A new study tracking the percentage of gay and lesbian adults in America has established a first-ever demographic atlas of the group, finding that state populations range from a low of 1.7% of in North Dakota to a high of 10% in the District of Columbia.
The study, conducted by Gallup Poll Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport and UCLA scholar Gary J. Gates is the largest population-based survey to include a state-by-state measurement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identification.
“This is simply new ground -- these are not just new statistics, they are the only estimates we have of these people at the state level,” Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute at UCLA, which studies sexual orientation, told the Los Angeles Times. “There is no other data out there to verify these numbers, which constitute a significant advancement in our understanding of the LGBT population.”
In all, more than 206,000 adult Americans were surveyed for the expansive study, with 41 of the 50 states including polling samples that exceeded 1,000, researchers said. Participants responded to the question, "Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?" in surveys conducted between June 1 and Dec. 30, 2012.
Only eight states had less than 1,000 completed interviews, including the lowest sample size of 613 in Alaska.