Socioeconomic Status of Sexual Minorities

By Kerith J. Conron, Shoshana K. Goldberg and Carolyn T. Halpern
September 2018

An analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health found that sexual minorities in the U.S. have fewer economic resources than their straight peers. The gap is more pronounced in women, who were more likely to be near poor, receive public assistance and report economic hardship in the past year. In addition, sexual minority women were less likely to graduate from college and were twice as likely to be unemployed, compared to heterosexual women.

Fewer sexual orientation differences in economic status existed for men. Sexual minority men were more likely than their straight peers to have a college education. Yet, they earned less and were more likely to report economic hardship in the past year than straight men, which could indicate that sexual minority men face wage discrimination.

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