(CTN News) – The majority of the country’s adult lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender population resides in the South, according to new statistics. This confirms previous findings.
More than 5% of adults in the United States are LGBTQ+, according to researchers, which is in line with previous LGBTQ+ population figures. Among those who identify as LGBTQ+, the Williams Institute at UC Los Angeles found that the prevalence is highest among young adults (18–24 years old).
The study indicated that in 2020 and 2021, over 14 million adults identified as LGBTQ+ lived in the United States, with notably larger proportions of homosexual and queer residents in certain states compared to others, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
An earlier Gallup poll this year indicated that the LGBTQ+ population in the United States is somewhat larger than in previous years. The adult LGBTQ population has, according to some surveys, been growing at a steady rate for some time.
“Look at the numbers, more people are coming out younger and people are coming out in places where LGBTQ folks have been less out and visible,” said Cathy Renna, a spokesperson for the National LGBTQ Task Force, in an interview with USA TODAY.
When looking at the percentage of homosexual and queer residents broken down by state, the survey finds that Delaware, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. top the list.
Even though it is the most famous census in the country, it does not inquire about the sexual orientation or gender identity of any American citizens. Questions like these were initially asked of respondents in smaller polls conducted by the agency in 2021.
How many people in the US are LGBTQ?
According to the Williams Institute, a prominent national organization that studies LGBTQ+ populations, there are approximately 13.9 million LGBTQ+ adults in the United States, making up around 5.5% of the total population.
A Gallup poll that estimates the number of Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is also released annually.
7.2% of the 10,000 people surveyed for Gallup’s most recent research identified as LGBTQ+. Adults born in the Generation Z cohort (those born between 1997 and 2012) had the highest rate, as reported by the Pew Research Center.
South continues to have the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ people
Based on these latest numbers, it’s clear that the South is home to over 5 million LGBTQ+ adults, or about 36% of the total. Additionally, this is a rise from the most recent data published by the Williams Institute in 2014, which indicated that 35% of the country’s LGBTQ+ population resided in the South.
Researchers described the South as the states that extend northward through Delaware, from Florida to Texas and Oklahoma. This cluster includes the states of Kentucky, West Virginia, and the nation’s capital.
More restrictions on transgender health care, school athletics, and LGBTQ+ history education have been enacted in states headed by Republicans in the South in recent years than to any other region of the nation.
Because of this, the South is leading the charge for LGBTQ+ equality and rights on a national level, according to Renna.
“Despite the backlash and despite challenges we’re facing, we’re resilient and we’re not going anywhere,” added Renna.
Renna, speaking from New Orleans—the site of the National LGBTQ Task Force’s next annual conference—said that the South, with its large population of persons subjected to the worst laws, is the region where lives are most at risk.
“This is where a lot of the work really needs to happen,” she added, explaining that her organization’s choice to hold its conference in Louisiana was driven by the fact that “there are so many LGBTQ people here that are underrepresented in media, culture and frankly in the movement.”
Compared to other states, such as New York, California, and Illinois, Louisiana ranks slightly higher with 5.7% of its adult population identifying as LGBTQ+.
In 2021, GLAAD, another LGBTQ+ advocacy group, examined how the media in the South covered LGBTQ+ communities. They discovered that over the 18-month period ending in December 2020, numerous sources published zero or very few significant pieces about LGBTQ+ concerns, including HIV/AIDS.
Gen Z most likely to be LGBTQ+
The LGBTQ+ population is significantly more numerous among Generation Z, the most recent adult cohort in the United States.
In 2020 and 2021, researchers discovered that over 4.6 million individuals, or 15.2% of Gen Z, identified as LGBTQ+.
In 2022, 19.7% of Gen Z, or nearly 20% of the population, identified as LGBTQ+, according to a Gallup poll conducted earlier this year.
“It’s certainly not uncommon for younger people to say they’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or however else they would identify themselves,” commented Jeff Jones, a Gallup researcher who has been collecting LGBTQ+ population data since 2012.
According to Jones, the total number of LGBTQ+ adults in the country is increasing every year as more members of Generation Z reach maturity.
“As more come into adulthood, replacing the older people, the overall number should go up,” according to him.
The majority of people who identify as LGBTQ+ are bisexual.
For a long time, researchers have discovered that over 50% of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States consists of bisexual individuals, who experience attraction to both sexes.
The Williams Institute did not use a sexuality-based data breakdown but instead examined LGBTQ+ numbers on a state-by-state basis.
More than 58% of the LGBTQ+ adult population in the US identifies as bisexual, according to the most current Gallup data.
Bisexuals are much less likely to come out to close friends and family than homosexuals and lesbians, according to 2019 research. Researchers in the field of public health who focus on sexuality have hypothesized that biphobia may be at play.
What states have the most LGBTQ+ people?
The Williams Institute has ranked the states with the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ citizens in its most recent data set, which was released this month.
With 14.3% of respondents identifying with the acronym, Washington, D.C. wins the top rank, just like in recent years.
Listed below are the other leading states in terms of the percentage of adults who identified as LGBTQ+:
- Washington, D.C. − 14.3%
- Oregon − 7.8%
- Delaware − 7.5%
- Vermont − 7.4%
- New Hampshire − 7.2%
- Washington − 6.9%
- Colorado − 6.8%
- Maine − 6.8%
- Nevada − 6.6%
- Massachusetts − 6.5%