Official statistics reveal UK gay, lesbian and bisexual population

Just one in 100 people in the UK say they are gay or lesbian, according to statistics on sexuality published for the first time today.

A further one in every 200 people are bisexual, according to the data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The information collected as part of the new Integrated Household Survey (IHS) means that nearly three-quarters of a million UK adults say they are gay, lesbian or bisexual.

More than 480,000 consider themselves to be gay or lesbian and a further 245,000 say they are bisexual.

The IHS is the largest social survey ever produced by the ONS and contains information provided by nearly 450,000 people - the biggest pool of UK social data after the Census.

Respondents were asked whether they would describe themselves as heterosexual/straight, gay/lesbian, bisexual or other.

Nearly all replied, with the vast majority (95%) saying they were heterosexual.

One in every 200 chose "other" and just under 3% said "don't know" or refused to answer.

The ONS said the highest proportion of adults who said they were gay, lesbian or bisexual was in London and the lowest in Northern Ireland.

The question about sexual identity was added to the survey last year to provide a fuller picture of British society and to help public sector organisations to monitor their responsibility to provide equal opportunities.

The survey also found seven in 10 (71%) people in the UK identified with the Christian religion, nearly nine out of 10 (89%) belonged to the white ethnic group, and four in five men (80%) and 78% of women considered themselves to be in good health.

All IHS statistics are considered experimental and are not yet submitted for assessment to the UK Statistics Authority.

ONS hopes the survey will become accepted as a national statistic by the authority in 2012.





The widely-held belief is that one on 10 people are homosexual.



Pioneering sex researcher Dr Alfred C Kinsey published research on the sexual behaviour of men and women in the 1940s and 1950s which said 10% of males were more or less exclusively homosexual but the figure dropped by around half in women.



Ben Summerskill, chief executive of lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall, said: "We warmly welcome these figures as Stonewall's pushed for this information for some time.



"However, this is the first time that people were asked and data collection happened on doorsteps or over the phone, which may deter people from giving accurate responses - particularly if someone isn't openly gay at home.



"Stonewall now works with 600 major employers and their experience is that these statistics increase when you regularly ask about sexual orientation as part of general monitoring information.



"We'd expect to see these figures increase over time as people's confidence in the survey grows and sexual orientation becomes a routine part of data collection."



A spokeswoman for the Government Equalities Office said: "We welcome the first ever official statistics on this issue and will be considering the findings of the ONS carefully.



"Regardless of how many people identify as being lesbian, gay or bisexual this Government is committed to protecting their rights and ensuring they are treated fairly by society.



"That's why, in June, we became the first ever British Government to publish an action plan to improve LGB and T (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) equality."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Retail Store Supervisor

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to become a part of a mot...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - ASP.Net, C#

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This business IT support compan...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager / New Product Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company mission is to be th...

Recruitment Genius: Software Tester

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project