Report Finds Gaps in Demographics Between Gay and Straight Couples Narrow After Marriage Equality

 were typically younger, had more education and were more likely to be employed than those in opposite-sex marriages, although many of those differences disappeared after  according to a new report released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Almost 1.5 million people lived with a same-sex spouse in the U.S. in 2022, double what it was in the year before gay marriage was legalized, according to the bureau’s American Community Survey.

A 2015 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court made same-sex marriages legal in all 50 states. In the year before that ruling, same-sex marriages had been legalized in just over a third of states through legislation and lower court rulings.

The 2015 Supreme Court decision proved to be a watershed, with around 41% of same-sex spouses reported in 2022 getting married within four years of the ruling. By comparison, 14% of those in opposite-sex marriages were married between 2015 and 2019, according to the Census Bureau report.

When just comparing marriages after the 2015 Supreme Court decision, many of the differences — including employment status, length of marriage and education levels among women — disappeared between same-sex spouses and opposite-sex spouses, the report said.

In addition, those in a same-sex marriage were older than their counterparts in opposite-sex marriages if they got married after 2015, a flip flop from all marriages regardless of the timeframe.

Any differences between gay and heterosexual marriages before the Supreme Court decision reflect the fact that same-sex marriage wasn’t recognized in all states until 2015, according to the report.

“Generally, same-sex spouses and their households resemble those in opposite-sex couples,” the report said.

Regardless of when couples got married, opposite-sex spouses were more likely to have children and have larger households, and female same-sex spouses were more likely to have kids than male same-sex spouses. Same-sex spouses were more likely to share a home with roommates, according to the report.