Congratulations, everyone: America is gayer than ever before.
A new study by Gallup shows that more Americans than ever before identify as LGBTQ. The polling group surveyed more than 1.6 million people, and used the findings to extrapolate that 10 million adults now claim the acronym. It’s about 4.1% of the population, up from 3.5% in 2012. Not surprisingly, those numbers are strongest among people who are not religious. Women are also more likely to self-identify than men, among whom antigay stigma is stronger.
From these numbers, we can extrapolate the percentage of the population will only swell as organized religion continues to diminish as a role in American life and masculinity and heterosexuality continue their decoupling.
Millennials are credited for for the increase. They’re far more comfortable identifying with orientations other than straight than previous generations. Though when they choose a label, it’s often B rather than L or G.
Around 7.3% of millennials are queer in some way, compared to 3.2% among Generation X and 2.4% of baby boomers. It’s unlikely this age group are any more likely to be LGBTQ; they are just more open about it.