US/World

Gallup Survey: 3.4% of American Adults Identify as LGBT

LGBT
According to a poll, 3.4 percent of Americans identify themselves as LGBT. Robert Galbraith/Reuters

There have been many speculations measuring the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. But in a new survey conducted by Gallup, speculations have finally come to an end. According to the poll, 3.4 percent of Americans identify themselves as LGBT.

For years experts have wondered who makes up the LGBT community, and how should this group be measured has been a subject for debate. Measuring sexual orientation and gender identity can pose a challenging task, particularly because these notions are based off of complex social and cultural patterns. For one, because of the stigma that surrounds those who identify as LGBT, many may not feel comfortable forthcoming about their identity. Therefore the 3.4 percent estimate only represents those who publicly identify themselves as a part of the LGBT community. There are still several Americans who remain in "the closet."

The results were based off Gallup Daily tracking interviews of more than 100,000 participants. The poll was conducted between June and September 2012.

The polls revealed nonwhites are more likely to identify themselves as a part of the LGBT community. The survey revealed 4.6 percent of African-Americans identify as LGBT, along with 4.0 percent of Hispanics and 4.3 percent of Asians. 

Also, women were more likely to identify as LGBT compared to men. Though the difference is not large, women are to some extent more likely to identify as LGBT, 3.6 percent vs. 3.3 percent. This finding is consistent with other surveys. More than 53 percent of LGBT are women.

Younger adults between the ages of 18 to 24 are three times more likely to identify themselves as a part of the LGBT community compared to seniors aged 65 and older. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 8.3 percent of women identify as LGBT, compared with 4.6 percent of men the same age.

Lastly, the poll found LGBT Americans are more likely to have lower levels of education and income, compared to the general population.

This was the largest single study of the distribution of the LGBT population to date.

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