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Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 7:51am

Nearly 30,000 Same-Sex Couples In Ga.

US Census figures show, the number of couples identifying themselves as living in same-sex households in Georgia is on the rise.

Statistics released Thursday show the number has grown by 55%.

The Census Bureau says, the number of Georgia households reporting a same-sex couple last year jumped to just under 30,000.

The increase reflects a nationwide trend.

UCLA Williams Institute demographer Gary Gates says, the figures show, rural Georgia has a higher percentage of same-sex households with children than in urban areas.

"Many same-sex couples raising children are people who have had their child at a fairly young age, before they were even actually out and, later in life, came out and they're now living with a same-sex partner and raising their children," Gates says. "These are couples who often live in more conservative and rural parts of the state."

But the official figure might not include all of Georgia's same-sex couples.

"In a survey we did, about 15% of same-sex couples would not be counted in the Census," Gates says. "Either they decided to use terms like 'roommate' or 'unrelated adult,' or in other cases, they are a couple that's within a household where one of the partners is not what we call 'person one' on the Census form."

The Census reports same-sex couples in every county, with concentrations in Metro Atlanta and Savannah.