A new study suggests that there are around nine million LGBT people in the US, but at least 19 million have had same-sex sexual experiences.

According to research by The Williams Institute, a leading think tank dedicated to the field of sexual orientation and gender identity-related law and public policy, lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) people comprise 3.5% of the adult population.

It also estimates that there are around 700,000 transgender individuals in the US, bringing the total of LGBT individuals to about nine million Americans – roughly the population of New Jersey.

Interestingly, estimates of those who report any lifetime same-sex sexual behaviour and any same-sex sexual attraction are substantially higher than estimates of those who identify as LGB.

An estimated 19 million Americans (8.2%) report that they have engaged in same-sex sexual behaviour and nearly 25.6 million Americans (11%) acknowledge at least some same-sex sexual attraction.

Study author Dr. Gary J. Gates noted that “better data can provide the building blocks for critical information to understand the lives of the 9 million LGBT Americans who have been historically marginalised in both society and research.”

The study also found that among adults who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, bisexuals comprise a slight majority (1.8% compared to 1.7% who identify as lesbian or gay. Women are substantially more likely than men to identify as bisexual, said the researchers.

The study was based on information from four recent national and two state-level population-based surveys.

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