A Gallup poll released on Wednesday revealed that the percentage of adults in the US identifying as LGBTQ has increased slightly to 7.2% in the past year, up from 7.1% in 2021. While the increase may seem small, it is significant, as it indicates that the number of people identifying as LGBTQ is continuing to grow. Moreover, the latest figure is more than double the number of people who identified as LGBTQ a decade ago. Back in 2012, Gallup found that only 3.5% of the US population identified as something other than heterosexual.
The poll surveyed more than 10,000 adults nationwide through telephone interviews in 2022. For the first time, the survey included people who identified as LGBTQ but did not identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The poll found that around 5% of LGBTQ adults identified outside these categories, with most identifying as queer, pansexual, or asexual. “Queer” is a term that refers to people who do not identify as heterosexual or cisgender. Pansexual means that someone experiences sexual or romantic attraction regardless of sex or gender identity, while asexual describes someone who does not experience sexual attraction to others.
The poll found that bisexuals continue to make up the majority of LGBTQ adults at 58.2%, or 4.2% of all US adults. Meanwhile, 20.2% identified as gay, 13.4% identified as lesbian, and 8.8% identified as transgender. Of all respondents, 86% identified as straight or heterosexual, while 7% chose not to answer the question.
Notably, the poll revealed that Generation Z, which includes people aged 19 to 26, were the most likely to identify as LGBTQ at 19.7%. Millennials, who are aged 27 to 42, were the second most likely, with 11.2% identifying as LGBTQ. In contrast, only 3.3% of Generation X (43 to 58-year-olds), 2.7% of baby boomers (59 to 77-year-olds), and 1.7% of the Silent Generation (78 or older) identified as LGBTQ.
The poll found that younger generations are much more likely to identify as bisexual than older generations. Specifically, 66% of LGBTQ people in Generation Z and 62% of LGBTQ millennials identify as bisexual, compared to 48% of Generation X, 26% of baby boomers, and 35% of the Silent Generation. However, LGBTQ respondents in the two oldest generations were most likely to identify as gay (37% of baby boomers and 47% of the Silent Generation) and lesbian (26% of baby boomers and 12% of the Silent Generation).
Gallup also noted that the share of LGBTQ adults in the US is expected to continue to grow. However, the extent of this growth will depend on younger people continuing to identify as LGBTQ as they enter adulthood in the coming years. The poll suggests that younger generations are much more likely to identify as LGBTQ than their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. As such, the poll highlights the importance of continuing to track changes in the LGBTQ population and working towards greater understanding and acceptance of people who identify as LGBTQ.