US: Adult LGBT Population

An estimated 4.5 percent of the adult population in the United States–roughly 11,343,000 people–identify as LGBT. California has the greatest number of LGBT residents (1,615,000) and Wyoming has the least (15,000). Regionally, the South has the largest population of LGBT adults (3,868,000) and the Northeast (2,079,000) has the smallest.

WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE LGBT ESTIMATES? The Gallup Daily tracking survey asks respondents, “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?”. We include all individuals in the data that self-identified as LGBT (both single and coupled). That is who is presented on these maps and charts. Thus, these data give a peek at the characteristics of the LGBT community living in the United States as a whole.

WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SAME-SEX COUPLE ESTIMATES? Not all individuals in the LGBT community are included in the data presented on these maps and charts. The U.S. Census does not ask sexual orientation or gender identity questions on their surveys. Only couples where both individuals identified as male or both individuals identified as female are included in the data. Thus, these data give a peek at the characteristics of a subset of individuals in the LGBT community: individuals in same-sex couples.

Read the brief.

For a comprehensive look at the demographics and socioeconomic status of LGBT adults nationwide and by state, visit our LGBT Data & Demographics interactive.

LGBT Demographic Data Interactive. (January 2019). 
Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law.