UK: Number of people identifying as LGBTQ+ first revealed in the census

Over the years more and more people have said they are LGB+ (Picture: Getty)

Over the years more and more people have said they are LGB+ (Picture: Getty)

More than 1.5 million people in England and Wales identify as LGB+, according to the first-ever Sexuality and Gender Census.

Overall, 3.2% of the population report being lesbian, gay, bisexual or having some other sexual identity that is not straight, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found.

Around 748,000 identified themselves as gay or lesbian, and 624,000 said they were bisexual. 165,000 stated they are a sexuality not listed by the ONS.

The number of people who are attracted to more than one gender – bisexual and pansexual – is almost as large as that of gay or lesbian people.

The only difference between the two nations was found in bisexual people, with England (1.3%) having 0.1% more people reporting being bi than Wales.

This all aligns with previous ONS statistics, which show that those who say LGB+ best describes who they are have risen from 1.6% in 2014 to 3.1% in 2020.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Festival goers watch a rainbow flag being carried at the Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade ??? ???Love, Protest & Unity??? during Brighton Pride on August 06, 2022 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

The census included LGBTQ+ for the first time (Image: Getty Images Europe)

The ONS also found that 0.06% of respondents are asexual, meaning they experience little to no sexual attraction.

In today’s census results, 7.5% of the population did not answer the question, “Which of the following statements best describes your sexual orientation?”

According to the voluntary census, 89% of people (43.4 million) identified as straight.

That’s a drop from previous ONS estimates of 93.6%, with the agency noting the number has fallen since the annual population survey began in 2014.

Overall, the census provided a snapshot of a UK where more and more people feel they can be open about who they are.

The census also provided one of the most detailed breakdowns of the number of transgender people living in England and Wales.

London Trans+ Pride London

Around 0.5% of people in England and Wales are trans, the ONS found (Image: Getty Images)

Respondents were asked by the ONS, “Is the gender you identify with the same as your gender registered at birth?”

In England and Wales there are 262,000 openly transgender people – or 0.5% of the population.

There are roughly as many trans men as trans women in England and Wales, at 48,000. Almost 30,000 people said they were non-binary.

Around 18,000 respondents (0.04%) indicated that their gender identity is not listed.

More than 45.4 million people (93.5%) reported being cisgender, meaning their gender matches what was assumed at birth.

The remaining 2.9 million people (6%) did not answer the question.

The annual census is an important tool for policymakers to know how national and local pounds are best spent and laws enacted to protect people.

Mapping people’s gender identities will help officials know how best to support anti-discrimination protests set out in the Equality Act 2010, ONS statisticians said.

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Justin Scacco

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