Study Finds 24 Percent of Southern LGBTQ People Live in Poverty

by Jacob Ogles
December 13, 2019

Nearly a quarter of LGBTQ people in the South live in poverty.

A new study found that in every Southern state except Florida, individuals identifying as LGBTQ are more likely to be poor than straight, cisgender counterparts, with 24 percent of LGBTQ adults in the region living in poverty. The University of California, Los Angeles’s Williams Institute, which focuses its public policy research on sexual orientation and gender identity issues, published the data along with numbers for every state in the union.

The South saw the highest percent of LGBTQ adults living in poverty, followed by the Midwest (23 percent), the West (22 percent) and the Northeast (18 percent).

In three Southern states — Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia — LGBTQ people in rural communities had significantly higher poverty rates than those in urban areas, though the reverse of that was true in West Virginia.

Study author Bianca Wilson, a senior scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute, said the research is part of the Pathways to Justice Project at the Institute.

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