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Census data reveals new information about England and Wales’ LGBTQ+ population

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The 2021 census data report has shed a light on England and Wales’ LGBTQ+ community for the first time. Back in 2020, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that they would ask questions concerning gender identity and sexual orientation in the 2021 census.  “Without robust data on the size of the LGBT population at a national and local level, decision-makers are operating in a vacuum, unaware of the extent and nature of disadvantage which LGBT people may be experiencing in terms of educational outcomes, employment, and housing,” Iain Bell, ONS’ deputy national statistician, explained to The Observer.

On 6 January (Friday), the ONS finally released the groundbreaking data to the UK public. According to the report, 1.5 million people aged 16 and older (3.2%) identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, while 43.4 million individuals (89.5%) identified as straight or heterosexual.

748,000 people (1.5%) described themselves as gay or lesbian, 624,000 (1.3%) identified as bisexual, and 165,000 (0.3%) selected “other sexual orientation,” which included the pansexual, asexual and queer identities.

While a large number of individuals opened up about their sexual orientation, 3.6 million people (7.5%) left the question blank.

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