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Reality Check: How Many Gay Couples Are In MN?

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Despite all the hoopla surrounding Aug. 1, when gay marriage becomes legal in Minnesota, we wondered: How many gay couples are here?

Until 2000, the US Census Bureau didn’t even count same sex couples. Now, the government reports more gay households than ever before, including Minnesota.

It’s TRUE: 13,718 same sex couples reported living in Minnesota in 2010. It’s a 50 percent jump in just 10 years, according to the latest government count.

IN FACT, one study, from the California-based Williams Institute, estimates 54 percent of Minnesota’s same-sex couples are female while 46 percent are male.

Most gay couple live in Hennepin (5,337) and Ramsey (1,619) counties.

However, an estimated 11 counties report no gay couples at all: Aitkin, Cottonwood, Faribault, Douglas, Grant, Chippewa, Kittson, Lincoln, Murray, Norman and Rock.

The numbers may be under-reported, and it doesn’t reflect how many people may consider themselves gay.

So, where does Minnesota rank?

Approximately 2.9 percent of Minnesota’s 5,379,139 population call themselves gay: that’s below the national average of 3.5 percent.

Washington, D.C. ranks highest with a gay population estimated at 10 percent. North Dakota ranks the lowest at 1.7 percent.

Even though gay marriage is soon legal, Minnesota attitudes are divided. A recent Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found: 46 percent favor same-sex marriage while 44 percent are opposed.

Reality Check Resources
Same-Sex Couple Households
US Census: Same Sex Couples Main
Slides: Percent of All Households Reporting As Same Sex Couples
June 2013 Strib Minn. Poll
Williams Institute at UCLA Study on GLBT Populations
Gallup Poll GLBT Estimates By State

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