December 29, 2023
New Data Outlines States With Most LGBTQ People
Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.
New data is out that estimates where the most lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults live in the U.S. As it turns out, confirming a few recent findings, a lot of them live in the South.
As reported by USA Today, "researchers estimate more than 5% of U.S. adults are LGBTQ+," which matches prior LGBTQ+ population data estimates.
Moreover, young people ages 18-24 are much more likely to identify as LGBTQ+, per the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles.
The report is based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2020 and 2021, there were nearly 14 million LGBTQ+ adults in the U.S., according to data, with some states having noticeably higher percentages of gay and queer residents than others.
"Look at the numbers, more people are coming out younger and people are coming out in places where LGBTQ folks have been less out and visible," said Cathy Renna, a spokesperson for the National LGBTQ Task Force.
When broken down by state, Washington, D.C., Oregon, and Delaware are at the top of the list for greatest percentage of gay and queer residents.
The census does not gather data on Americans' sexuality or gender identity, but smaller surveys from the bureau began asking those questions for the first time in 2021.
According to Gallup, the South continues to have highest percentage of LGBTQ+ people.
"The new data shows nearly 36% of the nation's adult LGBTQ+ population lives in the South, representing more than 5 million people," USA Today reports. "The number is also an increase from the last data released by the Williams Institute in 2014, showing 35% of the nation's LGBTQ+ population lived in the South."
According to Renna the numbers make sense because the South includes states spanning from Texas and Oklahoma to Florida, and extends north through Delaware. Kentucky, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., are also included.
"Despite the backlash and despite challenges we're facing, we're resilient and we're not going anywhere," Renna said.