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LGBTQ+ Population in the U.S. Grows by Over 2 Million

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And the community is only getting bigger.

The LGBTQ+ population is the largest it has ever been in recorded United States history, and the community is only growing.

13.9 million adults in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ+, accounting for 5.5 percent of the country's total population, a study from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, found. That's up one whole percentage point — and over 2 million people — from their 2020 report, which found the LGBTQ+ population accounted for 4.5 percent of the population at 11.3 million adults.

Related: Which State Is the Queerest? These Are the States With the Most LGBTQ+ People

While one may expect queer communities to flock to liberal states like New York or California, the report found that there are "more LGBT adults live in the South than in any other region." 35.9 percent (5 million) of the country's LGBTQ+ population live in the South, with 24.5 percent (3.4 million) living in the West. 21.1 percent (2.9 million) reside in the Midwest, and just 18.5 percent (2.6 million) call the Northeast their home.

When going by raw population, the states with the largest number of LGBTQ+ adults are also the states with the largest overall populations. When going by percentage, the top states with the most LGBTQ+ people tend to fall in New England, though some of the highest slots came as a surprise.

Related: These Are the 5 States With the Smallest Percentage of LGBTQ+ People

Oregon, Delaware, and Vermont are the states with the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ people. West Virginia, Mississippi, and North Carolina are the states with the lowest. When comparing population to legislation, the states with the smallest queer communities are also some the ones pushing the most anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

The study also found that 18-24-year-olds are the group with the most queer people, with one in every six identifying as LGBTQ+. In other age groups, one in ten (9.1 percent) of those 25 to 34 years old, less than 5 percent of those ages 35 to 49, and less than 3 percent of those ages 50 and older identify as LGBTQ+.

When accounting for those who did not feel safe coming out, there are likely even more LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. The data demonstrates that no matter where you live, or no matter how old you are, you're not alone.

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.