More Americans identify as LGBTQ than ever, data shows

Over 56.4% IDed as bisexual, and nearly 25% said they were gay. Lesbians and trans split over 20%.

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A new Gallup poll shows that an estimated 18 million Americans — that’s 5.6% — now identify as LGBTQ, an increase from 4.5% in 2017. The well-known polling company started tracking the data in 2012, and at that time, the figure was 3.5%.

The increase may be due to a change in the poll questioning: Gallup asked respondents their exact sexual orientation instead of a yes or no question that previously asked if they identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. 

A new Gallup poll shows an increase of Americans who identify as LGBTQ. The well-known polling company started tracking the data in 2012, and at that time, the number was 3.5%. Now, it’s 5.6%. (Photo by Andrea Morales/Getty Images)

The Gallup poll found that more than 56.4% of respondents identified as bisexual while nearly 25% identified as gay; lesbians and transgender respondents split just over 20%. 

An additional 3.3% described themselves as a term other than heterosexual, including queer and same-gender-loving. 

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Generation Z accounted for the highest percentage of people who identify as LGBTQ, with nearly 16%. Millennials were just over 9%, and Generation X accounted for 3.8%. 

Baby boomers were 2% while those born before 1946 were 1.3%. 

“One of the main reasons LGBT identification has been increasing over time is that younger generations are far more likely to consider themselves to be something other than heterosexual,” Gallup said.

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The poll was the result of interviews with more than 15,000 Americans aged 18 and older. 

Additional findings from the poll show that women are more likely than men to identify as LGBTQ, with 6.4% vs. 4.9%. Women were also more likely to identify as bisexual. 

Additionally, respondents who identify as LGBTQ were more likely to be political liberals. Nearly 9% identify as Democrats, while only 1.7% identify as Republicans. 

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The poll notes that younger Americans being more likely to identify as LGBTQ may lead to an increased acceptance of equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people. 

“This poll confirms what we have long known — that the LGBTQ community is powerful,” said Alphonso David of the Human Rights Campaign, “and a growing force in the United States and around the world.”

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