What percentage of the U.S. population is gay, lesbian or bisexual?

A survey released Tuesday by the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports:

Based on the 2013 NHIS data [collected in 2013 from 34,557 adults aged 18 and over], 96.6% of adults identified as straight, 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. The remaining 1.1% of adults identified as “something else[]” [0.2%,] stated “I don’t know the answer[]” [0.4%] or refused to provide an answer [0.6%].

More specifically, 1.8 percent of men self-identify as gay and 0.4 percent as bisexual, and 1.5 percent of women self-identify as lesbian and 0.9 percent as bisexual.

The results are generally in the same ballpark as past estimates — and far below the long-debunked 10 percent estimate. But past data that I’ve seen had suggested that there were about twice as many gay or bisexual men as lesbian or bisexual women; this data suggests that there is no such gender gap.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.

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