The number of Brits who openly identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) people in the UK has officially passed a million for the first time in history, according to official figures.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reports that 2% of the population identified as LGB last year, compared with 1.7% in 2015.

Of those, 1.2% said they were gay or lesbian, while 0.8% identified as bisexual.

However, the nature of self-reporting means the true number of LGB people is likely to be even higher, with another 4.1% saying they “did not know” or refusing to comment.

Another 0.5% of the population identified as “other”, meaning they did not consider themselves to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or straight.

Scotland boasted the highest LGB population in the UK last year, with 2.2%, followed by England with 1.9% and Northern Ireland and Wales with 1.7%.

London remained the region with the highest proportion of LGB people, at 2.7%.

The figures also showed that 4.1% of 16 to 24-year-olds identified as LGB, up from 3.3% in 2015.

While the findings are certainly encouraging, LGB rights charity Stonewall warned that many gay and bisexual people still feel too frightened to live their lives openly because of anti-gay prejudice.

A Stonewall spokesman said: “To ensure that LGBT people feel safe and supported, it is vital to recognise the discrimination and anti-LGBT abuse that still exists.

“Our recent hate crime research shows that one in five LGBT people (21%) have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.”

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