Study Finds Minorities and Poorer Americans Are More Likely To Be LGBT

Brittany M. Hughes | June 13, 2017
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According to a recent study from Pew Research, Americans who identify with the LGBT community are more likely to be young, have lower incomes, and be members of ethnic minorities.

Perhaps the least surprising characteristic of most LGBT Americans is that they tend to be young. Pew notes that about 7.3 percent of Millennials self-identify as LGBT, but that number drops drastically by age group. Only 3.2 percent of those aged 37 to 51 say they’re LGBT, while 2.4 percent of Americans ages 52 to 70 say the same. A paltry 1.4 percent of those 71 and up say they identify as gay, bisexual or transgender.

Whether or not someone says they’re LGBT also varies pretty widely among racial demographics. Contrary to the anti-gay stigma often associated with Black and Latino communities, Blacks, Hispanics and even Asians are statistically more likely that whites to say they’re LGBT.

Only 3.6 percent of whites say they’re gay or trans, compared to 4.6 percent of blacks. Hispanics have the highest percentage of LGBT members, at 5.4 percent, while 4.9 percent of Asians identify as gay or trans..

The number of those self-identifiying as LGBT also appears to vary among different socioeconomic levels, as Americans with lower incomes are about 30 percent more likely to say they’re LGBT than those making near or above six-figure salaries, Pew notes. The study found about 5.5 percent of those earning annual incomes of less than $36,000 say they’re gay or trans, compared to just 3.7 percent of those making above $90,000 a year.

Pew did note that the disparity in the LGBT population along certain income levels may have a lot to do with the age of those who identify as gay or trans.

Pew says that about 10 million Americans, or about 4.1 percent of the entire U.S. population, identified as LGBT in 2016.

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