Census survey explores sexual orientation, gender identity

A recent update to the Census Bureau's twice-monthly Household Pulse Survey now indicates that LGBT adults are more likely to suffer from the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic than their straight counterparts.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In our new politically correct America, even the U.S. Census Bureau is bowing to the sensibilities of the LGBTQ community.

Officials of the Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division of the Census Bureau announced Thursday that their Household Pulse Survey (HPS) will now ask respondents questions about their sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time.

While Census sociologist Tom File said that previous versions of the real-time survey only gave respondents the option of identifying themselves as male or female, the 3.2 version of the HPS questionnaire solicits more nuanced perceptions of participants’ identities.

Statistician Jason-Harold Lee explained that participants in the pulse survey will now be asked to identify the sex they were assigned at birth (male or female) and then list whether they now describe themselves as male, female, transgender or none of these.

The survey will also probe respondents’ sexual perceptions of themselves from a range of options including gay or lesbian, straight (not gay or lesbian), bisexual, something else, or unknown.

This new version of the Household Pulse Survey began to be administered on July 21 and its initial results are expected to be available to the public on Aug. 11.

HPS version 3.2 will also include topical questions exploring perceptions about COVID-19 immunizations and vaccine hesitancy for American adults and children between the ages of 12 and 17.

Additionally, the survey now includes new questions about household energy expenses and consumption; summer educational activities for children; and state/federal rental assistance programs.

File explained that the Household Pulse Survey originated in April of 2020 as an experimental data collection effort by the Census Bureau to measure the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on American families.

Over the course of 33 two-week collection cycles, the pulse survey has produced near/real-time data that was provided to state and federal officials to guide their COVID-19 responses and recovery efforts.

Federal departments now utilizing HPS data include the Bureau of Labor Statistics; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Department of Defense; the Department of Health and Human Services; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the National Center for Occupational Safety and Health.

The Household Pulse Survey is digitally sent to about one million U.S. households every two weeks. The replies from survey respondents have enable to Census Bureau to generate statistical snapshots for states, the nation and 15 of America’s largest metropolitan areas.

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