Numbers of same-sex couples in Seattle rise

The 2010 Census numbers indicate a rise in the number of same-sex couples living in Washington state and in many neighborhoods throughout Seattle, according to a report by The Seattle Times. Today one out of every 18 couples living together in Seattle are same-sex, the Times reports.

While Capitol Hill has long been a central hub for the gay community in Seattle, Census data shows that the numbers of same-sex couples living in other parts of the city and its suburbs is on a general upward trend, especially in places like West Seattle, Lynnwood, Shoreline and Lake Forest Park, which all saw a sharp rise, and Vashon Island, which has the highest same-sex population statewide, at 5.5 percent.

Parts of Queen Anne have also seen an upward trend in the number of same-sex households. East Queen Anne and the south slope in particular saw a noteable increase, from 39 families in 2000 to 70 in 2010, and from 42 in 2000 to 70 in 2010, respectively.

The Seattle Times piece breaks down the Census data by neighborhood with an interesting info-graphic, showing not only the increase in same-sex households, but the numbers of male couples, female couples and couples with children. We thought this was an interesting case study for both the local gay community and that of the greater Seattle Metropolitan area. From the Times:

Many factors account for the growth in numbers of same-sex couples over the decade.

Since 2000, Canada and several U.S. states have legalized gay marriage, and Washington has a domestic-partnership law that grants same-sex couples many of the same state-level benefits as married people.

At the same time, couples have become more aware that they can indicate their status on the census forms, and many are likely more comfortable than they were 10 years ago in doing so…

…That gays are spreading out beyond the traditional gay hub of Capitol Hill suggests that gay families are feeling more comfortable living everywhere — and practically anywhere.

And there are many positive aspects to that, said Josh Friedes, marriage-equality director with Equal Rights Washington, a Seattle-based advocacy group for gays.

“They are becoming neighbors with people who’ve not had a lot of exposure and had not been familiar with gay families,” he said. “You begin to see increased support for things like marriage equality as the general population has more and more gay neighbors.”

Check out the graphic here. Read the full Times story that goes along with that graphic here.

Fill out that 2010 Census form by Friday

This is a reminder to fill out your 2010 Census form by Friday, April 16th.

The national average return rate is 67 percent. Queen Anne ranges from 66 percent in Uptown to 73 percent at the top of the hill and in North Queen Anne (interactive map here.) “Households that don’t mail back their census form by April 16 will be visited by a census taker, beginning in May,” Mayor Mike McGinn writes. He goes on to say,

A complete count of all Washingtonians helps ensure that we receive our fair share of federal funding – money we need for important services, such as neighborhood improvements, housing, transportation, schools and many other programs that matter to our community. Every year $400 billion is divided by the federal government among local governments based on the information collected by the census. That money represents crucial funding for vital community services such as transportation, health clinics, education programs, job training, child care, and more. But how much we get depends on how many people the federal government knows are here.

Federal law protects the information you put on your Census form and cannot be shared with anyone. If you didn’t receive a Census form, or if you can’t find yours, you can pick one up at the Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) or at the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW).