According to a new Gallup poll, the portion of American adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender increased to 4.1% in 2016 from 3.5% in 2012.
Gallup’s analysis, drawn from the largest representative sample of LGBT Americans collected in the U.S., is based on interviews with a random sample of more than 1.6 million U.S. adults collected over five years.
These figures imply that more than an estimated 10 million adults now identify as LGBT in the U.S. today, approximately 1.75 million more compared with 2012.
When asked, “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?”, more than 49,000 respondents said “yes”.
Millennials, defined here as those born between 1980 and 1998, drive virtually all of the increases observed in overall LGBT self-identification. The portion of that generation identifying as LGBT increased from 5.8% in 2012 to 7.3% in 2016. LGBT identification remained relatively stable over the five-year period at 3.2% among Generation X and declined slightly from 2.7% to 2.4% among baby boomers and from 1.8% to 1.4% among traditionalists.
Millennials are more than twice as likely as any other generation to identify as LGBT. In 2012, they accounted for 43% of LGBT-identified adults. As a result of their disproportionate increases in identification since then, they now account for 58%. Millennials comprise 32% of the general adult population.
LGBT identification increases are more pronounced in women than in men. In 2012, 3.5% of women identified as LGBT, comparable to the 3.4% of men. By 2016, LGBT identification in women increased to 4.4% compared with 3.7% among men. These changes mean that the portion of women among LGBT-identified adults rose slightly from 52% to 55%.
Among racial and ethnic minorities, the largest increases since 2012 in LGBT identification occurred among Asians (3.5% to 4.9%) and Hispanics (4.3% to 5.4%). Among whites, the comparable figures are 3.2% to 3.6%. Black Americans showed only a slight increase from 4.4% to 4.6%, and among “other” racial and ethnic groups, the increase was from 6.0% to 6.3%.
The relatively larger increases in LGBT identification among racial and ethnic groups other than white, non-Hispanics mean that these racial and ethnic minorities now account for 40% of LGBT-identified adults compared with 33% in 2012. In the general population, 33% of adults identify their race or ethnicity as other than white, non-Hispanic, an increase from 28% in 2012.
Read the full analysis at Gallup here.