That's according to the Census 2021, which took an important step towards offering a fully accurate portrait of the UK's population by asking questions about sexuality and gender identity for the first time.
Overall, 3.16% of the UK population said they identify as LGBTQ+. Among 16 to 24-year-olds, the age group known as Gen Z, this figure rose to 6.91%
LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall called the new data "a reminder that our leaders, institutions and governments need to step up efforts to truly champion our communities, rather than using our lives in a ‘culture war’ that does not resonate with the experiences and values of our proud Rainbow Nation".
Stonewall also pointed out that "each generation reports more lesbian, gay and bi people than the last". In fact, according to the ONS, around 57% of people who identify as LGBTQ+ are aged between 16 and 34 – i.e. Gen Z and millennials.
"But that doesn’t necessarily mean there are now simply more of us," Stonewall added. "This suggests that older generations were not always safe or free to speak about their experiences, or lacked the language to describe them".
The census also found that 1.5% of the UK population identifies as non-binary and trans. Another charity, The LGBT Foundation, said it "cautiously welcomes" this information about sexuality and gender identity.
However, it added: "Many LGBTQ+ people are living within households and environments where they are unable to be open about their gender identity, sexual orientation and trans identity. As such it will be years before we get an accurate picture, informed by figures from, and comparison with, future surveys."