A financial disadvantage

There is a persistent stereotype of the affluent gay male couple. But the numbers suggest otherwise. A report published by the Williams Institute of UCLA in 2019 suggests that LGBT individuals consistently experience higher poverty rates than their straight counterparts. The authors state: "LGBT people collectively have a poverty rate of 21.6%, which is much higher than the rate for cisgender straight people of 15.7% (Badgett, 2019, p. 2)."

LGBT individuals are poorer than their straight counterparts overall, but some sub-groups face greater challenges than others. For instance, poverty rates are highest for transgender persons and bisexual women (29.4%), while cisgender gay men having a poverty rate that is slightly lower (12.1%) than cisgender straight men (13.4%) (Badgett, 2019, p. 2).

Additional factors, such as race, age, and disability, as well as geography, further affect the financial position of LGBT adults, with white LGBT individuals experiencing a poverty rate of 15.4%, as compared to 30.8% for Black LGBT individuals and 37.3% for Hispanic LGBT persons overall (Badgett, 2019, p. 13).

Featured Content

Learn more about the financial challenges faced by LGBT adults, including into old age. Check out the full report from the Williams Institute.

LGBT Poverty in the United States


Badgett, M. V. L., Durso, L., & Schneebaum, A. (2013, June). New patterns of poverty in the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community. Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/lgb-patterns-of-poverty/

Gender Identity Gender identity icon Our core sense of who we are as a man, a woman, a mixture of both, or neither.

Gender Expression Gender expression icon How we show up in the world through choices like clothing, hair style, mannerisms or tone of voice.

Attraction attraction icon How we feel toward others sexually, romantically and/or emotionally.

Biological Sex Biological sex icon Physical attributes such as reproductive organs and genitalia, chromosomes, genes and hormone levels.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to gather insights and real learnings

* indicates required
Privacy Policy *