children. However, same-sex couples with children
have fewer economic resources to provide for their families than married parents: they have lower household
incomes and lower rates of homeownership.

SAME-SEX COUPLES AND THE LGB POPULATION  Reliable data on the number of same-sex couples
IN UTAH in each of Utah’s 29 counties are not available;
however, over half of Utah’s same-sex couples live
 In 2008, there were 3,861 same-sex couples in in Salt Lake County, according to the ACS.6
Utah.3
 Utah’s same-sex couples are racially and ethnically
 As of 2008, we estimate that there were between diverse: 11.4% of individuals in same-sex couples
47,000 and 63,000 lesbian, gay, and bisexual are nonwhite in Utah.
people (single and coupled) living in Utah.4
PEOPLE IN SAME-SEX COUPLES ARE ACTIVELY
ENGAGED IN THE STATE ECONOMY
INDIVIDUALS IN SAME-SEX COUPLES ARE
DEMOGRAPHICALLY AND GEOGRAPHICALLY  Individuals in same-sex couples in Utah are
DIVERSE significantly more likely to be employed than
married individuals: 86% of individuals in same-
 There are more female same-sex couples (58%) sex couples are employed, compared to 68% of
than male same-sex couples (42%) in Utah.5 married individuals.

 Individuals in same-sex couples are, on average, 1


41 years old, and significantly younger than
individuals in married couples (46 years old) in
Utah.

THE WILLIAMS INSTITUTE | CENSUS SNAPSHOT | UTAH | SEPTEMBER 2010


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 Contrary to a popular stereotype, the annual  The average income gap between same-sex
earnings of men in same-sex couples in Utah are partners in Utah is $26,563, compared to $38,207
less than those of married men. On average, men in for married spouses.
same-sex couples in Utah earn $42,938 each year
(with a median of $36,000), significantly less than  4% of same-sex couples in Utah have at least one
$56,569 for married men (with a median of partner who is age 65 or older, compared to 16% of
$45,000). married couples.

 Women in same-sex couples in Utah earn an SAME-SEX COUPLES IN UTAH HAVE HIGHER
average of $36,821 per year (with a median of HOUSEHOLD INCOMES BUT LOWER RATES OF
$35,000), more than married women, whose HOMEOWNERSHIP THAN MARRIED COUPLES
earnings average $26,225 (with a median of
$20,900). Women in same-sex couples earn less  The median income of same-sex couple households
than married men as well as men in same-sex in Utah is $71,700, compared to $67,000 for married
couples. couples. The average household income of same-sex
couples is $84,621, compared to $81,853 for
Average Individual Earnings married couples.
$ 56,569

Household Incomes
$ 42,938
$ 36,821 $84,621 $81,853

$71,700
$ 26,225 $67,000

Men Women
Same-Sex M arried

Median Mean
 Individuals in same-sex and married couples in Utah Same-Sex Married
are most likely to work in the private sector: 71% of
individuals in same-sex couples and 68% of married
couples work in the private sector; 21% of  Same-sex couples are less likely than married
individuals in same-sex couples work in the public couples to own their homes: 71% of same-sex
sector, compared to 18% of married individuals; and couples in Utah own their home, compared to 83%
8% of individuals in same-sex couples are self- of married couples.
employed, compared to 13% of married individuals.
SAME-SEX COUPLES ARE RAISING CHILDREN IN
 Individuals in same-sex couples are significantly UTAH, YET WITH FEWER ECONOMIC RESOURCES
more likely to have a college degree: 41% of THAN MARRIED PARENTS
individuals in same-sex couples, and 32% of married
individuals have earned a college degree.  30% of same-sex couples in Utah are raising
children under the age of 18.
 Despite the military’s historic policies of excluding
gay men and lesbians from service, individuals in  As of 2008, an estimated 2,900 of Utah’s children
same-sex couples have served in the military: 4% of are living in households headed by same-sex
individuals in same-sex couples are veterans, couples.7
compared to 10% of married individuals.
 In Utah, same-sex couples with children under 18 in
SAME-SEX PARTNERS IN UTAH DEPEND UPON the home have, on average, 2.5 children. Married
ONE ANOTHER IN WAYS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO couples with children under 18 in the home have, on
MARRIED COUPLES average, 2.3 children.

 Couples in which one partner does not work or  Roughly 2% of Utah’s adopted children (or 367
earns significantly less than the other partner may children) live with a lesbian or gay parent.8
indicate financial interdependence. Twenty-one
percent of same-sex couples have only one wage  20% of Utah’s same-sex parents have one wage
earner, compared to 36% of married couples. earner, compared to 43% of married parents.

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 Same-sex parents have fewer financial resources Household (With Children) Incomes
to support their children than married parents in
Utah. The median household income of same-sex $82,383
couples with children is $59,120, or 13% lower $68,400
than that of married parents ($68,400). The $59,120 $57,203
average household income of same-sex couples
with children is $57,203, significantly less than
$82,383 for married parents.

 While 50% of same-sex couples with children own


their home, a significantly larger percentage of
married parents (81%) own their home. Median Mean
Same-Sex Married

CONCLUSION
Household (With Children) Incomes

Census data provide valuable information about gay and lesbian couples in Utah. While in many$79,453
respects Utah’s
same-sex couples look like married couples, same-sex couples with children have fewer $72,143
economic resources to
provide for their families than married parents and lower rates of homeownership.
$57,040
$60,940

Table One: Characteristics of individuals in couples Table Two: Characteristics of couples


Same-Sex Married Same-Sex Married
9 Median Mean
Race/Ethnicity At least one partner 65 or older* 3.9% 15.7%
Same-Sex Married
White 88.6% 87.1% Average household income $84,621 $81,853
Black 1.0% 0.6%
Median household income $71,000 $67,000
Hispanic 6.8% 8.4%
Average income gap* $26,563 $38,207
Asian 0.6% 0.6%
Single wage earner* 20.1% 36%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 3% 2.6%
Homeownership* 71.1% 82.5%
Other 0% 0.7%
Percent with children under 18* 30.4% 54.6%
Average age* 40.7 45.6 * Difference significant at the 5% level or better (two-tailed tests).
^ Difference significant at the 10% level or better.
Percent with college degree or better* 41.1% 31.2%
Percent employed* 85.8% 68.2%
Employment 9 Table Three: Characteristics of couples with children
Same-Sex Married
Private employer 71% 68% parents parents
Public employer 21.2% 18.4% Average number of children
under 18 in the household 2.5 2.3
Self-employed* 7.9% 13.5%
Single wage earner
Veteran status* 4.1% 10.4% (parents) 19.9% 42.9%
Average individual salary Average household income
(parents)* $57,203 $82,383
Men* $42,937 $56,569
Median household income
Women* $36,821 $26,225 (parents) $59,120 $68,400
Median individual salary Homeownership
(parents)* 50.3% 80.8%
Men $36,000 $45,000 * Difference significant at the 5% level or better.
Women $35,000 $20,900 ^ Difference significant at the 10% level or better.
* Difference significant at the 5% level or better.
^ Difference significant at the 10% level or better.

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About the Authors

Jody L. Herman is the Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law.
Ph.D, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, The George Washington University.

Christy Mallory is a Research Fellow at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. J.D. UCLA School of Law;
B.A., magna cum laude, University of Arizona.

M.V. Lee Badgett is Research Director at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, and Director of the
Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is also on
the faculty of the Department of Economics. Ph.D UC Berkeley. She studies family policy and employment
discrimination related to sexual orientation.

Gary J. Gates is the Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. Ph.D
Carnegie Mellon. He studies the demographic and economic characteristics of the lesbian and gay population.

1
Adam P. Romero, Clifford J. Rosky, M.V. Lee Badgett & Gary J. Gates, the Williams Institute, Census Snapshot:
Utah (Jan. 2008), available at http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/publications/UtahCensusSnapshot.pdf.
2
Unless otherwise noted in endnotes, we calculate the demographic characteristics from the 2006-2008 ACS Public
Use Microdata Sample available from the U.S. Census Bureau. For a detailed discussion of the methodology used in
identifying same-sex couples for this report, see Gary J. Gates & Michael D. Steinberger, the Williams Institute,
Same-sex Unmarried Partner Couples in the American Community Survey: The Role of Misreporting, Miscoding and
Misallocation.
3
U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 American Community Survey, Unmarried Partner Households by Sex of Partners,
B11009.
4
This range was computed by multiplying the percentage of the country’s same-sex couples that live in Utah by the
estimated number of LGB people in the country (3%-4% of the adult U.S. population). ACS 2008 data were used
to estimate the number of same-sex couples in the country and the adult population of the U.S. (U.S. Census
Bureau, 2008 American Community Survey, Universe: Population 18 Years and Over: Total, B15001). The 3%-4%
range is based on findings from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and the 2008 General Social Survey
(See Gary J. Gates, the Williams Institute, Same-sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Population: New
Estimates from the American Community Survey, p. 11, apx. 1 (Oct. 2006), available at
http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/publications/SameSexCouplesandGLBpopACS.pdf; Gary J. Gates, the
Williams Institute, Sexual Minorities in the 2008 General Social Survey: Coming Out and Demographic
Characteristics, p. i (Sept. 2010).)
5
U.S. Census Bureau, supra note 3.
6
U.S. Census Bureau, supra note 3.
7
U.S. Census Bureau, supra note 3.
8
Computed by multiplying the number of same-sex couples times the percent of same-sex couples with children
times the average number of children under 18 in the household.
9
Gary J. Gates, M.V. Lee Badgett, Kate Chambers, & Jennifer Macomber, The Williams Institute & The Urban
Institute, Adoption and Foster Care by Gay and Lesbian Parents in the United States (2007), available at
http://www.law.ucla.edu/Williamsinstitute/publications/Policy-Adoption-index.html.
10
Due to rounding, percent may not add to 100.

For more information, contact:


The Williams Institute
UCLA School of Law
Box 951476
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
T (310)267-4382
F (310)825-7270
williamsinstitute@law.ucla.edu
www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute

THE WILLIAMS INSTITUTE | CENSUS SNAPSHOT | UTAH | SEPTEMBER 2010 4