Census figures show a dramatic increase in the number of same-sex couples living in the suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C., though the rise may be mostly attributed to more gays and lesbians reporting their relationships in the once-a-decade survey.
Data from the 2010 Census released Thursday shows that about 17,000 same-sex couples live in Maryland, a 51% increase over 2000 figures. Gay couples in Virginia total 20,540, a 49% increase (figures on Washington, D.C., will be released next week). Neighborhoods in Takoma Park, Md., and Rosslyn and Alexandria, Va., show some of the
highest numbers of gay and lesbian couples in the D.C. metro
"The bulk of the change is people acknowledging it," Williams Institute demographer Gary Gates toldThe Washington Post. "Indicating your relationship on a census form is one way of suggesting people are more open about it. But it doesn't necessarily mean they're terribly out in their community."
The Williams Institute, which has been releasing data on same-sex couples throughout the summer in weekly installments, will also post its reports Thursday on Arkansas, Iowa, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Texas.
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