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Nearly 30% of Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ, national survey finds

About half of the Gen Z adults who identify as LGBTQ identify as bisexual, according to the Public Religion Research Institute report.
Spectators during the New York City Pride March  on June 25, 2023.
Spectators at the New York City Pride March on June 25. Roy Rochlin / Getty Images

More than 1 in 4 Gen Z adults in the U.S. identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, dwarfing the percentages of LGBTQ Americans in older age groups, a new survey has found.

Twenty-eight percent of Gen Z adults — which the survey’s researchers specify as those ages 18 to 25 — identify as LGBTQ, according to a report released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute, or PRRI. That compares with 10% of all adults, 16% of millennials, 7% of Generation X, 4% of baby boomers and 4% of the Silent Generation, the institute found. 

“With respect to LGBTQ identity, it’s very clear that Gen Z adults look different than older Americans,” said Melissa Deckman, PRRI’s chief executive.

In its LGBTQ identity breakdown, the report found 72% of Gen Z adults identified as straight, 15% as bisexual, 5% as gay or lesbian and 8% as something else. 

Researchers also found that Gen Z adults were more ethnically and racially diverse than older generations and less likely to affiliate with established religions. Gen Z adults, along with millennials, were also more likely to identify as LGBTQ than Republican, the survey found.

PRRI’s new survey, which included more than 6,600 participants, was conducted in August and September.

The findings are in line with those of other major surveys, including Gallup’s, that show Gen Z is the queerest adult generation to date. In its most recent poll, released in February of last year, Gallup found 7.2% of adults in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ, including nearly 20% of those in Gen Z, which that survey defined as those ages 19 to 26.

PRRI’s findings, which were published Monday, come as LGBTQ rights face increasing challenges in the U.S. 

Last year, more than 500 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in state legislatures around the country, a record, including 75 that were signed into law, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU projects that more than 320 bills were prefiled for or introduced during this year’s state legislative sessions. 

“Whether it’s at the polls, in marches and rallies, or online, LGBTQ+ visibility matters and Gen Z is a force for change,” Kelley Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, said in a statement. “Thousands of LGBTQ+ young people turn 18 each day — and lawmakers should understand there will be repercussions in November for anti-LGBTQ+ political attacks.”