More people “owning the label”
New Gallup research from the USA says that more people are identifying as bisexual, transgender, gay or lesbian than ever before.
In a survey finding that most likely reflects people being more able to be open to themselves and to others about their feelings and attractions, Gallup finds the LGBT population of the USA to have reached 10 million people – up from just over 8 million five years ago. That’s an increase from 3.5% to 4.1% of Americans identifying as LGBT since 2012.
Gallup surveyed 1.6 million people in this year’s annual report, and found some 49,000 participants described themselves at LGBT. The increase compared to 2015 was amongst people born in the 1980s, up from 6.7% to 7.2% this year – double that of any other generational group as older people are less likely to own or identify with LGBT labels.
Sadly the survey does not ‘drill down’ into whether people specifically identify as gay, bi, or trans, so we can’t see what is happening in terms of bi representation. However the 2015 YouGov research showing high rates of identifying as neither gay nor straight amongst under-25s suggests this might be an important factor.
More women than men (4.4% v 3.7% of Americans) identify as LGBT, making the LGBT population 54% female – in contradiction of what you might think looking around most ‘gay’ venues and events.
The racial breakdown Gallup provide is also interesting in showing quite wide variation, which Gallup suggest may be reflective of the age demographics of different racial & ethnic groups in the US:
White, non-Hispanic 3.6%
Black, non-Hispanic 4.6%
Asian, non-Hispanic 4.9%
Other, non-Hispanic 6.3%
LGBT people remain poorer than the average American, with 5.5% of those on an income below $36k being LGBT, 4% on incomes of $36k-$90k, and 3.7% of people making over $90k.
Here in the UK, Office for National Statistics 2015 research suggested 1.7% of the population were lesbian, gay or bisexual: with a higher rate of identifying as LGB among males (2.0%) than females (1.5%).