According to Gallup’s daily tracking poll in 2017 (based on over 340,000 interviews), the percentage of American adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) rose to 4.5% in 2017, up from 4.1% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2012 when Gallup began tracking the measure.
The two biggest stats to note are: more people are identifying as LGBT than ever before, and the biggest surge in those who see themselves as LGBT are in the younger age demographics.
The biggest one year jump came in the millennials age group (born between 1980 and 1999) which showed an increase from 7.3% in 2016 to 8.2% in 2017. That’s the largest one-year increase since Gallup began tracking the issue in 2012.
Gen Xers (born 1965 to 1979) bumped up a tad from 3.2% in 2016 to 3.5% in 2017.
There was no change for Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) who maintained a steady 1.4% identifying as LGBT.
And, yes, there is a gender gap. More women (5.1%) see themselves as LGBT compared with only 3.9% of men.
When it comes to race, Hispanics (6.1%) were more than a percentage point more likely to identify as LGBT than other ethnic groups – Black (5.0%), Asian (4.9%) and White (4.0%).
Since Gallup began tracking the issue in 2012, LGBT identification has been and is more common among those with lower incomes. The income gap was even larger in 2017 than it has been in previous years, with 6.2% of those making less than $36,000 a year in household income identifying as LGBT, compared with 3.9% of those making $90,000 or more.
LGBT demographic experts say younger people who are LGBT are feeling more and more comfortable over time with their sexual orientation, and thus are more likely to identify as such.