By Katy Steinmetz. For centuries, being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in America meant hiding at least part of who you were. The years since have brought a rapid social transformation, with LGBT Americans increasingly accepted throughout society and accorded many—though far from all—of its legal protections. As the LGBT population moves into its full and equal place in public life, many people are asking an old question with new urgency: just how many LGBT Americans are there?
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LGBT Youth | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health | CDC
Unfortunately, the size of the LGBT community has been notoriously difficult to measure. Even when surveys do collect information about LGBT demographics in a certain region or country, it is difficult to compare the results because responses are very sensitive to how the questions are phrased and what answer options are offered. In our latest survey, we wanted to address these issues and ask our EU respondents how they categorize themselves sexually. Because our methodology leverages technology to conduct surveys anonymously through web-enabled devices, respondents are more likely to answer honestly than in face-to-face or phone interviews. In addition, unlike most other surveys that try to compare LGBT demographics between different countries, our surveys are based on a consistent set of questions and methodologies and are therefore easily comparable across countries. The results show that 5.
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Just over half of LGBTQ people in the United States identify as bisexual or queer — and the overwhelming majority of them are young women. Meanwhile, relatively few young women identify as lesbians. The margin of error overall is plus or minus 3. Three percent said they are genderqueer, nonbinary, or prefer to self-describe. Gay men also skew slightly younger, though with a more even distribution across age ranges.