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More Brits identify as gay or bisexual than ever before, ONS stats reveal

October 4, 2017
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LGBT activists kiss while marching in a parade demanding equal rights, on September 30, 2017 in Asuncion. / AFP PHOTO / NORBERTO DUARTE (Photo credit should read NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

There are more than one million gay, lesbian or bisexual people in the UK for the first time.

New statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the number of Brits self-identifying as LGB has topped 2%.

The figure is up from the previous year’s figures when 1.7% self-identified, which the ONS says is a “statistically significant” change.

Meanwhile the number of heterosexual Brits is at its lowest ever rate – coming in at a mere 93.4%.

The biggest percentage increase was in those who said they are bisexual, which rose from 0.6% to 0.8%, while those identifying as gay or lesbian rose from 1.1% of the population to 1.2%.

The figures are highest among 16 to 24-year-olds, with more than 4% identifying as gay or bisexual, suggesting that more tolerant attitudes among younger generations is leading to greater openness.

That figure falls to 2.9% among 25 to 34 range, while just 0.7% of over 65s self-identify as LGB.

Males are more than twice as likely to be gay than women, with 1.7% compared to 0.7% of women.

The number of women identifying as bisexual is greater than among men, however.

There were also significant differences in the numbers of people being openly gay and bisexual across the UK regions.

Just 1.2% identified as LGB in the East, while that figure rises to 2.7% in London, which could in part be due to its younger population.

Emily Knipe from the ONS said: “In 2016, around 2% of the population identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB).

“This has increased from 1.7% in 2015 (a statistically significant increase). London had the largest proportion of the population who identified as LGB (2.7%), which could be associated with a relatively young and diverse population.”

Elsewhere, a Gallup poll found the proportion of US adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) increased from 3.5% in 2012 to 4.1% last year.

This suggests more than 10 million adults now identify as LGBT in the United States.

Related topics: bisexual, Gay, lesbian, LGBT, ONS, statistics, Transgender, UK

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