Pleasant Ridge had highest percentage of same-sex unmarried households

According to Equality Michigan there were about 287,000 lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) adults in Michigan in 2010, accounting for about 3 percent of the state’s population. Currently, Michigan is one of 13 states that does not legally recognize same-sex marriage. Despite the ban, there are thousands of same sex couples living together throughout the state. In Southeastern Michigan, Washtenaw County had the highest percentage of same-sex unmarried households. It was a small city in Oakland County that had the highest percentage of same-sex unmarried households at the municipal level.

In this post we will further examine the percentage of same-sex unmarried households at the municipal level throughout the region, along with at the census tract level. The data for this post is from the 2013 American Community Survey.

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In both the seven county and tri-county regions, the city of Pleasant Ridge had the highest percentage of same-sex unmarried partner households at 3.7 percent. Pleasant Ridge is a small city located in the southern part of Oakland County off of Woodward Avenue, with the the city of Royal Oak to the north and the city of Ferndale to the south. Ferndale, which is home to the region’s largest LGBT advocacy center, Affirmations, had 1.6 percent of its population made up of unmarried same-sex partner households. Grove Township, in the northwestern part of Oakland County, also had 1.6 percent of its population made up of unmarried same-sex partner households.

While the Ferndale area is well-known for being a LGBT-friendly community, Casco Township in rural St. Clair County had the second highest percentage of unmarried same-sex partner households in the region at 2.2 percent. However, while Casco Township had the second highest representation in the region there were eight communities in St. Clair County where 0 percent of the population lived in an unmarried same-sex partner household. This statistic was similarly represented in other rural parts of the region, such as in Monroe County, parts of northern Macomb and Oakland counties, and throughout Livingston and Washtenaw counties.

Although Washtenaw County had several communities where 0 percent of the population lived in an unmarried same-sex partner household, it was still the county with the highest percentage of such households. Ann Arbor, which is the county’s largest city and the home of the University of Michigan, had 1.1 percent of its population residing in an unmarried same-sex partner household. Sylvan Township had the highest percentage of unmarried same-sex partner households in Washtenaw County a 1.6 percent.

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In Wayne County, the cities of Flat Rock, Grosse Pointe Park and Plymouth were the only three communities where more than 1 percent of the population resided in an unmarried same-sex partner household.

When looking at the tri-county region and the Wayne County at the census tract level we see that there are many census tracts and/or neighborhoods where upwards of 3 percent of the population resides in an unmarried same-sex partner household. For example, in the city of Detroit, where .3 percent of the total population lived in an unmarried same-sex partner household, there are areas near Grosse Pointe Farms, Woodward Avenue and 7 Mile Road and Dearborn where more than 3 percent of the population lived in an unmarried same-sex partner household. Or, in Bruce Township, where less than 1 percent of the population lived in an unmarried same-sex partner household, there was about a third of the city where between 2.1 and 3 percent of the census tracts are made up of unmarried same-sex partner households.

Next week, we will examine the percentage of opposite sex unmarried households.


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