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6 Million Americans Have LGBT Parents: Report

A new report from the Williams Institute reveals that as many as 6 million American adults and children have LGBT parents. That’s not an insignificant number and one that shouldn’t be ignored by policymakers.

Other findings from the report show that LGBT parents are an ethnically and racially diverse group. Many struggle economically, contrary to stereotypes of the ‘gayby boom’ we often see in the media.

Some interesting points from the data:

  • More queer women than men are raising kids. Almost half of all LGBT female couples under 50 are raising kids. Among queer men, that number drops to 20 percent.
  • Right now in the US, more than 125,000 same-sex couples are raising more than 220,000 children under the age of 18.
  • LGBT couples are four times more likely than straight parents to be raising adopted children. Altogether, more than 22,000 adopted kids have LGBT parents.
  • Queer people are more than six times more likely to be raising foster children.
  • People of color make up 39 percent of same-sex parents.
  • Fully half of all kids living with a same-sex parent are kids of color.
  • The median annual household income of same-sex couples with kids is much lower than that of opposite-sex couples with kids. Two-adult households with a same-sex couple at the helm are twice as likely as straight couples to be living near the poverty line. Single LGBT parents are three times more likely than straight single parents to be living near the poverty line.

The map below shows the geographic distribution of LGBT parents across the country. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are gay parents all across the country. What does suprise, though, is the states with the highest concentration of gay parents: Mississippi (26%), Wyoming (25%), Alaska (23%), Idaho (22%) and Montana (22%). None of those states have legal gay marriage.

US map showing geographic distribution of LGBT parents
Credit: The Williams Institute

The report’s author, Gary J. Gates, says the research “highlight[s] the diversity and prevalence of LGBT parents and their children in the U.S. The data show that LGBT families are clearly part of modern American life.”

You can read the full report here.

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