Current estimates of the US lesbian/gay/bisexual population

Source: Williams Institute, 2011.

In 2011, the Williams Institute reviewed several different studies that measured the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations in the United States. Although the studies' findings varied, they averaged out to 3.5% of the adult U.S. population identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. That's over 8 million adults, which is more than the size of Los Angeles and Chicago combined --- the 2nd and 3rd largest cities in the US.

Featured Content

Read the full report from the Williams Institute on comparing LGBT studies.

How Many People Are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender?


Gates, G.J. (2011). How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender? Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law.

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.

Explore More

Most population surveys group LGBT together in their questions. Visit the STATS section for the most recent LGBT studies from Gallup, the Williams Institute, the CDC and Pew Research.

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