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April 8, 2011

Study finds 9 million LGBT people live in the U.S.

Los Angeles--Those who identify as LGBT comprise just under four percent of the American population, according to a new study released on April 7 by the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles.

Full results were not available by press time, but preliminary information from the study found over eight million people who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual, with another 700,000 transgender people. That puts the total at around nine million, about the population of New Jersey, or a little over three-quarters of Ohio.

Bisexuals are slightly more prevalent than gay men or lesbians. They comprise 1.8 percent of the U.S. population, while those identifying as gay or lesbian are 1.7 percent, the study found. Women are more likely than men to identify as bisexual.

Eleven percent of the adult population acknowledged having had some same-sex attraction, meaning 25.6 million people have been sexually attracted to someone of the same gender. The report estimates that 19 million adults have had at least one same-sex sexual experience in their life, for 8.2 percent of the adult population.

“Last week, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies released an analysis of LGBT health research calling for federal statistical agencies to quickly move toward LGBT inclusion in their data collection,” said study author Dr. Gary J. Gates. “The surveys highlighted in this report demonstrate the usefulness of sexual orientation and gender identity questions on large-scale national population-based surveys.”

“Better data can provide the building blocks for critical information to understand the lives of the nine million LGBT Americans who have been historically marginalized in both society and research,” Gates continued.

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