www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-gay-couple-estimates-20110927,0,6853810.story

baltimoresun.com

Census Bureau lowers number of gay couples, in corrected data

Human error contributed to inflated number of same-sex couples

By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun

9:39 PM EDT, September 27, 2011

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The number of same-sex couples in Maryland and throughout the country is lower than the U.S. Census Bureau previously said, the agency announced Tuesday.

In August, based on the 2010 census, the agency said Maryland had about 17,000 same-sex couples. The revised estimate is roughly 12,500.

The numbers originally reported for states across the U.S. were inflated mainly because of human error.

For a small percentage of opposite-sex couples, census workers going door-to-door may have checked the wrong box for a person's sex, mistaking opposite-sex couples as a same-sex couples. Because there are few same-sex couples, these incorrect checkmarks had a outsized affect on the same-sex statistics.

The Census Bureau on Tuesday also grouped the number of same-sex couples as "spouses" and "unmarried partners." About 2,300 of Maryland's same-sex couples consider themselves spouses.

A new estimate of the number of same-sex couples living in the state during the 2000 census were also released. Using the revised estimates, the figures show a 78 percent increase in the number of same-sex couples living in Maryland over the decade.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

twitter.com/stevekilar