Nearly one in 12 young adults in UK identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual

The percentage for adults identifying as heterosexual or straight is on “a decreasing trend”

Ian Jones
Thursday 26 May 2022 07:03
A rainbow corner flag during a League One football match at The Valley in London (John Walton/PA)
A rainbow corner flag during a League One football match at The Valley in London (John Walton/PA)

The proportion of young adults in the UK identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) has almost doubled in four years and now stands at nearly one in 12, new figures show.

Some 8.0% of 16 to 24-year-olds identified as LGB in 2020, up from 6.6% in 2019 and a jump from 4.1% in 2016.

The rise reflects “an increasing trend for this age group since 2014,” according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

(PA Graphics)

Around one in 20 (5.3%) of people aged 16-24 identified as bisexual in 2020, along with 2.7% as LGB, 1.3% as other and 87.3% heterosexual or straight.

A further 3.4% said they didn’t know or refused to answer.

The estimates have been published by the ONS using data from the Annual Population Survey, which collects information on sexual identity from the household population aged 16 and over in the UK.

The proportion of all adults identifying as LGB stood at 3.1% in 2020, up from 2.7% in 2019 and nearly double the 1.6% in 2014 when estimates began.

(PA Graphics)

In contrast, the percentage for adults identifying as heterosexual or straight has seen “a decreasing trend” since 2014 when it was 95.3%, and now stands at 93.6%.

London had the highest regional proportion of adults identifying as lesbian or gay (2.9%) or bisexual (1.7%) in 2020, while eastern England had the lowest (1.3% and 1.0% respectively).

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