How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender? We’ve heard a lot of guesses over the years and we’re sure we’ll hear more. But a researcher at the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law estimates in a recent analysis that there are about 9 million in the United States. Drawing on information from four recent national and two state-level population-based surveys, author Gary J. Gates suggests that there are more than 8 million adults in the US who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, comprising 3.5 percent of the adult population. There are also nearly 700,000 transgender individuals in the US. In total, the study suggests that approximately 9 million Americans—roughly the population of New Jersey—identify as LGBT.
Other key findings from the study include: Among adults who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, bisexuals comprise a slight majority (1.8 percent compared to 1.7 percent who identify as lesbian or gay); women are substantially more likely than men to identify as bisexual; estimates of those who report any lifetime same-sex sexual behavior and any same-sex sexual attraction are substantially higher than estimates of those who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. An estimated 19 million Americans (8.2 percent) report that they have engaged in same-sex sexual behavior and nearly 25.6 million Americans (11 percent) acknowledge at least some same-sex sexual attraction.