A new study by The Williams Institute at UCLA has identified that approximately 13.9 million adults in the United States, or 5.5% of the population, identify as LGBTQ+.

The study, which analysed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found noticeable age-related trends within the LGBTQ+ community. Young adults, particularly those aged 18-24, showed the highest likelihood of identifying as LGBTQ+ at 15.2%, while only 1.8% of individuals over 65 identified as LGBTQ+.

Geographically, the South emerged as the region with the most substantial LGBTQ+ population, numbering over five million individuals or 35.9% of the national LGBTQ+ community. The Western United States follows with approximately 3.5 million (24.5%), the Midwest with nearly 3 million (21.1%), and the Northeast with around 2.5 million (18.5%).


State-wise, California has the highest number of LGBTQ+ adults, followed by Texas and Florida. However, when looking at the proportion of LGBTQ+ adults, the District of Columbia stands out with the highest percentage at 14.3%. Oregon (7.8%) and Delaware (7.5%) follow.

The 10 top states with the largest number of LGBTQ+ adults:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Florida
  4. New York
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Ohio
  7. Michigan
  8. Illinois
  9. Georgia
  10. Washington

The study’s findings underscore the widespread and diverse presence of the LGBTQ+ community across the United States, even in regions like the South, where there has been a notable increase in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Cathy Renna, a spokesperson for the National LGBTQ Task Force, emphasises the resilience and growth of the LGBTQ+ population despite these challenges. She points out the importance of advocacy and representation, particularly in the South, where a significant part of the LGBTQ+ population resides.

The top 10 states plus the District of Columbia by percent of LGBTQ+ adults:

  1. Washington, D.C.  – 14.3%
  2. Oregon − 7.8%
  3. Delaware − 7.5%
  4. Vermont − 7.4%
  5. New Hampshire − 7.2%
  6. Washington − 6.9%
  7. Colorado − 6.8%
  8. Maine − 6.8%
  9. Nevada − 6.6%
  10. Massachusetts − 6.5%