Growing LGBT ID across major racial and ethnic groups in the United States
- LGBT identification on the rise among black, white and Hispanic adults
- More Hispanic adults than white and black adults identify as LGBT
- Higher Hispanic LGBT proportion due to relative youth of the population
WASHINGTON, DC — The growth in America’s LGBT population reported by Gallup earlier this year is mirrored in America’s largest racial and ethnic groups in the country. Non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic white, and Hispanic adults in the United States are all more likely today to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or anything other than straight than they were in 2012, when Gallup started measuring LGBT identification.
Growth has been greater among Hispanic adults than among white or black adults, with Hispanic LGBT identification exceeding 8% in 2020 and reaching double digits in 2021. In contrast, just over 6% of white and black adults s identify as LGBT in the latest estimates. .
These findings are derived from Gallup’s latest update on LGBT identification, released in February and based on combined data from more than 12,000 telephone interviews conducted in 2021 with American adults aged 18 and older. These include interviews with more than 1,000 black and Hispanic Americans each.
The driving factor behind the increase in LGBT identification in the United States is the greater tendency of young adults – Millennials and, in particular, adult members of Gen Z – to identify with something other than to heterosexuality. About one in five Gen Z adults (those born between 1997 and 2003) and one in 10 Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) identify as LGBT, compared to less than one in 20 in older generations. elderly.
Greater LGBT identification among Hispanic adults appears to be primarily a function of the younger overall age of the Hispanic population relative to black and especially white populations in the United States. Hispanic adults are much more likely to be members of Gen Z or Millennials than white or black adults are.
An analysis of combined data from 2020 and 2021 highlights that racial and ethnic differences in LGBT identification are primarily related to age rather than race or ethnicity. Specifically, Gallup finds that young white Americans (15.5%) are just as likely as young Hispanic Americans (15.5%) to identify as LGBT, with young black Americans slightly lower (12.1%). ).
Less than 6% in all older age groups of Hispanic, Black, and White Americans consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Hispanic Americans in older age groups are about as likely as Black and White Americans in the same age categories to identify as LGBT.
While Gallup has a large enough sample of Asian American adults to report LGBT estimates, the sample is made up of only English-speaking Asian adults. Gallup conducts its telephone interviews in English or Spanish. With about one in four Asian adults speaking no English, and fluency in English is far more common among younger (likely American-born) than older Asian Americans (likely immigrants), a reliable estimate of the Asian American LGBT population cannot be reported with this data. .
Additionally, Gallup does not have large enough samples of Native American and Hawaiian or Pacific Islander populations to report reliable estimates of LGBT identification among these subgroups.
The rise of LGBT identification in the United States is driven by younger generations, and young adults of all racial and ethnic backgrounds are much more likely than older Americans to consider themselves to be anything other than heterosexual. Since the Hispanic American population tends to be much younger than their white and black American counterparts, LGBT identification is more common across the Hispanic subgroup.
These data shed light not only on the changing views of Americans about their sexual orientations or gender identities, but also how these relate to and are driven by changes in the composition of the American adult population in different ways. more general.
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