ST. PAUL  (AP) - New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show a surge in the number of same-sex households in Minnesota.

Data released Thursday says the number of households with same-sex couple rose by 50 percent over the last decade to nearly 14,000. But, the number of same-sex families is relatively small compared to the overall population, accounting for less than 1 percent of all households in Minnesota.

University of Minnesota family social sciences professor Bill Doherty says the significant increase in same-sex couples in the 2010 census could be attributed to a greater degree of comfort by those who self-report their living situation.

The Census Bureau first began counting same-sex couples ten years ago.

The census found gay couples living together in each of Minnesota's 87 counties.

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