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Rick Wicklin

"About 32 percent of gay couples in Jacksonville are raising children." Without context, you don't know whether this represents 8 out of a total of 25 couples, or whether it represents 8,000 out of 25,000 couples. One scenario supports the "Jacksonville is welcoming" assertion, whereas the other does not.

Appendix A in the PDF link provides a sense of scale by telling us that 0.65% of FL households consist of same-sex couples. Looking up the population of J-ville gives 820,000, so we might guesstimate 5,300 same-sex couples in J-ville, with 1,700 of them raising children. Of, course, in reality, the proportion of same-sex couples is not spatially homogeneous, which is why actual data is preferable to estimates that use a mean.

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