Census Bureau May Stop Asking About Marriage, Family Life

Demographers and statisticians are up in arms because the Census Bureau wants to stop tallying marriage and divorce rates, The New York Times reported.

The bureau is proposing changes in the American Community Survey that provides detailed information about the nature of family life. The survey asks questions about marriage, births, widowhood, divorce and how many times a person has been married. It also now provides data on same-sex couples.

Some conservatives, like former Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Rep. Ted Poe of Texas, say that such queries are an invasion of privacy, while many other conservatives and academic researchers strongly support the census questions, according to Pew Research.

Conservatives who favor keeping them argue that without the accurate numbers such questions provide it will be harder to defend heterosexual marriage.