According to a study done by Gary J. Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar at the UCLA School of Law, about 9 million or 3,5% of the population of the US identify as members of the LGBT community
Gates compiled his information from four recent national and two state-level population-based surveys.
“Understanding the size of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population is a critical first step to informing a host of public policy and research topics,” Gates’ report said. “Examples include assessing health and economic disparities in the LGBT community, understanding the prevalence of anti-LGBT discrimination, and considering the economic impact of marriage equality or the provision of domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples.”
A few interesting facts from the study:
• women are more likely than men to identify as bisexual
• about 19 million respondents say they have engaged in same-sex sexual behavior
• nearly 26 million Americans acknowledge some same-sex sexual attraction
When you take all that “extra” criteria into account, I think the word “identify” becomes a somewhat narrow term. Just my .02