Gen Z Is the Queerest Generation Yet, Confirmed

One in six U.S. adults ages 18–23 identify as LGBTQ, according to new research from Gallup Poll.

The numbers are in: More adult Americans identify as LGBTQ than ever before, and most of them are between the ages of 18–23.

A new report from Gallup Poll has found that 5.6% of adults in the United States identify as LGBTQ, up from 4.5% in Gallup’s 2017 estimate. The results are based on more than 15,000 interviews conducted over the course of the past year with Americans ages 18 and up.

Of respondents who answered “yes” to identifying as LGBTQ, an overwhelming majority (54.6%) said they are bisexual. This is in line with previous research from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, which reported last year that roughly half of LGBTQ Americans are attracted to people of more than one gender.

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According to Gallup, Generation Z-ers (those born between 1997–2002) were the queerest age group by far, with 15.9% of respondents ages 18–23 at the time of data collection self-identifying as LGBTQ. The vast majority of this subset (72%) said they are bisexual, too. Researchers also noted that LGBTQ identification “is lower in each older generation,” with just 2% of Baby Boomers (those born before 1965, or ages 56 and up in 2020) identifying as LGBTQ.

The findings are on par with what researchers expected, senior editor Jeff Jones told The 19th News (and in the absence of data collection on LGBTQ Americans from the U.S. government, these estimates provide vital insight). Still, the significant generational differences “raise questions about whether higher LGBT identification in younger than older Americans reflects a true shift in sexual orientation, or if it merely reflects a greater willingness of younger people to identify as LGBT,” the report reads in part. “To the extent it reflects older Americans not wanting to acknowledge an LGBT orientation, the Gallup estimates may underestimate the actual population prevalence of it.”

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
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