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7.2% of U.S. adults identify as LGBTQ, Gallup Poll finds

Nearly 20% of Generation Z, or those ages 19 to 26, identify as something other than heterosexual, the latest Gallup Poll shows.
Image: A pride flag.
A pride flag.Ivan Romano / Getty Images file

The percentage of adults in the U.S. who identify as LGBTQ increased slightly year over year, to 7.2% last year, according to a Gallup Poll released Wednesday. 

While that’s just a slight increase from 7.1% in 2021, it’s more than double what it was a decade ago, when Gallup found just 3.5% of the U.S. population identified as something other than heterosexual in 2012.

Gallup asked more than 10,000 adults nationwide how they identify in telephone interviews last year. 

For the first time, the organization recorded the identities of LGBTQ people who said they are something other than lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. It found that about 5% of LGBTQ adults identified outside those terms. Most of them — about 0.1% of all U.S. adults — said they are queer, pansexual or asexual. 

“Queer” is an umbrella term that generally refers to people who aren’t heterosexual or cisgender, meaning they don’t identify with their assigned sexes at birth. “Pansexual” means someone experiences sexual or romantic attraction regardless of sex or gender identity. “Asexual” describes someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction to others.

Bisexuals continue to make up the majority of LGBTQ adults, at 58.2% (or 4.2% of all U.S. adults), Gallup found, while 20.2% identify as gay, 13.4% identify as lesbian, and 8.8% identify as transgender. 

Those who said they are straight or heterosexual made up 86% of respondents, while 7% chose not to answer the question. 

Continuing previous trends, Generation Z, or those ages 19 to 26, are the most likely to identify as LGBTQ, at 19.7%, compared to 11.2% of millennials, who are 27 to 42; 3.3% of Generation X, who are 43 to 58; 2.7% of Baby boomers, who are 59 to 77; and 1.7% of the Silent Generation, who are 78 or older. 

Gallup found that younger generations are much more likely to identify as bisexual than older generations. For example, 66% of LGBTQ people in Generation Z and 62% of LGBTQ millennials identify as bisexual, compared to 48% of Generation X, 26% of baby boomers and 35% of the Silent Generation.

LGBTQ respondents in the two oldest generations are most likely to identify as gay (37% of baby boomers and 47% of the Silent Generation) and lesbian (26% of baby boomers and 12% of the Silent Generation).

Gallup noted that the share of LGBTQ adults in the U.S. is expected to continue to grow but that the growth “depends on younger people who enter adulthood in future years continuing to be much more likely to identify as LGBT than their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.”