Washington, D.C. – Some 20 million US adults identify as LGBT, according to a new Human Rights Campaign analysis of government data. That figure represents nearly 8% of the total adult population of the country, and is two times higher than previous statistical estimates. The HRC added that millions more may identify as something “more expansive,” like pansexual. For this estimate, the HRC took data from the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, an experimental household probability survey released in biweekly phases during the pandemic. The HRC said that previous attempts to document the size and demographics of America’s LGBTQ+ population have faced significant roadblocks related to sampling and bias.
In 2020, the Williams Institute estimated the LGBT population of the US at 4.5%, based on Gallup’s Daily Tracking Survey. In one of the most comprehensive studies of the LGBTQ+ community, the Public Religious Research Institute’s American Values Atlas estimated 4.4% of Americans identified as LGBT. That was followed by a Gallup poll published earlier this year, which saw the percentage of LGBT Americans estimated at 5.6% of the total adult population. While the HRC’s estimate nearly doubles those figures, it may still underestimate the LGBTQ+ community’s size, the HRC said. “This data shows what we’ve suspected: our community is larger and more widespread than we could have known up to this point,” Interim President Joni Madison said in a statement. “We’re proud to bring this data to light and set the stage for a future where all the millions of LGBTQ+ people in America enjoy full legal and lived equality. I commend the Biden administration and the US Census Bureau for finally allowing researchers to count us, and look forward to seeing the LGBTQ+ community counted in further studies,” she said.
According to the HRC analysis, the largest category of LGBT folks is Bisexual. They may represent up to 4% of the US adult population — perhaps 10 million people. The Lesbian and Gay communities make up about 3% of the population, according to the HRC. The HRC analysis suggests that some 2 million adults identify as Transgender. In 2016, the Williams Institute estimated the Trans population at 1.4 million. An additional 2% of survey respondents said they did not use the terms “cisgender male,” “cisgender female,” or “Transgender” to describe their gender, suggesting they may identify as Nonbinary, Genderqueer, or Gender fluid, according to the HRC report. California and Texas had the largest LGBTQ+ populations based on the census data, but LGBTQ people are found in “every community across every state,” the report found. California and Texas also led the pack in the 2020 Williams survey. (Seattle Gay News – Mike Andrew at https://www.sgn.org/story.php?ch=national&sc=&id=311460)
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