Census Household Survey Asks for Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (HPS) was launched in April 2020 to gauge the impact...



Posted by Carla Spriggs on August 24 2021

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (HPS) was launched in April 2020 to gauge the impact of the COVID -19 pandemic on households. It is sent to about 1 million households every two weeks.

HPS Phase 3.2, the latest update to the experimental data collection, will now ask questions regarding sexual orientation and gender Identity. This is the first time a survey sponsored by the Census asks sexual orientation and gender identity questions.

While earlier versions of the HPS asked respondents for their sex (male or female), Phase 3.2 rewords this question and adds two new items.

  • What sex were you assigned at birth on your original birth certificate?
  • Choice of answers: Male or Female.
  • Do you currently describe yourself as male, female or transgender?
  • Choice of answers: Male, Female, Transgender or None of these.

The latest version of the survey also asks this question about sexual orientation:

  • Which of the following best represents how you think of yourself?
  • Choice of answers: Gay or lesbian; Straight, that is not gay or lesbian; Bisexual; Something else; I don’t know.

Phase 3.2 began circulating on July 21 and is planned to continue through October 11. Results are scheduled to be released August 11.

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