2 min read

Forget the glitz of Hollywood and the sunshine of Miami – a new study reveals a surprising truth about LGBT+ representation in the USA. While familiar rainbow havens boast large absolute numbers, it’s the underdogs that shine brightest when it comes to the percentage of the population identifying as LGBT+.

The Williams Institute at UCLA has cracked the code, revealing that 14.1 million Americans, a cool 5.6%, identify as LGBT+. California steals the show in terms of sheer numbers, with over 1.5 million residents waving the rainbow flag. Texas, maybe surprisingly, is not far behind with 1,071,300 rainbow residents followed by Florida (898,000) and New York (853,600).

But hold on to your sequined scarves – when it comes to percentage, the crown belongs to smaller states with fierce hearts.


Enter Washington D.C., the undisputed champion with a dazzling 14.3% of its residents proudly claiming their LGBT+ identity. Oregon, Delaware, and Vermont follow close behind, basking in the 7.4-7.8% range. Meanwhile, West Virginia and Mississippi strike a sombre chord, with only 4.1% identifying as LGBT+.

But wait, there’s more! The future is bursting with vibrant hues. Among young adults (18-24), the percentage skyrockets to a whopping 15.4%, signifying a generation unafraid to embrace their authentic selves. This surge in youth visibility paints a hopeful picture for a future where rainbow flags flutter proudly across every corner of the nation.

Percent of LGBT adults in the US by state (Williams Institute at the University of California)
Percent of LGBT adults in the US by state (Williams Institute at the University of California)

So, let’s move beyond the coastal stereotypes and celebrate the diverse tapestry of LGBT+ life across the USA. From the bustling streets of D.C. to the quiet charm of Vermont, each state adds a unique thread to the vibrant fabric of our community.

This study is a powerful reminder that the rainbow shines brightest in unexpected places, reminding us to embrace the full spectrum of LGBT+ experiences across the American landscape.

Last Updated on Dec 14, 2023

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