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Estimated 9 million Americans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, study finds

April 7, 2011 |  8:12 am

GaymarriageprotestAbout 9 million people across the United States identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, according to a UCLA study released Thursday.

The estimate, which translates to about 3.5% of adults as LGBT and 0.3% of adults as transgender, was created by the Williams Institute at UCLA's School of Law and argues that any estimate of the population is difficult because there are insufficient and inconsistent national surveys.

The study culled data and methods from nine surveys conducted over the last seven years and averaged results from five of those surveys to estimate sexual orientation and from two surveys to estimate the transgender population.

Among other findings: Of the lesbian, gay and bisexual population, bisexuals were a slightly larger group, representing 1.8% of the adult population compared to 1.7% who were lesbian or gay.

It also found an estimated 8.2% of Americans reported participating in same-sex sexual activity; and an estimated 11% held some same-sex sexual attraction, but neither group necessarily identified as LGBT.


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-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: Supporters of same-sex marriage march in 2008 in West Hollywoood. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times