Census & LGBT Demographic Studies

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    Prevalence of Asexuality Among Sexual Minority Adults

    Esther D. Rothblum, Evan A. Krueger, Krystal R. Kittle, Ilan H. Meyer
    August 2019

    1.7% of sexual minority adults identify as asexual. Asexuals are more likely to be women or gender non-binary and younger, compared to non-asexual LGB adults.

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    Legally Married LGB People in the United States

    Ilan H. Meyer, Evan A. Krueger
    June 2019

    New findings from the Generations study show differences in the proportion of legal marriages among three generations of LGB people.

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    Impact of the Equality Act on LGBT People in the U.S.

    Kerith J. Conron, Shoshana K. Goldberg
    April 2019

    Millions of LGBT people in the U.S. would gain civil rights protections under the Equality Act.

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    Adult LGBT Population in the US

    Williams Institute
    March 2019

    An estimated 4.5 percent of the adult population in the United States–approximately 11,343,000 people–identify as LGBT.

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    Coming Out Milestones

    Ilan H. Meyer
    October 2018

    New findings from the Generations study show marked differences in coming out experiences among three generations of LGB people.

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    LGBT American Indians and Alaskan Natives

    Shoshana K. Goldberg, Kerith J. Conron
    October 2018

    There are an estimated 285,000 LGBT American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) adults in the US.

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    Health and Well-being of Aging LGB Adults in California

    Soon Kyu Choi, Krystal Kittle, Ilan H. Meyer
    August 2018

    LGB older adults in California are as healthy as their straight counterparts. However, LGB bisexuals and LGB Hispanics exhibit health disparities.

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    Community Assessment of LGBTI Adults in Northeast Florida

    Taylor N.T. Brown, Kerith J. Conron
    June 2018

    The largest survey of LGBTI adults in Northeast Florida finds 75% of respondents have experienced “everyday discrimination,” such as being disrespected, threatened or harassed in the past 12 months.

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    Characteristics and Mental Health of Gender Nonconforming Adolescents in California

    Bianca D.M. Wilson, Soon Kyu Choi, Jody Herman, Tara Becker, Kerith Conron
    December 2017

    A new report provides the first look at data collected from the California Health Interview Survey, which for the first time measured gender expression and mental health indicators among California’s youth population.

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    Demographics and Health of California’s Transgender Adults

    Jody Herman, Bianca D.M. Wilson, Tara Becker
    October 2017

    A new report provides the first look at transgender data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the nation’s largest state survey. The report reveals demographic characteristics of transgender adults in the state, such as population size, racial makeup and marital status, as well as disparities in their health status.

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    Estimates of Marriages of Same-Sex Couples at the Two-Year Anniversary of Obergefell v. Hodges

    Adam P. Romero
    June 2017

    Over 150,000 same-sex couples have married since the U.S. Supreme Court extended marriage equality nationwide. In total, over 1.1 million LGBT adults are currently married to a same-sex partner.

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    Incarceration Rate of LGB People Three Times the General Population

    Ilan H. Meyer, PhD, Andrew R. Flores, PhD, Lara Stemple, JD, Adam P. Romero, JD, Bianca D.M. Wilson, PhD, and Jody L. Herman, PhD., February 2017

    A new study by scholars at the Williams Institute found that sexual minorities are incarcerated at disproportionately high rates, and once incarcerated they are more likely to experience mistreatment, harsh punishment, and sexual victimization. Approximately 238,000 sexual minorities are incarcerated in the United States. The nationwide incarceration rate of sexual minorities was previously unknown.

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    Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the LGBT Community

    By Taylor N.T. Brown, Adam P. Romero, and Gary J. Gates
    July 2016

    This study analyzes the extent of food insecurity experiences and participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) among LGBT adults and adults in same-sex couples. Using data from four representative, population-based surveys the authors find higher rates of these experiences among LGBT adults and adults in same-sex couples than among non-LGBT adults and adults in different-sex couples.

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    How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States

    By Andrew R. Flores, Jody L. Herman, Gary J. Gates, and Taylor N. T. Brown
    June 2016

    Utilizing data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which includes representative state-level surveys, Williams Institute scholars provide up-to-date estimates of the percentage and number of adults who identify as transgender in the United States. Approximately 0.6% of adults in the United States, or 1.4 million individuals, identify as transgender.

    The study also provides the first ever state-level estimates of the number and percentage of adults who identify as transgender for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Differences exist in the percentage of adults who identify as transgender among the states, ranging from 0.3% in North Dakota to 0.8% in Hawaii. Differences by age also exist, with younger adults more likely to identify as transgender than older adults. An estimated 0.7% of adults ages 18 to 24, 0.6% of adults ages 25 to 64, and 0.5% of adults ages 65 and older identify as transgender.

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    LGBT in the South

    By Christy Mallory, Andrew Flores and Brad Sears
    March 2016

    Christy Mallory, Andrew Flores and Brad Sears head to Asheville, North Carolina, to the LGBT in the South Conference to discuss the Williams Institute’s research on LGBT demographics and discrimination in the Southern states. Thirty-five percent of the LGBT population in the United States lives in the South, where they are more likely to lack employment protections, earn less than $24,000 a year, and report that they cannot afford food or healthcare.

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    Estimates of Transgender Populations in States with Legislation Impacting Transgender People (Update)

    By Jody L. Herman, Christy Mallory, and Bianca D.M. Wilson

    Nearly 300,000 transgender youth and adults may be negatively impacted by legislation introduced in 15 states. These bills would limit access to single-sex restrooms and locker rooms at schools and in public places; limit protections based on gender identity; permit individuals and businesses to discriminate against transgender people based on religious and moral beliefs; and limit the ability to change certain vital records documents, such as birth certificates, or enforce the use of birth certificates to establish an individual’s sex for certain purposes. The report includes a brief description of each bill, which age groups it would affect, and how many transgender people we estimate live in each state.

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    The LGBT Divide in California: A Look at the Socioeconomic Well-being of LGBT People in California

    By Angeliki Kastanis
    January 2016

    While LGBT people in California appear to be doing better than LGBT people nationwide, there is as much disparity within the state as throughout the rest of the United States. This report and data interactive explores disparities in the socioeconomic well-being of LGBT people throughout California, using data from the 2010 U.S. Census and the 2012-2014 Gallup Daily Tracking Survey. These regional patterns mirror those for non-LGBT people, which suggests that broader demographic factors also play an important role in LGBT vulnerability.

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    Marriage and Same-sex Couples after Obergefell

    By Gary J. Gates and Taylor N.T. Brown
    November 2015

    This research brief analyzes the impact of the US Supreme Court’s decisions in Windsor v. United States (June 2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (June 2015) on marriage by same-sex couples. In 2013, the year that the Windsor ruling was issued, an estimated 230,000 same-sex couples were married, 21% of all same-sex couples. By June 2015, when Obergefell was decided, 390,000 same-sex couples were married, 38% of all same-sex couples. As of October 2015, 486,000 same-sex couples were married, or 45% of all same-sex couples. The legal benefits and obligations of marriage now support these married couples, more than a quarter of whom are raising children, and the visibility of these families will likely continue to accelerate public support for marriage equality in the United States.

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    Marriage and Family: LGBT Individuals and Same-sex Couples

    By Gary J. Gates
    October 2015

    As debates about marriage equality cool, researchers can explore new questions about LGBT family dynamics, including how parents divide labor in the absence of gender differences between spouses or partners and whether parent-child relationships change in ways that are consistent with gender norms when a parent transitions from one gender to another.

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    An Estimated 780,000 Americans in Same-Sex Marriages

    By Gary Gates
    April 2015

    The number of legally married same-sex couples in the United States has tripled in the last year. The new estimate suggests that 390,000 out of nearly 1 million same-sex couples are married. Estimates from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey had the figure at 130,000. Even so, about one in six married same-sex couples live in states that currently don’t recognize their marriage. Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted from January to April 2015 on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey. The study included a random sample of 80,568 adults ages 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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