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Report: 3.4% of U.S. adults identify as LGBT
From Williams Institute, Gallup news releases
2012-10-18

This article shared 1650 times since Thu Oct 18, 2012
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A new Gallup Special Report authored by Williams Distinguished Scholar Gary J. Gates and Gallup Editor-in-chief Frank Newport finds that 3.4% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), with the highest incidence among those who are non-white, younger, and less educated.

The findings are based on the largest representative sample of LGBT men and women ever collected. Unlike Census data, which looks only at same-sex couples, Gallup collected data based on more than 120,000 interviews of adults in the US.

Study author Gates notes "This report not only confirms the validity of prior estimates of the size of the LGBT population, but also provides new insight into the diversity within the LGBT community. It will dramatically increase our understanding of the lives and views of LGBT Americans, and I congratulate Gallup for adding this important question to their tracking poll."

This is the first of several reports that will analyze data collected as part of Gallup's daily tracking survey where respondents are asked if they personally identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Key findings in this first Special Report include:

Non-white Americans more likely to identify as LGBT

African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities are more likely than white Americans to identify as LGBT. The results show that 4.6% of African-Americans identify as LGBT along with 4.0% of Hispanics and 4.3% of Asians. Among white Americans, the figure was 3.2%.

Younger Americans three times more likely than seniors to identify as LGBT

Younger Americans (age 18-29) are more than three times as likely as seniors aged 65 and older to identify as LGBT (6.4% v. 1.9%, respectively). Among those aged 30 to 64, LGBT identity declines with age — at 3.2% for 30- to 49-year-olds and 2.6% for 50- to 64-year-olds.

A larger portion of lower educated Americans identify as LGBT compared to college graduates

Contrary to many studies using smaller data samples, Americans with lower levels of education are more likely than their higher educated counterparts to identify as LGBT. Among those with a high school education or less, 3.5% identify as LGBT compared to 2.8% of those with a college degree and 3.2% of those with a graduate education. LGBT identification is highest among those with some college education but not a college degree, at 4.0%.

LGBT women are as likely as non-LGBT women to be raising children

The analyses also show that raising children under age 18 in the home is as common among LGBT women as it is among non-LGBT women. In both groups, about a third had children. That was also true of non-LGBT men. Just 16% of them were raising a child in their home.

"These findings offer new and compelling evidence of the diversity and complexity of the LGBT community in the US. They offer an unprecedented resource for informing LGBT-related debates like those regarding marriage, parenting, and workplace discrimination with much-needed facts rather than stereotype or anecdote," says Gates.

Read the study here http://bit.ly/Xti0AB.

The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy advances law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates its work through a variety of education programs and media to judges, legislators, lawyers, other policy makers, and the public. A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high quality research with real-world relevance. For more information go to: williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/.

Gallup Special Report: 3.4% of U.S. Adults Identify as LGBT

Gallup just released an unprecedented special report, authored by Frank Newport, Gallup Editor-in-Chief, and Dr. Gary J. Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law and Gallup Senior Research Advisor.The study finds that 3.4% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) with the highest incidence among those who are non-white, younger, and less educated. This study, which is based on more than 120,000 interviews, is the largest single study of the distribution of the LGBT population in the U.S. on record.

This is the first of several reports that will analyze data collected as part of Gallup's daily tracking survey where respondents are asked if they personally identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Gallup.com will release another report this afternoon, which will analyze LGBT political attitudes and perspectives.

Here are some key findings:

Nonwhites are more likely than white segments of the U.S. population to identify as LGBT. The survey results show that 4.6% of African-Americans identify as LGBT, along with 4.0% of Hispanics and 4.3% of Asians. The disproportionately higher representation of LGBT status among nonwhite population segments corresponds to the slightly below-average 3.2% of white Americans who identified as LGBT.

Adults aged 18 to 29 (6.4%) are more than three times as likely as seniors aged 65 and older (1.9%) to identify as LGBT. Among those aged 30 to 64, LGBT identity declines with age — at 3.2% for 30- to 49-year-olds and 2.6% for 50- to 64-year-olds.

Among those with a high school education or less, 3.5% identify as LGBT, compared with 2.8% of those with a college degree and 3.2% of those with postgraduate education. LGBT identification is highest among those with some college education but not a college degree, at 4.0%.

Nearly three-quarters of non-LGBT individuals (73%) say they are satisfied with their standard of living, compared with less than two-thirds (65%) of LGBT individuals.

More than 5% of those with incomes of less than $24,000 a year identify as LGBT, a higher proportion than among those with higher incomes — including 2.8% of those making $60,000 a year or more.

"These findings offer new and compelling evidence of the diversity and complexity of the LGBT community in the U.S.," says study author Gary J. Gates. "They offer an unprecedented resource for informing LGBT-related debates like those regarding marriage, parenting, and workplace discrimination with much-needed facts rather than stereotype or anecdote."


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