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LGBTQ Demographics

Adult LGBT Population in the United States (July 2020)

The Williams Institute

Using data from the Gallup Daily Tracking Survey, this study estimates the number of LGBT people in the U.S. and by state. Separate estimates for cisgender LGB and transgender people are also provided.

% LGBT: The estimated percentages of adults age 18 and older who identify as LGBT is derived from the Gallup Daily Tracking Survey.

The Gallup Daily Tracking survey is an annual list-assisted random digit dial (70% cell phone, 30% landline) survey, conducted in English and Spanish, of approximately 350,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and up who reside in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

LGBT identity is based on response to the question, “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?” Respondents who answered “yes” were classified as LGBT. 

LGBT (Total): To estimate the number of LGBT adults age 18 and older, nationally and by state, the weighted percentage of LGBT Gallup Daily Tracking respondents was applied to 2017 population estimates produced by the US Census Bureau.

LGB (Cisgender): The term “cisgender” (pronounced “sis-gender”) refers to people whose gender identity and expression match the biological sex they were assigned when they were born. This estimate excludes all transgender adults—including those who identify as LGB, as well as those who do not. 

LGB (Trans): To estimate the number of LGB adults age 18 and older who identify as transgender, the estimated number of transgender adults (column 6) was multiplied by the percentage of transgender adults estimated to identify as LGB. 

Transgender (Total): The estimated percentage and number (rounded to the nearest 50) of adults ages 18 and older who identify as transgender are reported in Flores, A. R., Herman, J. L., Gates, G. J., & Brown, T. N. T. (2016). How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States? Los Angeles: Williams Institute.

Transgender (Straight/Other): To estimate the number of transgender adults who do not identify as LGB, the estimated number of transgender adults reported in Flores et al. (2016) was multiplied by the estimated percentage of transgender adults who did not identify as LGB (i.e., identified as “straight” or “other”). 

Transgender (LGB): See LGB (Trans) above, which details calculations used to determine the estimated number of adults who identify as both LGB and transgender.

Note: Population estimates accompany the Williams Institute’s LGBT Data & Demographics interactive. Due to rounding, estimates for subgroups (i.e., LGB cisgender adults, LGB transgender adults) will not always add up to the total (i.e., all LGB adults).  

Download the fact sheet here

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