Stay tuned for more in the Star Tribune on this, but the U.S. Census today has acknowledged overestimates in the number of same-sex partners living together in households. The number of same-sex couples living together in the U.S. was estimated at 901,997 in the 2010 Census, but an analysis of the data suggests the actual number of couples was closer to 646,464. (That is much closer to the recent estimate in the 2010 American Community Survey, which suggested 593,324 same-sex couples in the nation.) The analyzed 2010 Census estimate is 28 percent lower than the raw 2010 Census figures.
In a press event this afternoon, a Census official blamed the errors on problems with the questionnaires that were completed in face-to-face visits by Census workers -- compared to questionnaires completed by mail. An analysis of Census responses found cases in which supposed same-sex couples had names that were highly likely to be male and female -- not female and female or male and male.
Interestingly, the error rate in Minnesota was lower than it was in the rest of the country -- due in part to the broader completion of mail-in Census forms in the state. Minnesota had an estimated 13,718 same-sex couples, according to the initial 2010 Census data, and only 10,207 couples in the revised data. That is a difference of 25 percent.
The revised Census data suggests that .489 percent of Minnesota households were same-sex couples. That is below the national rate of .554 percent, but ranked 23rd among the states and D.C. Revised data was not provided for individual communities, so its unclear how much Minneapolis' relatively high rate of same-sex couples was influenced by the problems with the 2010 Census responses.