According to a survey of 1.6 million people, an increasing number of adults living in the U.S. now identifies as LGBT. The survey, conducted by Gallup as part of Gallup Daily tracking, is the largest representative sample of LGBT Americans collected in the country. It found that 4.1 percent of U.S. adults, or approximately 10 million people, now identify as LGBT — up from 3.5 percent in 2012. And according to researchers, the group most responsible for the increase in LGBT self-identification is millennials.
Indeed, millennials are “more than twice as likely as any other generation” to identify as LGBT; they currently account for almost 60 percent of LGBT-identified adults in the country. Women, too, are increasingly likely to identify as LGBT. According to Gallup, “In 2012, 3.5 percent of women identified as LGBT, comparable to the 3.4 percent of men. By 2016, LGBT identification in women increased to 4.4 percent compared with 3.7 percent among men.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gallup cites the difference in social attitudes toward LGBT Americans over time as a reason millennials account for such a large portion of the LGBT-identified community. “It’s likely that millennials are the first generation in the U.S. to grow up in an environment where social acceptance of the LGBT community markedly increased,” researchers wrote. “This may be an important factor in explaining their greater willingness to identify as LGBT.”