Majority of Americans Believe 25% of Population is Gay/Lesbian

A Gallup poll conducted last month reveals surprising data about the average American’s estimate of gay and lesbian population numbers. The poll found that adults in the U.S., on average, believe that at least 25% of the country is gay or lesbian.

Participants were asked, “Just your best guess, what percent of Americans today would you say are gay or lesbian?” 35% of those polled said that they believe gays and lesbians make up over 25% of the population, while another 17% responded that gays and lesbians number between 20% and 25%.

The new findings appear to contrast with a previous report released by the Williams Institute in April, which tallied gays and lesbians as 3.5% of the population. Only 4% of Gallup’s participants answered “less than 5%.”

Women, young people (ages 18 to 29), people with lower incomes and people with less education gave higher estimates than other groups polled. Politically, slightly higher estimates were also given by Democrats, liberals, moderates and independents than Republicans and conservatives.

This is the second Gallup poll where Americans were asked to estimate the gay and lesbian population in the U.S. The first poll, conducted in 2002, found that participants estimated 21% of men were gay and that 22% of women were lesbian. Neither poll asked participants to estimate the bisexual or transgender population.

So what is the real size of the U.S. LGBT population? While the Gallup poll only reflects perceptions of gay and lesbian numbers, the poll’s authors found that responses were influenced by demographics. Participants may be counting LGBT friends and family who didn’t self-report in identity surveys such as those aggregated by the Williams Institute.

As reported by Gallup’s Lymari Morales, the recent poll “suggests Americans’ estimates are based more on who they are — and perhaps whom they know — than on their worldview.”

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Photo credit: essygie


sheila l.4 years ago

No way do I believe that 25% of the population is homosexual; the natural order of continuation of the species would not support a ridiculous high proportion as this. Sounds like made up numbers ... gay lobby is powerful and they are trying to prove normalcy with higher proportion in society.

It is more like 5%. There must be something weird which would cause excessive numbers of one quarter of the population being gay. The extinction of humans would eventually cease; heterosexuality is the procreator. Nature did not erradicate homosexuality as it has always been; but it is not viable to sustain the population. The Origin of the Species refers to adaptablility and social significance of the homosexuals.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Sorry, should have been "treated equal".

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Dumitru Z.: You're so funny. Me being quite ironical, of course. There's no such thing as NORMAL.
Well, 50% of straight marriages ends in divorce, therefore it's NORMAL that straights will divorce.
In some city 60% or more of inner city dwellers are single households. Therefore it's NORMAL to live in a single person household, straight or not.

When all men and women are threated equal, I will stop arguing. Until then, I keep my torch lit and my keyboard warm!

Allan Yorkowitz
.5 years ago

In my opinion, I wouldn't be surprised if that 25% included bi-sexuals.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

I hadn't thought of the actual percentages.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

I really don't care what portion of the population is LBGT--can't we just live and let live?

Laurence B.
Laurence B.5 years ago

I wonder what the effect of the belief is: the reality is that there is no data to support the idea that more than around around 6% of the US population may be GLBT (although this is disputed by a large health study in the UK (30,000 respondents) among whom only around 1% or something said they were gay. So, if 35% of the US population believe that one out of every 4 people is gay, what does this tell us -- they live next door to 3 gay couples? their gaydar is way off? and do they think this is a good thing or a bad thing?

Byron M.
Byron M.5 years ago

As for the polls. These can be manipulated to get the desired results. Just choose an area of the known population where you know the percentage will be in favor of or against whatever the question is and get the desired results. Like for example: Do you think that the Care2 web site serves a useful purpose for people to express their opinions? Of course, the ppl on the site who see the question are going to agree. Those who don't use the site or are not aware it even exists aren't going to see the question. So, the results would be highly in favor of a Yes. How about this one: Do you think that having a Black president is good for the USA? Go to a predominantly Black or Republican community and you would get a majority Yes. Go to a known predominantly white Democrat community and the majority would probably be No. Ask a Christian community if they believe God created the universe and man. They would favor Yes. Ask a group of known non-believers and the majority would say No. So, poll outcomes can be manipulated, depending on the community, people and area polled. The only true way to get a close to accurate outcome is to have an election whereby everybody in the country gets to vote. Well, that's my rant on opinion polls.

Byron M.
Byron M.5 years ago

What is the percentage of the population that is Homeless? What is the percentage of the population that are living in poverty? These are important issues that need attention and help. Poor kids go hungry and have difficulty getting a good education. Focus on problems that need to be taken care of. What is the percentage of the population who couldn't care less whether someone is gay, lesbian or not sure? I am heterosexual. Do I have to advertise that so everybody knows? Does anybody care? This issue has tied up the court systems, caused ppl to lose their jobs, be fined, sent to jail, degraded, and called nasty names. When will it ever end? Get on with your life and live it as you please but stop expecting the majority of the population to agree with you. It is not going to happen. So get on with life and deal with more important issues. Like Child Poverty and Illiteracy. Help fund a child to go to get a good education instead of paying high priced lawyers to keep trying to force beliefs onto other people.

carlee trent
carlee trent5 years ago