New Study: Approximately 900,000 Immigrants Identify as LGBT

For Immediate Distribution
March 8, 2013

Contact:
Laura Rodriguez, lrodriguez@rabengroup.com, (310) 956-2425
Brenda Arredondo, barredondo@rabengroup.com, (202) 587-4945

Study estimates the number of LGBT-identified undocumented and documented immigrants
 
LOS ANGELES—A new study estimates that there are approximately 267,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult undocumented immigrant population and an estimated 637,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult documented immigrant population. The study, led by Dr. Gary J. Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar and an expert in the demographic, geographic, and economic characteristics of the LGBT population, estimates the number of LGBT-identified adult (age 18+) undocumented and documented immigrants and describes some of their characteristics. The report finds that approximately 71 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Hispanic and 15 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Asian or Pacific Islander.

Gates said of the study, “An estimated 900,000 adults in this country are LGBT immigrants, among whom more than 48,000 are in a same-sex couple in which one or both spouses or partners are not US citizens. Under current immigration policies, many of these couples, along with the 24,000 children they are raising, may face separation if same-sex spouses or partners are not able to sponsor each other for a work visa.”

“LGBT Adult Immigrants in the United States” suggests that 3.1 percent of undocumented immigrant men identify as LGBT compared to 2 percent of comparable women. LGBT undocumented immigrants are younger than the broader undocumented population. Nearly half (49 percent) of LGBT undocumented immigrants are estimated to be under age 30 compared to 30 percent of all undocumented immigrants.

Key findings regarding adult undocumented immigrants include:

● There are an estimated 267,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult undocumented immigrant population, approximately 2.7 percent.
● Relative to all undocumented immigrants, LGBT undocumented immigrants are more likely to be male and are younger.
● 71 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Hispanic.
● 15 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Asian or Pacific Islander.

Key findings regarding adult documented immigrants include:

● There are an estimated 637,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult documented immigrant population, approximately 2.4 percent.
● Like their undocumented counterparts, LGBT documented immigrants are more likely to be male and are younger.
● 30 percent of documented LGBT adults are Hispanic.
● 35 percent of documented LGBT adults are Asian or Pacific Islander.
Key findings regarding same-sex couples that include a foreign born spouse or partner:
● There are an estimated 113,300 foreign born individuals (naturalized citizens and non-citizens) who are part of a same-sex couple. An estimated 54,600 of these individuals are not US citizens.
● An estimated 32,300 same-sex couples are binational (one US citizen and one non-citizen) along with 11,700 same-sex couples comprised of two non-citizens.
● Nearly 7,000 same-sex couples that include two non-citizens (58 percent) are raising an estimated 12,400 children under age 18.

The Pew Research Hispanic Center estimates that there are 36.4 million foreign born adult (age 18 and older) immigrants living in the United States. Of that group, an estimated 10.1 million are undocumented and 26.3 million are documented. The analyses derive estimates using three data sources: Pew Hispanic Research Center data on foreign born adults in the US, Gallup Daily Tracking Survey, and the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Click here for the full study.