A myth exists that many lesbian and gay people make more than their heterosexual counterparts. Some of the stats do show some of us make more than others:
• Among same-sex couples with both partners in the labor force, median household income is approximately $94,000 compared to heterosexual couples making about $86,000.
• Around 46 percent of people in same-sex couples have college degrees, compared to less than one-third of people in heterosexual couples.
• Women in same-sex relationships and working make a median of $38,000 each, compared to women in heterosexual couples who make about $30,000.
But then there’s this:
• Men in same-sex relationships make about $47,000 a year compared to a heterosexuals’ $48,000 salary.
Source: The Williams Institute, from a report based on U.S. Census data from 2005-2011
LGBT families make less
The truth is, most LGBT people, especially women and transgender people, make much less, especially when it comes to same-sex couples raising children.
• $59,600 — the median household income of married different-sex couples
• $46,200 — the median household income of a same-sex couple raising children
• Difference — $13,400
• $74,700 — average income for different-sex couple raising children
• $59,270 — average income for same-sex couple raising children
• Difference — $15,507
Source: 2011 report by Center for American Progress, the Family Equality Council and the Movement Advancement Project based on Census Bureau data from 2000
Earn more, have less debt?
In 2012, financial firm Prudential conducted a survey showing gay people earn more money and have less debt:
• Annual income of gay people average $61,500 compared to national median of $50,054
• Gay people are $4,000 less in debt than straight counterparts
• Gay people build up more equity in their homes: a median of $77,000 compared to the national median of $62,000
Discrimination and financial equality
Because LGBT people still face much discrimination, especially in the work force, it can be hard to earn a solid income. For example:
• 20.7 percent of LGBT people make less than $12,000 a year compared to only 17 percent of non-LGBT people.
• 15 percent of transgender people make less than $10,000 a year compared to 4 percent of the general population.
• 29 percent of LGBT adults in the U.S. report they are thriving financially compared to 39 percent of non-LGBT adults.
• Women in same-sex couples are more likely to live in poverty (7.6 percent) than women in opposite-sex married couples (5.7 percent).
• Single LGBT adults raising children are three times more likely to have incomes near the poverty line compared to single, non-LGBT adults.
• Adults in poverty: 4.3 percent of male same-sex couples; 7.6 percent of female same-sex couples; and 5.7 percent of married opposite-sex couples.
• $123,211 average household income of opposite-sex couples raising children in a state where same-sex marriage is legal
• $122,522 average household income of same-sex couples raising children in a state where same-sex marriage is legal
• $98,386 average household income for married opposite-sex couples raising a family where same-sex marriage is prohibited
• $89,474 average household income of same-sex couples raising a family in a state where same-sex marriage is prohibited
Source: Movement Advancement Project