A Canadian poll has suggested that 5 percent of the 34 million people living in Canada identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and that a third of those are in a gay marriage.

The Forum Research poll was commissioned by the National Post and conducted last month.

Its 5 percent figure contrasts with the 2 percent found by the government’s official body, Statistics Canada in 2009. The National Post noted that respondents could have been wary of divulging information to the government’s survey.

Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research said: “Social scientists have never been able to pin down how many Canadians are LGBT, but we believe this is the best estimate to date.

“This is something people want to know; they’re curious. And now is the time to measure it: people are less reluctant to answer the question, so we can actually ask it.”

10 percent of Canadians aged 18 to 34 identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender compared with only 2 percent of those over 65.

The new survey finds widespread support for marriage equality between gay and straight couples, which became legal in Canada in 2005.

The National Post pointed out that lower-income Canadians were less likely to know an LGBT person or a person in a same-sex marriage. They were the least likely group to support same-sex marriage, but the most likely to be LGBT themselves.

Support for marriage equality was lowest in the mid-Canadian provinces and highest in the younger demographics.

68 percent of 18-34 year olds supported equal marriage while 795 percent of 35-44 year olds were in favour.

2 percent of 18-34 year olds said they were in a gay union while only 0.6 percent of 34-44 year olds were.

Politically, Conservatives were the least likely to support the law at 46 percent while Greens at 85 percent were the most likely.

Women were more likely to say they were in a gay marriage, to say they had a family member in a gay marriage and to support the law on gay marriages than men.

Same-sex marriages were most popular among the youngest and oldest age groups.

2.9 percent of 18-34 year olds and 2.4 percent of over 65s were in a same-sex marriage.

Forum Research used the Interactive Voice Response system to take responses. The IVR machine called 2,694 people at random, asking them yes/no questions they could answer with their telephone keypad.