08/04/2011 05:09 pm ET | Updated Oct 04, 2011

U.S. Census Reports 40 Percent Surge In Same-Sex Relationships In Illinois Over 10 Years

Story by Joseph Erbentraut, courtesy of the Windy City Times

The statistics on same-sex couples in Illinois from the latest decennial census were unveiled Thursday and the count reveals a marked increase in the number of individuals who report that they live with a same-sex partner statewide.

Statewide, the 2010 census estimated that 32,469 gay and lesbian couples live in Illinois, which marks a 42 percent increase over the last decennial estimate in 2000. That increase was led principally by a 53 percent increase in the number of lesbian couple-led households (16,416, compared to 10,732) who now slightly outnumber the number of gay couple-led households who saw only a 32 percent increase (16,053 households, compared to 12,155 in 2010) .

The numbers also reveal that a large number of same-sex couples in Illinois have started their own families and are raising children, including 17 percent of self-reporting gay couples (2,723) and 29 percent of self-reporting lesbian couples (4,783). All told, 7,506 same-sex couples in Illinois are estimated to be raising children under the age of 18 -- or 23 percent of the total population. The 2010 estimate of the number of same-sex couples raising children is relatively comparable to the 2000.

Read the whole story here.