7% of the US population identifies as LGBTQ+

Gay pride flag in Washington DC (Win McNamee/)

According to a new poll conducted by the consulting firm Gallup, 7.1% of the population in the United States recognizes itself as a member of the LGBTQ+ collective, with the youngest being the ones who moved the needle the most to reach this historic number.

Gallup has conducted this poll for nine years. 7.1% this year is double the number of people who identified with the group in 2012; in 2017 the figure was 4.5% of the population; and last year it was 5.6 percent.

The survey is conducted between over 18 years those asked if they identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or any other orientation other than cisgender (heterosexual), with respondents potentially adding any other category within sexual orientation or gender . 86.3% of those surveyed identify themselves as heterosexual, while 6.6% preferred not to give an opinion. More than 12,000 telephone interviews were conducted for this survey.

50th anniversary lgtb gay pride marches
Couples celebrating 50 years of gay pride marches in the United States capital (STR New/)

The rise in the number of adults who identify as LGBTQ+ in the country has to do with more people from younger generations being open to this type of diversity compared to past generations. Approximately 21% of members of Generation Z – those born between 1997 and 2003 – who have reached adulthood identify as LGBTQ. That’s twice as many of those who identify as such among Millennials, and the gap is even larger with older generations.

In addition, as is logical, each time the new generations represent a greater portion of the general population. Currently, 12% of the general population over the age of 18 belongs to Generation Z while only 8% were born before 1946.

Since Gallup began conducting the survey, in 2012the percentage of different generations (traditionalists, baby boomers and members of Generation Z) who identify as LGBTQ has remained the same stable. Between the millennialsthe figure increased considerably in the last nine years from 5.8% in 2012 against 10.5% today.

But the number that has changed the most is that of Generation Z, which has multiplied since 2017. Even when a large part of them have not reached the age of majority, each year the number increases indicating that the youngest of the generation are those who most identify with the LGBTQ+ collective. If the trend continues, everything would indicate that over the years then the number of people who identify as LGBTQ in the general population should be increasing.

50th anniversary lgtb gay pride marches
Celebration of 50 years of gay pride marches in New York City (MARIO TAMA /)

The other relevant fact that emerges from the survey is that more than half of those who identify as LGBTQ+, 57%, identify as bisexual. That percentage represents 4% of the general population. On the other hand, 21% of those who identify as LGBTQ do so as gay, 14% as lesbian, 10% as transgender, and 4% as other groups.

Among those who identify as bisexual, the majority have stable partners of the opposite sex.


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