Where Are All the Same-Sex Couples At?

Thanks to the tireless demographer Gary Gates of UCLA's Williams Institute, NPR has an interactive map of where in the U.S., according to the census, the most same-sex couples live. (Or at least, where you can find same-sex couples who feel safe enough to tell the census that they're together.) As you'd imagine, every state has an outpost where the lesbians and gay men flock if they want to get a little bit away from their unwelcoming small town or family -- but not so far that they can't go home to visit the nephews or help with Thanksgiving. They're also, often, the outposts where the college students are, drawing the "creative class" that Richard Florida noted awhile back. And the place you go to meet others like yourself is often the place where you get married and settle down.

I checked out some of the highly coupled counties, where self-identified same-sex couples make up 6.9 or more of every 1,000 households. Some are relatively predictable. For Ohio, it's long been the city of Columbus -- the place where I first set foot in a (very dingy) gay bar, after my college friends and I drove two hours to get there. In North Carolina, it's the Asheville area. Madison, Wisconsin. Atlanta, Georgia. Louisville, Kentucky. Taos, New Mexico. In Massachusetts, Northhampton (a.k.a. Lesbianville), Provincetown, and Boston-Cambridge. Check, check, check.

But I am curious about many of the others. What's going on in Brewster County, Texas? Or Big Horn County, Montana? Anyone know?

You can look more closely at your own state at the Williams Institute's Census Snapshot.

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