Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Washington ranks high in mixed-race households

by Matt Rosenberg May 6th, 2012

A newly-released focus report on U.S. households by the Census Bureau reveals Washington State is in the top fifth nationally in mixed-race households. Which ever way you slice it. Of Washington husband-wife households counted in the 2010 Census, 10.9 percent were mixed race – versus 6.9 percent nationally. That ranks eighth out of the 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The trend carried across other types of couplings in Washington households. Of unmarried, opposite-sex partner households in Washington, 19.6 percent were mixed race versus 14.2 percent nationally; the state ranked eighth of 52. For same-sex households in Washington, 18.5 percent included partners of different races, versus 14.5 percent nationally; and the state ranked 10th of 52. The report was full of other notable findings nationally, and for Washington and Seattle – regarding solo households, households with children, households headed by single women and single moms, and same-sex households.

Washington not a “breeder state” like Utah, California, Hawaii, Texas
According to the “Households and Families 2010″ U.S. Census report which was issued in April 2012, Washington was far closer to the middle of the pack in average size of household and family. There were 2.51 people per Washington household versus 2.58 nationally, and 3.06 people per Washington family versus 3.14 nationally. The states with the biggest average households and families were Utah (3.1 and 3.56 respectively); California (2.9 and 3.45); Hawaii (2.89 and 3.42) and Texas (2.75 and 3.31). Of the 52 state and related jurisdictions covered in the report, those with the smallest average household and family sizes were the District of Columbia (2.11 and 3.01); North Carolina (2.3 and 2.91); Maine (2.32 and 2.83); Vermont (2.34 and 2.85); and Montana (2.35 and 2.91).

Husband-wife households are less than half of the total
Overall there were 116.7 million households counted nationally in the 2010 census, up 10.7 percent from the last census in 2000. Almost 301 million people lived in those households; another eight million Americans lived in group facilities such as nursing homes, military barracks, or dorms. Two-thirds of households were classified as family households, with two or more related individuals, but just 48.4 percent were husband-wife households, a small gain of 3.7 percent from 2000.

One big U.S. household trend: not married – and no children – thanks very much
The only type of household to decrease over the 10 years was husband-wife with children, which dropped five percent. In percentage terms, the biggest increases from 2000 to 2010 were in unmarried couple households (up 41.4); followed by male-headed households with no spouse or children (up 35.6); female-headed households with no spouse or children (up 29); and male-headed households with no spouse but with children (up 27.3).

Solo In Seattle
Seattle earns a special mention in the report for ranking eighth out of 282 U.S. cities of 100,000 population or more in percentage of one-person households. More than 117,000 of Seattle’s 283,510 households, or 41.3 percent, were inhabited by just one person.

Disparities among U.S. households of spouseless women, and spouseless moms
In the 2010 Census, households headed by a female with no spouse accounted for 13.1 percent of the whole; while 7.2 percent of all U.S. households were headed by spouseless females who also had children. Notably, that last figure is three times more than the percent of households headed by spouseless males with kids.

The percentages of households led respectively by spouseless women, and spouseless women with kids, were lower than the national average for whites (9.9, 5.2) and Asians (9.5, 4.1) but higher for blacks (30.1, 17.4), Latinos (19.2, 12.1), Native Americans (21.4, 12.3), and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (17, 9.8) and for various mixed-race groupings.

Same-sex households up 80 percent in 2010, but were just .6 percent of all
Same-sex households grew a whopping 80.4 percent from 2000 to 2010, to 646,464 nationally. However this represented just six-tenths of a percent of all 2010 U.S. households. As noted in a Census Bureau technical/statistical paper (see p. 27), this count included same-sex households where the partners categorized themselves as spouses; and households with unmarried same-sex partners. States or related jurisdictions with the highest percentage of total same-sex partner households were District of Columbia (1.8), followed by Delaware, Massachusetts, California and Vermont (each .8 percent). In Washington, .7 percent of households included same-sex partners.

The 2010 Census did not include categories for sexual orientation of individuals, so there is no U.S. LGBT population count resulting from it. As the Washington Blade reported last fall though, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force more than 140,000 2010 U.S. Census respondents attached stickers to their forms and more than 30,000 individuals singed petitions urging the inclusion of individual LGBT counts in future Census takings and in similar efforts (such as the ongoing, American Community Survey).

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