A record 5.6% of Americans identify as LGBT+, Gallup poll finds

The increase was largely driven by Generation Z adults - aged 18 to 23 - 15.9% of whom said they were LGBT+. "At a time when Americans are increasingly supportive of equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people, a growing percentage of Americans identify themselves as LGBT," Gallup said in a blog post.

Reuters | Updated: 26-02-2021 03:38 IST | Created: 26-02-2021 03:38 IST
A record 5.6% of Americans identify as LGBT+, Gallup poll finds

(Corrects description of Pete Buttigieg in fourth para) By Matthew Lavietes and Hugo Greenhalgh

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A record 5.6% of Americans - or 18 million people - are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, a Gallup poll found on Wednesday, attributing a significant increase to greater social acceptance. The 2020 survey showed a 24% rise from the last poll in 2017, when 4.5% of adults identified as LGBT+. The increase was largely driven by Generation Z adults - aged 18 to 23 - 15.9% of whom said they were LGBT+.

"At a time when Americans are increasingly supportive of equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people, a growing percentage of Americans identify themselves as LGBT," Gallup said in a blog post. The 2020 U.S. election saw Pete Buttigieg run as an openly gay presidential candidate and LGBT+ candidates scored numerous historic wins, including Sarah McBride as the first openly trans state senator.

Support for same-sex marriage, legalized in 2015 and largely seen as synonymous with backing for LGBT+ rights, has risen to 62% of Americans, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, compared with 36% in 2007. The majority of LGBT+ Americans - 54.6% - identify as bisexual, Gallup found, while 24.5% said they were gay men, 11.7% lesbian and 11.3% trans.

The pollsters surveyed a random sample of 15,000 Americans throughout 2020 by telephone and found that 86.7% identified as heterosexual, while 7.6% declined to answer the question, up from about 5% in previous Gallup surveys, which began in 2012. There were marked differences between the generations. Older people were far less likely to consider themselves LGBT+, with the lowest percentage - 1.3% - among those born before 1946.

Women are more likely to identify as LGBT+ than men, at 6.4% compared with 4.9%, researchers found, while 13% of political liberals said they were LGBT+ versus 2.3% of conservatives. A similar trend has been witnessed in Britain, where the proportion of people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual increased to 2.2% in 2018 from 1.6% in 2016, according to government data.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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