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Americans hugely overestimate how many gay people there are

Americans hugely overestimate how many gay people there are

A LGBTI pride flag being planted outside the White House

Americans, for the most part, vastly overestimate just how many gay people they think there are in the country, a poll said.

According to a Gallup poll released yesterday (27 June), a majority of Americans believe one in four people are gay or lesbian.

Moreover, the poll shows that – despite just 4.5% of Americans self-identifying as LGBTI – this trend has stuck since 2011.

What does the poll show?

Gallup researchers have been polling Americans across 2011, 2015, and 2019.

The poll showed that women, people aged between 18-29, and Democrats overestimate how many Americans are LGB.

Women estimated that around three in 10 Americans (29.7%) are gay or lesbian. The highest of any demographic.

Americans' estimations of the LGB population 2019
Infographic: Gay Star News, Source: Gallup

Democrats and Independents guessed around a quarter of Americans are gay. Contrasted to Republicans, who guessed just under 20%.

Conversely, men, those aged above 65, and Republicans are lower in their own estimations.

While younger generations suspect around three in 10 people are LGB, this figure lowers to 17.5% for people aged 65+.

More and more people are self-identifying

‘Exactly who makes up the LGBT community and how this group should be measured is a subject of some debate,’ Gallup said in 2012.

‘There are a number of ways to measure lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientation, and transgender status. Sexual orientation can be assessed by measuring identity as well as sexual behaviors and attractions.’

Moreover, the estimations dipped in 2015 before rising slightly by 2019.

Pointedly, just 8% of those surveyed accurately estimated how many LGB people they believe there to be (under 5%). Although, as coming out becomes more normalized in the states, this figure may change.

Furthermore, more and more people are self-identifying as LGBTI and queer. According to a 2017 GLAAD study, two in 10 Millennial identified as such.

Whereas only 7% of Baby Boomers identified as LGBTIQ, and 12% of Gen-Xers.

See also