WASHINGTON — A record 7.1% of adults in the United States identify as LGBTQ+, doubling the percentage from 10 years ago, according to a Gallup poll.
The survey, released Thursday, notes that “the increase in LGBT identification in recent years largely reflects the higher prevalence of these identities among younger American adults compared to the older generations they are replacing in the American adult population.
Gen Z, in particular, has fueled the rise, with nearly 21% of 18- to 25-year-olds identifying as LGBTQ+ — nearly double the proportion of millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, who do, according to Gallup. The gap widens further compared to older generations.
Gallup asked more than 12,000 American adults how they self-identified last year to get the results. About 86% of people said they were straight or heterosexual, while 6.6% gave no opinion. It has been measuring LGBTQ+ identification since 2012.
In the 2017 Gallup survey, Gen Z made up 7% of the national sample, but 12% in its latest poll because more of this generation has turned 18 in the past four years. The proportion of adults born before 1946 fell from 11% to 8% during the same period.
The high rate of LGBTQ-identifying adults is a result of young adults coming to terms with their sexuality or gender identity as more Americans accept LGBTQ+ people and gay people enjoy increasing legal protections against discrimination, Gallup said.
The analytics giant also predicted that the proportion of LGBTQ+ Americans will exceed 10% in the near future.
“Given the large disparities in LGBT identification between younger and older generations of Americans, the proportion of all Americans who identify as LGBT can be expected to increase in the future, as younger generations will make up a larger share of the total U.S. adult population,” Gallup noted.
Joni Madison, acting president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the poll emphasizes “the need to codify legal protections against discrimination and implement LGBTQ+ inclusive data collection at the federal, state, local and private”.
“With more LGBTQ+ people than ever before living openly and embracing their identity, the fight for LGBTQ+ equality in America must continue to represent this beautiful and ever-growing community,” she said.
Last year, as Gallup conducted the poll, more state legislatures introduced anti-LGBTQ+ bills than ever before in recent history. The trans community has felt the brunt of legislative attacks, with bills to ban trans women and girls from playing sports and criminalize gender-affirming care for minors showing up at state homes from all over the country.
The rate of people identifying as LGBTQ was stable in older generations – traditionalists, born before 1946, baby boomers, born between 1946-1964 and Generation X, born between 1965-1980 – while it increased among older generations. young people, according to the survey.
There has been a “slight increase among” millennials, from 5.8% in 2012 to 7.8% in 2017 and 10.5% currently. The percentage of Gen Z who are LGBTQ+ has almost doubled since 2017, “when only the peak of this generation – those born between 1997 and 1999 – had reached adulthood”.
“If this trend among Gen Z continues, the proportion of American adults in this generation who identify as LGBT will once again increase as all members of the generation reach adulthood,” Gallup said.
Additionally, the survey found that bisexual was the most common identification among LGBTQ+ Americans, with more than half, 57%, indicating they were bisexual. Of the total population, 4% declared themselves to be bisexual.
Gallup noted that its pre-2020 poll did not ask adults which LGBTQ+ category they identified with, but other research organizations and Gallup’s 2020 results still found bisexual adults to be the most LGBTQ+ people. more common. Previous analyzes have shown that bisexuals are much more likely to marry spouses or live with partners of a different sex, according to the company.
Meanwhile, 21% of LGBT Americans said they were gay, 14% lesbian, 10% transgender, and 4% something else, which was less than 2% of the total population.
Bisexual was the most common identifier in Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X. Meanwhile, older Americans are just as likely to say they’re gay or lesbian as they are bisexual, according to investigation. Overall, 15% of Gen Z, 6% of Gen Y, and nearly 2% of Gen X said they were bisexual.
Additionally, women are more likely to identify as bisexual than men. In contrast, men are more likely to identify as gay than bisexual, and women are more likely to be bisexual than lesbian.