2020 U.S. Census To Include Same-Sex Couple Designations

For the first time in U.S. history, the next census, of 2020, will count same-sex couples.

NBC News cited the Census Bureau as saying the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage on the federal level made the change necessary. 

“As our population and communities change, so do their needs,” a Census Bureau spokesperson told NBC News. “To better collect more detailed data about types of coupled households, the Census Bureau expanded the single response option of ‘husband or wife’ or ‘unmarried partner’ to the two response options of ‘opposite-sex husband/wife/spouse’ and ‘same-sex husband/wife/spouse,’ and ‘opposite-sex unmarried partner’ and ‘same-sex unmarried partner.’”

Previously, the two options for households where a couple lives were "husband and wife" or "unmarried partner." 

The Census Bureau's website says Census information is used to help allocate more than $400 billion in federal funding each year on everything from infrastructure to job training services,.

“Many people — policy-makers, businesses, the public — use our information to make far-reaching decisions. Our role is to give them timely, accurate, trustworthy information to make those decisions,” the Census Bureau spokesperson explained.

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