Census Bureau Wants to Test Asking About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity on Biggest Survey
The U.S. Census Bureau asked the Biden administration Tuesday for permission to test questions about sexual orientation and gender identity for people age 15 and above on its most comprehensive annual survey of life in the country.
The statistical agency wants to test the wording, response categories and placement of gender identity and sexual orientation questions on the questionnaires for the American Community Survey, which collects data from 3.5 million households each year. The ACS covers a wide range of topics, from family life, income, education levels and employment to commuting times, internet access, disabilities and military service.
Federal agencies are interested in the data for civil rights and equal employment enforcement, the Census Bureau said in a Federal Register notice.
Because of the American Community Survey's size, asking those questions will give researchers a chance to look at differences among LGBTQ+ people, whether some face bigger challenges than others because of their race, gender or where they live, said M. V. Lee Badgett, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.