Increasing numbers of population-based surveys in the United States and across the world include questions that allow for an estimate of the size of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT population. This research brief discusses challenges associated with collecting better information about the LGBT community and reviews eleven recent US and international surveys that ask sexual orientation or gender identity questions. Increasing numbers of population-based surveys in the United States and across the world include questions designed to measure sexual orientation and gender identity. Understanding the size of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT population is a critical first step to informing a host of public policy and research topics. Examples include assessing health and economic disparities in the LGBT community, understanding the prevalence of anti-LGBT discrimination, and considering the economic impact of marriage equality or the provision of domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples. This research brief discusses challenges associated with collecting better information about the LGBT community and reviews findings from eleven recent US and international surveys that ask sexual orientation or gender identity questions.
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The demographics of sexual orientation and gender identity in the United States have been studied in the social sciences in recent decades. A Gallup poll concluded that 4. Studies from several nations, including the U. Online surveys tend to yield higher figures than other methods,  a likely result of the higher degree of anonymity of Internet surveys, and demographic of those utilizing online platforms which elicit reduced levels of socially desirable responding.
Pope Francis made news recently by voicing his support for same-sex civil unions — legal arrangements that give gay and lesbian couples many of the same rights as married opposite-sex couples. Around the world, Catholics vary in their support for same-sex marriage and their acceptance of homosexuality in general, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in recent years. The Center does not have recent survey data on views about civil unions. Same-sex marriage became legal across the U. In Western Europe, large majorities of Catholics said in that they support legal same-sex marriage.
Research on the subject of how many people are gay poses more questions than answers. Citing the most recent Australian survey conducted by Roy Morgan on the gay population of Australia : the survey suggests there are 4. This number decreases to 6. In total, 4. So, does this trend of younger Australians who are homosexual mirror a global story of youth who identify as being gay?