The proportion of adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender has never been higher, and is increasing rapidly, according to a new poll from Gallup. The research firm polled over 1.75 million Americans over five years and concluded that about 4.1% of the population now identifies as LGBTQ+, or around 10 million people.
The 4.1% figure is up from 3.5% of respondents polled in 2012, suggesting an overall increase of around 1.6 million people nationwide. Leading that demographic shift, naturally, are millennials and women. At 7.1%, millennials in 2016 were more than twice as likely to be queer-identifying than any other birth cohort. Female-identified respondents also outweighed men by a margin just under 1%.
"It's likely that millennials are the first generation in the U.S. to grow up in an environment where social acceptance of the LGBT community markedly increased," Gallup concluded, attributing the shift to "differences in social climate" during each age group's formative years.
Gallup illustrated that point by citing data from its 40-year history of measuring public opinion on same-sex marriage, which shows an increase from 32% to 68% of respondents who say they believe it should be legal.
Naturally, the organization also pointed to potential shortcomings in collecting data, namely the fact that self-identification "represents only one aspect of measuring sexual orientation and gender identity." Still, given the sample size, the conclusions on broader trends seem to be pretty clear.
Read more on the study here.