Research Says 4.5% Identify As LGBT, But There’s A Caveat

Back in 1977, when the U.S. National Gay Task Force was invited to meet with President Jimmy Carter’s representatives at the White House, founder/scientist/director Bruce Voeller of the NGTF announced that 10 percent of the population is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.


Voeller based his estimate on the work of noted ‘sexologist’ Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s and 1950s.

But now, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law has done a deep dive into statistics previously released by the Gallup Daily Tracking poll and found that an estimated 4.5 percent of Americans identify as LGBT.

Estimating there are approximately 11.3 million adult LGBTs living in the U.S., the data shows that the highest concentration of LGBT people – 9.8% – live in Washington, D.C. 


The rest of the top ten states (Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, California, Washington, Vermont, New York, Maine and New Hampshire) range from 5.6 percent to 4.9 percent in concentration.

North Dakota appears to have the smallest percentage of LGBTs with only 2.7 percent.

In terms of socioeconomic indicators, the respondents who identified as LGBT indicated they are:


• Slightly more likely to be unemployed (9% versus 5% non-LGBT)

• Slightly more likely to be uninsured (15% versus 12% non-LGBT)

• Admit to being ‘food insecure’ more than non-LGBT (27% versus 15%)

• More likely to have household income below $240,000 (25% versus 18% non-LGBT)


Fifty-eight percent of the LGBT respondents were female, while 42 percent were male.

Fifty-six percent of self-identified LGBTS were under the age of 35, while only 23 percent were 50 or older.

Kerith Conron, research director at the Williams Institute told Reuters, “Younger people are more likely to actually live as LGBT and to identify that way because they are growing up in a time when it’s more acceptable to acknowledge those feelings and to act on them.”

Addressing the overall lower percentage of LGBTs than previously assumed, Conron added a caveat: 


“In surveys that are more anonymous and private, closer to 10 percent of respondents say they have some level of same-sex attraction even if they stop short of identifying themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.”

To find out more info regarding your state, click over to the Williams Institute’s website here where you can find an interactive map showing population percentages, percentage of LGBT parents and more.

(h/t Reuters)

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