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Gallup: More Americans Than Ever Identify as LGBT

Photo by Tim Samuel from Pexels

Bisexual people also make up the majority of LGBT Americans.

New findings from respected pollster Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who identify as LGBT has grown from 4.5 percent in 2017 to 5.6 percent in 2020.

The number of self-identifying LGBT Americans has grown steadily in the past eight years, with 3.5 percent in 2012. The number eventually grew to 4.5 percent five years later and then jumped 1.1 percentage points in 2020 (Gallup didn't query Americans on their sexual orientation or gender identity in 2018 or 2019).

Another notable finding from Gallup is that a majority of LGBT Americans identify as bisexual, specifically 54.6 percent of all LGBT respondents. That compares with 24.5 percent who identify as gay, 11.7 percent who identify as lesbian, and 11.3 who consider themselves transgender. An additional 3.3 percent told Gallup they are nonheterosexua, but use a term to describe themselves other than lesbian, gay, bi, or transgender, such as queer or same-gender-loving.

Also, Generation Z (those aged 18-23 in 2020) demonstrate the highest numbers of LGBT self-identification, with about one in six Gen Zers (15.9 percent) being LGBT.

The number of millennials who ID as LGBT is 9.1 percent, and then the number drops precipitously for each previous generation (Gen Xers, 3.8 percent; Baby Boomers, 2 percent; Traditionalists, 1.3 percent). The numbers don't necessarily indicate there are fewer LGBT people among older Americans, just that increased acceptance of queer people in American society has freed up younger generations to self-identify.

"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. With younger generations far more likely than older generations to consider themselves LGBT, that growth should continue," according to Gallup.

Read the full findings here.

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