It's official: we're getting queerer as a nation. According to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), more young people in the UK identity as lesbian, gay or bisexual than ever before.
When they were polled in 2020, 8% of people aged 16 to 24 said they identify as LGB, which is up from his 6.6% in 2019 and 4.1% in 2016. Among the 8%, just over a third (2.7%) identified as lesbian or gay, while just under two thirds (5.3%) identity as bisexual.
The proportion of people aged 16 to 24 who identify as LGB is higher than in any other age group. Across the UK population as a whole, 3.1% said they identify as LGB, which is up from 2.7% in 2019 and 1.6% in 2014.
As the latest figures are based on data harvested in 2020, it may well be the case that even more people identify as LGB now.
Our latest data on sexual orientation shows an estimated 3.1% of the UK population (aged 16+) identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in 2020.— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) May 25, 2022
This is an increase from 2.7% in 2019 and almost double the percentage from 2014 (1.6%) ➡️ https://t.co/0gFoA82PM9 pic.twitter.com/dErXxZYyzn
Among people who identify as LGB, just under a quarter (23.7%) said they were married or in a civil partnership. The ONS said "this may reflect the younger age structure of the LGB population and that the legislation for same-sex civil partnerships and same-sex marriage is relatively recent".
After all, same-sex marriage has only been possible in England and Wales since March 2014, in Scotland since December 2014, and in Northern Ireland since January 2020. Civil partnerships were introduced in 2005.
Sadly, the latest ONS data doesn't offer any insight into how many people in the UK identify as trans and/or non-binary. Hopefully this omission will be remedied in future polls.
Meanwhile, a recent report found that the UK is only the 14th most LGBTQ+-friendly couple in Europe. According to the IGLA – International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association – this reflects the fact that "evidence was brought forward this year that the [UK's] equality body is not, as set out in its mandate, effectively protecting on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity".