A new poll has found that despite there being 53% of Americans who support legal recognition of equal marriage, two thirds of US citizens hold the perception that overall the US public is opposed to same-sex marriage.

The Gallup poll, which is the third in a row to find that more than half of Americans supported equal marriage, found that 53% of citizens said “the law should recognize same-sex marriages”.

The poll went on to find that, despite there being a majority in favour of recognising same-sex marriage, an even greater majority was under the impression that a majority of Americans were against it.

When asked their impression of what they thought was the majority opinion amongst Americans, 63% said they thought the public was opposed to equal marriage.

Just 30% of respondents said they thought the public favoured equal marriage.

Researchers on the poll said that these percentages mean that “a segment of Americans who support same-sex marriage believe that their views are in the minority, while in reality they are in the majority.”

This is the third Gallup poll, the last being in November 2012, and before that May 2011, to find that more than half of American citizens support legal recognition of equal marriage.

It also found that the number had almost doubled from the 27% of support found by Gallup in 1996. As with similar polls, it found that younger Americans were much more likely to support equal marriage, but that all age groups had grown substantially in support.

The poll was conducted between 2 and 7 May, with a random sample of 1,535 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia.

Another recent poll found that, in the US, millennials are leading the push towards greater acceptance for equal marriage, which 70% saying the support marriage for same-sex couples.