The percentage of American adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) increased to 4.5% in 2017, up from 4.1% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2012 when Gallup began tracking the measure. The latest estimate is based on over 340,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup’s daily tracking in 2017.
The expansion in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT is driven primarily by the cohort of millennials, defined as those born between 1980 and 1999. The percentage of millennials who identify as LGBT expanded from 7.3% to 8.1% from 2016 to 2017, and is up from 5.8% in 2012.
By contrast, the LGBT percentage in Generation X (those born from 1965 to 1979) was up only .2% from 2016 to 2017. There was no change last year in LGBT percentage among baby boomers (born 1946 through 1964) and traditionalists (born prior to 1946).
As LGBT demographic expert Dr. Gary Gates noted in his report on Gallup data last year: “A variety of factors can affect the willingness of adults to identify as LGBT. These can include how comfortable and confident survey respondents feel about the confidentiality and privacy of data collected.”
Despite being gay himself Dr. Gary Gates spent years trying to debunk famous sex researcher Alfred Kinsey’s claim that 10% of males in the U.S. are gay stating that the Kinsey Institute’s findings were inflated for “political reasons”. In 2015 Gates released his own study extrapolating numbers from various uncontrolled and different surveys done around the world and in the end stating that the LGBT population was only 3.4 percent and not Kinsey’s 10 percent.