A growing number of Americans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), a Gallup poll released Wednesday indicates.
The survey found that 5.6 percent of Americans identified as LGBT in 2020, while 86.7 percent said they were heterosexual or straight, and 7.6 percent chose not to answer the question.
In 2017, the last time Gallup asked the question, 4.5 percent of Americans said they were LGBT, and in 2012, the first year the question was asked, 3.5 percent identified as LGBT.
“At a time when Americans are increasingly supportive of equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people, a growing percentage of Americans identify themselves as LGBT,” Gallup said. “With younger generations far more likely than older generations to consider themselves LGBT, that growth should continue.”
Of those surveyed, 54.6 percent of the people who identified as LGBT said they were bisexual, 24.5 percent said they were gay, 11.7 percent said they were lesbian and 11.3 percent said they were transgender. More than 3 percent said they were non-heterosexual but didn’t identify with the LGBT options.
Respondents were allowed to choose more than one identity in the survey, so the responses added up to more than 100 percent.
Among the entire US adult population, 3.1 percent identify as bisexual, 1.4 percent as gay, 0.7 percent as lesbian and 0.6 percent as transgender.
Gallup said the reason LGBT identification is on the rise in the United States is that younger generations are “far more likely” to consider themselves among this demographic. About 16 percent of adult members of Generation Z identify as LGBT, 9.1 percent of Millennials, 3.8 percent of Generation X, 2 percent of Baby Boomers and 1.3 percent of Traditionalists.
“The pronounced generational differences raise questions about whether higher LGBT identification in younger than older Americans reflects a true shift in sexual orientation, or if it merely reflects a greater willingness of younger people to identify as LGBT,” Gallup said in a release. “To the extent it reflects older Americans not wanting to acknowledge an LGBT orientation, the Gallup estimates may underestimate the actual population prevalence of it.”