Approximately one in six from America's youngest adult generation now identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, headlining a trend of increased LGBT identification in the country, according to a new Gallup survey.
The survey, conducted throughout the last year, found that 16% of U.S. adults from Generation Z identify as something other than heterosexual. Those surveyed were born between 1997 and 2002. Generation Z is defined as those born between 1997 and 2012; the survey did not include those who have not reached age 18. Of those 18- to 23-year-olds who identify as LGBT, 72% of them classified themselves as bisexual.
"Thus, 11.5% of all Gen Z adults in the U.S. say they are bisexual, with about 2% each identifying as gay, lesbian or transgender," Gallup stated.
Additionally, the percentage is poised to grow, since many individuals from Generation Z have not yet reached adulthood and thus were not surveyed.
Generally, the survey found that individuals from younger generations were "far more likely" to consider themselves to be something other than heterosexual than were those from older generations. However, that's not surprising considering the cultural shift American society has undergone in recent decades toward a more liberal view of gender and sexuality and a more open stance toward sexual experimentation.
What is notable, perhaps, is the rapidity with which LGBT identification has increased among Generation Z adults in comparison to those from America's second youngest adult generation — Millennials — who were born between 1981 and 1996. The survey found that LGBT identification among Generation Z adults was nearly double the LGBT identification among Millennials, of whom 9% identified as LGBT.
Under 4% of adults in Generation X, or those born between 1965 and 1980, identified as LGBT in the survey. That percentage dropped even lower for previous generations.
Overall, the percentage of of U.S. adults identifying as LGBT jumped to 5.6%, up from Gallup's previous estimate of 4.5% in 2017.
Gallup noted that the "pronounced generational differences" in LGBT identification "raise questions about whether higher LGBT identification in younger than older Americans reflects a true shift in sexual orientation, or if it merely reflects a greater willingness of younger people to identify as LGBT."
Indeed, major changes in society's stance on gender and sexuality have occurred in recent history, perhaps the most prominent among them being the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in 2015 which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. In the years since then, an increasing number of Americans have begun to question traditional gender and sexuality, and societal institutions have increasingly affirmed such a person's ability to choose their gender or sexual orientation.
Undoubtedly, these changes have had a pronounced effect on America's youngest generation of adults.