The total buying power of the US lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adult population is projected to reach $743 billion in 2010, according to a recently updated analysis.

The updated 6th edition of the estimate, by Witeck-Combs Communications and Packaged Facts, concludes that US gay buying power is up by $11 billion since 2009 ($732 billion).

The 2010 projection is slightly less than earlier analyses – given that the US economy suffered its worst recessionary consequences (between 2008 and 2010) since the Great Depression began in 1929.

In sharing the latest analysis, Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications said, “Buying power projections are frequently a standard business measure for companies and policy decision-makers. This offers us a reasonable snapshot of the projected annual economic activity of America’s diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population even in this faltering economy.”

Witeck stated that “No one should infer that same-sex households are more affluent than others – this is little more than a stereotype, considering the economic evidence available.”

He added that, “the best available Census data on same-sex couples supports the understanding, however, that LGBT households tend to skew in major metro and suburban areas – a characteristic generally associated with higher than average income.

“And while parenting trends grow, we also see evidence through Census snapshots that same-sex couples remain less likely than their married heterosexual counterparts to have kids, and they are more likely to have both partners in the workforce, factors which yield slightly higher per capita household income, especially in the case of gay male couples.”

Nonetheless, the study’s authors also noted that under existing laws and norms, same-sex couples are penalised throughout the US economy by discriminatory tax burdens, inadequate relationship rights and obligations, complex and costly barriers to adoption and parenting, and barriers to access to public safety net programs that are available to married couples and their families.

Unlike estimates of buying power for other populations, such as African Americans or Hispanics, the projected LGBT population is estimated only among adults over the age of 18 when they are more likely to be fully aware and able to define their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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