Orange County, California


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Gay and Lesbian Population
Orange County

There is no definitive figure for the gay and lesbian population in Orange County. Studies on gay and lesbian populations in the United States offer estimates that vary from 1 to 9 percent of the general male population and 1 to 5 percent of the general female population. Urban areas are believed to have higher percentages than rural areas. Results also seem to be affected by the motivation for a particular study (market research studies that promote a strong gay market, for example, tend to present larger numbers). If we were to estimate, for example, that 4 percent of males and 2 percent of females in Orange County are gay or lesbian, the 2000 estimated gay and lesbian population in Orange County would be 61,987 persons age 18 and over (40,860 males and 21,127 females). This is merely an estimate. We cannot say that these figures are accurate or even close. Some will argue that these numbers are too small.

On the other hand, it could be argued that the above estimates are too high, if 2000 Census numbers for "same sex" couple households are considered. The 2000 Census reported only 2,901 same sex male couple households and 2,623 same sex female couple households in Orange County. It would probably be incorrect, however, to assume that every one of these couples were gay or lesbian. If 75 percent of same sex couples were gay or lesbian, that would present only 4,143 gay and lesbian couple households in Orange County (2,176 same sex male couple households and 1,967 same sex female couple households). Even so, it would also be incorrect to maintain that gay or lesbian persons only live in same sex couple households. Some live alone or live with heterosexual friends or relatives. If only half of all gay or lesbian persons lived in same sex couple households, we would come to an estimate of 16,572 gay and lesbian persons in Orange County for the 2000 Census (8,703 males and 7,869 females). These figures run far short of estimates in the previous paragraph.



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