More Americans than ever are identifying as LGBT, with a significant 7.1% of the population now saying that they are part of this community.
According to Gallup, the figure is the highest to date and double the percentage since the polling company started measuring this in 2012.
The latest statistics are based on 2021 data generated from interviews with more than 12,000 adults. Gallup asks Americans whether they identify as straight or heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender as part of the demographic information it collects on all its US telephone surveys.
Those who volunteer other identities such as queer or pansexual are recorded as “other LGBT” but included in the overall LGBT statistic.
In addition to the 7.1% of US adults who consider themselves to be LGBT, 86.3% say they are straight or heterosexual, while 6.6% do not offer an opinion.
The increase in LGBT identification is largely thanks to younger generations that have moved into adulthood.
“Roughly 21% of Generation Z Americans who have reached adulthood – those born between 1997 and 2003 – identify as LGBT. That is nearly double the proportion of millennials who do so, while the gap widens even further when compared with older generations,” said Gallup.
It added that “should that trend within Gen Z continue, the proportion of US adults in that generation who say they are LGBT will grow even higher once all members of the generation reach adulthood.”
Bisexual people make up the largest proportion of LGBT adults, with 57% identifying as bisexual (around 4.0% of all US adults). The rest consist of 21% of LGBT Americans who say they are gay, 14% who are lesbian, 10% transgender and 4% something else.
These percentages total more than 100% because some respondents choose more than one category, for example, a transgender person may also identify as bisexual.
“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 grow in the future as younger generations will constitute a larger share of the total US adult population,” said Gallup.
With one in 10 millennials and one in five Gen Z members identifying as LGBT, the company said that “the proportion of LGBT Americans should exceed 10% in the near future.”