Data says there are over 1 million LGB people in the UK

Figures from the Office of National Statistics have this week confirmed what many of us have suspected for a few years now – Scotland IS the ‘gayest’ country in the British Isles!

The number of people identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual in Scotland rose from 1.6% in 2015 to 2.2% in 2016. Only London and the North West of England had a higher proportion of those identifying as LGB in a Government survey, at 2.7% and 2.3% respectively.

ONS Data 2016 1

The figures come from an anonymous survey of over 320,000 people across the whole of the UK, the Annual Population Survey (APS). The questions collect information on self perceived sexual identity from the household population aged 16 and over in the UK.

For those of us in the LGB category, the report also identified that men were almost 3 times more likely to identify themselves as gay rather than bisexual, whereas more than 56% of women said they were bisexual rather than lesbian.

ONS Data 2016 2

In young people aged 16-24, the number of LGB people rose to 4.1%, the highest for any age group, and reduced to just 0.7% for those aged over 65.  More than 70% of LGB people said they were single, matching Scottish Government data from January 2017 in a similar study.

ONS Data 2016 3

The figures ofcourse exclude those who are not willing to disclose their sexual orientation, therefore many believe the rate is much higher.

A Stonewall spokesperson said:

“It is interesting to see more data being gathered on this issue. It is also important to recognise the context of this kind of research. Although people may feel comfortable answering an anonymous survey, they may struggle to open up about their identity with friends, family or colleagues.”

“To ensure that LGBT people feel safe and supported, it is vital to recognise the discrimination and anti-LGBT abuse that still exists. Our recent hate crime research shows that one in five LGBT people (21 per cent) have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.”

“That’s why we are encouraging allies to ‘Come Out for LGBT’ and support equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people so we can achieve acceptance without exception.”


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