Category Archives: Statistics

Marriage Reduces Likelihood of Child Poverty by 82 Percent

Heritage’s blog, The Foundry, recently shared an illuminating chart (see below) that demonstrates the connection between child poverty and being raised in single-mother households.

Today, one out of every four children lives with only his or her mother. Of those children in single-mother homes, 58 percent are impoverished. In contrast, as Heritage’s Robert Rector points out, marriage reduces the probability of child poverty by 82 percent. Growing up with a married father can have significant impact on a child’s economic, social, and psychological well-being.

“[R]edefining marriage further distances marriage from the needs of children and denies the importance of mothers and fathers. Redefining marriage rejects as a matter of policy the ideal that children need a mother and a father,” explains Heritage’s Ryan T. Anderson. “Redefining marriage diminishes the social pressures for husbands to remain with their wives and children, and for men and women to marry before having children,” he continues.

Read more.


Gallup: Highest Percentage of LGBTs Live in Washington D.C.

Is the LGBT movement "politically powerless"? The nation's capital -- home to politically powerful people -- has by far the highest percentage of people who identify as gay or lesbian, according to Gallup:

The percentage of U.S. adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) ranges from 1.7% in North Dakota to 5.1% in Hawaii and 10% in the District of Columbia, according to Gallup surveys conducted from June-December 2012. Residents in the District of Columbia were most likely to identify as LGBT (10%). Among states, the highest percentage was in Hawaii (5.1%) and the lowest in North Dakota (1.7%), but all states are within two percentage points of the nationwide average of 3.5%.

By The Numbers: Marriage Outperformed Romney in All 4 States

We've mentioned before that marriage fared better than the top of the GOP ticket in all four states that put the question to the people, here are the most recent figures:

Marriage vote:              Presidential race:

Maine 47.4%                 Romney 40.9%
Maryland 48.1%            Romney 36.6%
Minnesota 48.1%          Romney 45.2%
Washington 48.0%        Romney 42.3%

In other words, marriage outperformed the GOP ticket by:
6.5% in Maine
11.5% in Maryland
2.9% in Minnesota
5.7% in Washington

Marriage unites us more than party!

Latest Statistics on Illegitimate Births Still Show Rate Over 40%

Roger Clegg at The Corner:

Yesterday the federal government released its latest figures on births in the United States, including out-of-wedlock births. The numbers are very close to last year’s: 72.3 percent of non-Hispanic blacks are now born out-of-wedlock; 66.2 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives; 53.3 percent of Hispanics; 29.1 percent of non-Hispanic whites; and 17.2 percent of Asians/Pacific Islanders. That’s 40.7 percent overall: a disaster.

How Many Scientific Truths Must Be Unsayable?

Dan Rafter at the HRC blog takes issue with Maggie Gallagher quoting a study in the October issue of Journal of Marriage and Family which found that married opposite-sex couples in Britain are five times more stable than same-sex couples (cohabiting opposite-sex couples are twice as stable). The study also found:

"Compared to married couples, the dissolution rates for male and female same-sex cohabiters were seven and five times higher, respectively. Among cohabiters, the differences were smaller: The dissolution rate for male and female same-sex cohabiters was approximately double the rate for different-sex cohabiters."

Moreover, the author found no increase in stability between the 1958 and 1970 birth cohort.

These findings agree with the other literature I've seen about the relative stability and instability of same-sex vs. opposite-sex couples.

Rafter responds by calling Maggie's citation of the study an "insult to same-sex couples" which is aimed to "demonize" and "harm" them and implies a "insidious mission."

Rafter concludes this way (to make it easier to respond, I'm numbering his sentences):

[1] This is an insulting and flawed argument. [2] I am one of the many, many LGBT people in a stable, committed same-sex relationship, and my heterosexual parents are currently going through a divorce. [3] People put a great deal of time, commitment, and energy into forming meaningful relationships – regardless of whether they are same-sex or opposite-sex unions. [4] To sweepingly imply that one demographic is more prone to breakups – and to use that claim as a reason to deny an entire community of people basic rights such as marriage and the ability to start a family – is as offensive as it is inaccurate.

Let's take these in turn:

Sentence 1: Rafter's statement is not an argument, just an accusation.

Sentence 2: Rafter provides in evidence of his counter-position exactly 2 couples - him and his parents. This is anecdotal. I could just as easily say all the heterosexuals I know are stable and all the gay people I know are not, but this would not be an argument either.

Sentence 3: We can grant that many people put time and energy into forming relationships. But the question which the author of the Journal of Marriage and Family actually looked at is whether they are successful in doing so. The author argued that we one can observe significant differences between the various groups he studied. Rafter chooses to ignore this legitimate discussion.

Sentence 4: Gallagher (and the author of the journal article) didn't "sweepingly imply" anything. The author of the journal article conducted scientific research and provided evidence for his conclusions. If anyone is "sweepingly implying" it's clearly Rafter! Finally, Gallagher was very modest about what she actually concluded from the evidence. She explicitly said: "This of course cannot tell us how children fare on average when they are raised by stable same-sex couples, or whether gay marriage will significantly increase stability in same-sex couples." Does that sound like a "sweepingly implying" sentence? Hardly.

If Rafter wants to look at the evidence we do have of same-sex marital stability, we can look at it:

"Stockholm University’s study seems to confirm the American trend. In Norway, male same-sex marriages are 50 percent more likely to end in divorce than heterosexual marriages, and female same-sex marriages are an astonishing 167 percent more likely to be dissolved. In Sweden, the divorce risk for male-male partnerships is 50 percent higher than for heterosexual marriages, and the divorce risk for female partnerships is nearly double that for men."

If Rafter actually had conclusive proof for his positions he would state it. Instead he chose to attack Gallagher and the Journal of Marriage and Family. This does a disservice to reasonable debate, and it's notable considering how much time HRC spends accusing pro-marriage advocates of engaging in heated and empty rhetoric. Pot, meet kettle.

Rafter's posturing may please his readers at HRC, but fair-minded outside observers should take note of how both sides of this debate are actually conducting it.

Canada Admits They Overestimated Number of Same-Sex Married Couples


Statistics Canada has admitted that “there may be an overestimation” in the number of same-sex ‘married’ couples from the 2011 census, after the government agency mistakenly counted some same gender roommates as gay couples.

Stats Canada warned that the census data should be “used with caution.”

While same-sex couples — both ‘married’ and common law — accounted for merely 0.8% of all couples in 2011, the numbers showed same-sex ‘married’ couples nearly tripled: that is, until analyzers realized that many of the “couples” polled may have been migrant workers who were splitting rent with other migrant workers of the same gender and who both happened to be married, but not to each other.

Statistics Canada noted today that it may have overestimated the number of same-sex ‘married’ couples by 4,500.

“We observed that there was a possible over estimation of same-sex families,” said census manager Marc Hamel to The Globe and Mail. “The counts for some smaller communities seemed too high.”

Hamel noted that the number of ‘married’ same-sex couples seemed especially high in places like Alberta and Saskatchewan where rent sharers who left a wife back home could have been counted as a couple.

“We seem to observe that [trend] in more transient communities where we have a lot of temporary workers coming in. So it could be people living together, for example, and reporting each other as married, but not necessarily to each other.”

Australia's 2011 Census: Gay Couples Less than Half of One Percent

PinkNews UK:

Data from Australia’s 2011 census have been released today and show 33,714 gay couples, 1,338 of whom are married.

The number of same-sex relationships is equivalent to 0.48 per cent of the total number of couples recorded in the survey and has risen from 25,600 in 2006.

For the first time, gay couples had the option of recording themselves as married in the census, though Australia does not legally recognise them as such at the federal level.

Atlantic Blogger: "Americans Have No Idea How Few Gay People There Are"

Garance Franke-Ruta blogs for The Atlantic:

"...In surveys conducted in 2002 and 2011, pollsters at Gallup found that members of the American public massively overestimated how many people are gay or lesbian. In 2002, a quarter of those surveyed guessed upwards of a quarter of Americans were gay or lesbian (or "homosexual," the third option given). By 2011, that misperception had only grown, with more than a third of those surveyed now guessing that more than 25 percent of Americans are gay or lesbian. Women and young adults were most likely to provide high estimates, approximating that 30 percent of the population is gay. Overall, "U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25 percent of Americans are gay or lesbian," Gallup found. Only 4 percent of all those surveyed in 2011 and about 8 percent of those surveyed in 2002 correctly guessed that fewer than 5 percent of Americans identify as gay or lesbian.

... The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a gay and lesbian think tank, released a study in April 2011 estimating based on its research that just 1.7 percent of Americans between 18 and 44 identify as gay or lesbian, while another 1.8 percent -- predominantly women -- identify as bisexual. Far from underestimating the ranks of gay people because of homophobia, these figures included a substantial number of people who remained deeply closeted, such as a quarter of the bisexuals. ACenters for Disease Control and Prevention survey of women between 22 and 44 that questioned more than 13,500 respondents between 2006 and 2008 found very similar numbers: Only 1 percent of the women identified themselves as gay, while 4 percent identified as bisexual."

She concludes:

"One thing's for sure: it's hard to imagine the fact that so many think the country is more than a quarter gay or lesbian has no impact on our public policy."

Report: Gay Groups in Scotland Received 10x More Funding Than Church Groups

The UK Christian Institute:

Homosexual groups in Scotland have received nearly ten times as much Government funding as church groups over the past decade.

New figures reveal that since 2001-2, three homosexual lobby groups have received a total of £5.9m. However over the same period only £600,000 has gone to church groups.

Christian groups Solas and CARE for Scotland as well as a national newspaper criticised the news.

Census Shows Same-Sex Households Only Increased by 5,000 a Year Since 2000

Digging into the data behind the headlines of the recently revised-downward U.S. census figures on same-sex households reveal that they increased only a minuscule amount over the past 10 years:

The Census Bureau now says the 2010 Census found that there were 131,729 same-sex married couple households and 514,735 same-sex unmarried partner households in the United States--for a total of 646,464 same-sex-couple households.

In 2000, the number of same-sex households, as calculated by the 2000 Census, was 594,391. --CNSNews

In other words, only 52,073 more same-sex households over a period of 10 years, so 5,207 per year.

In the same time-span, the total U.S. population increased by over 27,000,000, or 2,700,000 a year.

Officials Admit U.S. Census Inflated Figures for Same-Sex Households by Over 160%

The Los Angeles Times reports that the U.S. Census Bureau, in their initial reports, vastly overestimated the number of same-sex households in the United States:

The 2010 census overestimated the number of households with same-sex married couples by more than 160%, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday.

The 2010 census first reported that there were 349,377 same-sex married-couple households and 552,620 same-sex unmarried-partner households across the country.

On Tuesday officials said they had revised the count to 131,729 same-sex married-couple[s] and 514,735 same-sex unmarried-partner households.

In other words, the actual number of same-sex households in America is tiny - only 0.773%.

Of course, these revised national numbers also change the landscape on the state level.

In Minnesota for instance, the StarTribune reports:

The original census data counted 4,325 same-sex couples who identified themselves as married and living together in Minnesota -- three times higher than the revised figure [~1,300]. The original census data also counted 13,718 same-sex couples living together in Minnesota, regardless of marital status, while the revised estimate is now only 10,207.

And in New Jersey, the Star-Ledger reports:

"...the U.S. Census Bureau said a statistical snafu inflated earlier totals, and there are actually fewer gay and lesbian couples living together in the Garden State than previously estimated.

The Census now says there were 16,875 same-sex couples living together in 2010, down from original estimate of 24,112 released two months ago. Notably, the new figures drop the number of married same-sex couples living together in New Jersey to 4,447 down from nearly 11,000."

Or, take a look at California, via the Sacramento Bee:

In California, the Census Bureau said, 0.726 percent of households are same-sex couples, markedly lower than the 2000 census figure for the state.

Again, less than one percent.

Why The Massachusetts Divorce Rate is Low: Few Get Married

CitizenLink reports:

For the first time in 20 years, the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Center for Health Statistics has released a detailed, state-by-state look at marriage rates nationwide.

... The statistics reflected regional differences. For instance, divorce rates are higher than the national average in the Southeast (10.2 per 1,000 men and 11.1 per 1,000 women) because marriage rates are higher there, and lower in the Northeast (7.2 for men and 7.5 for women) because people there tend to marry at older ages and less often.

Gallup Poll: Proportion of Americans Who Believe People are "Born Gay" Flatlined in 2001

Public opinion on whether or not people are "born gay" remains largely unchanged since 2001, Gallup reports:

Forty-two percent say being gay or lesbian is "due to factors such as upbringing and environment," while 40% believe it is "something a person is born with."

Dr. Pat Fagan's 2011 Family Trends Report

Dr. Patrick Fagan and the Marriage and Religion Research Institute have released their 2011 report which tracks the behaviors of the American Family in the five major institutions of society (family, church, school, marketplace and government).

This chart, which shows the declining marriage rate in the U.S., is one of dozens featured in the 200+ page report:

Source: Marriage and Religion Resource Institute (

Insights into Age of Marriage and Divorce Rates in the Church

From FOF's Family Insight:

1) Age of Marriage - There's lots of debate about what the best age for men and women to marry. What ages at marriage increase and decrease marital happiness and stability? Good research offers some consistent answers and we provide a quick, smart overview summary here.

2) Divorce Rates in the Church – Is the divorce rate as high in the church as in the general population? Many Christian leaders cite that stat widely, but it’s not quite true. Here we look at strong data from leading sociologists of family and religion that provide an informed view. Yes, serious practice of faith does make a difference in marital stability! See the summary here.