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Monday, 3 December 2012

3.4% of U.S. Adults Identify as LGBT

PRINCETON, NJ -- The inaugural results of a new Gallup question -- posed to more than 120,000 U.S. adults thus far -- shows that 3.4% say "yes" when asked if they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Overall, the results from this analysis run counter to some media stereotypes that portray the LGBT community as predominantly white, highly educated, and very wealthy.

]Nonwhites are more likely than white segments of the U.S. population to identify as LGBT. The survey results show that 4.6% of African-Americans identify as LGBT, along with 4.0% of Hispanics and 4.3% of Asians. The disproportionately higher representation of LGBT status among nonwhite population segments corresponds to the slightly below-average 3.2% of white Americans who identified as LGBT.

Overall, a third of LGBT-identifiers are nonwhite (33%), compared with 27% of non-LGBT individuals.

Although the difference is not large, women are slightly more likely to identify as LGBT than are men (3.6% vs. 3.3%) -- a finding that is consistent with other surveys. Put differently, more than 53% of LGBT individuals are women.

Adults aged 18 to 29 (6.4%) are more than three times as likely as seniors aged 65 and older (1.9%) to identify as LGBT. Among those aged 30 to 64, LGBT identity declines with age -- at 3.2% for 30- to 49-year-olds and 2.6% for 50- to 64-year-olds.

Consistent with other recent studies and with the gender gap identified earlier in this report, younger women are more likely to identify as LGBT than are younger men. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 8.3% of women identify as LGBT, compared with 4.6% of men the same age.

Gallup's analysis shows that identification as LGBT is highest among Americans with the lowest levels of education -- contrary to what other, more limited, studies have shown. Among those with a high school education or less, 3.5% identify as LGBT, compared with 2.8% of those with a college degree and 3.2% of those with postgraduate education. LGBT identification is highest among those with some college education but not a college degree, at 4.0%.

A similar pattern is found across income groups. More than 5% of those with incomes of less than $24,000 a year identify as LGBT, a higher proportion than among those with higher incomes -- including 2.8% of those making $60,000 a year or more.


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