Number of young adults in UK identifying as LGBTQ doubled between 2014 and 2020, stats show

The Office for National Statistics found that eight percent of 16-24 year olds identified as LGB in 2020,


Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels

The number of young adults who identify as either lesbian, gay, or bisexual more than doubled between 2014 and 2020, according to the latest statistics.

The Office for National Statistics released figures on Wednesday (25 May) showing a breakdown of people's sexual orientation over the six-year period. 

According to the statistics, around three percent of young adults aged 16-24 identified as LGB in 2014 compared eight percent in 2020. 

The ONS says there has been an "increasing trend for this age group since 2014."

From 2016-2020 the figure nearly doubled to a point where around one in twelve young adults identified as LGB. 4.2 percent of young adults identified as LGB in 2016.

The number of people identifying as heterosexual or straight has fallen since 2014 when it was around 93.4 percent. In 2020 stood at 87.3 percent. 

Data was collected by the ONS through the Annual Population Survey, which collects information on sexual identity. 

The percentage of people saying they don't know has consistently stayed between the three and four percent marks, while those saying other to LGB or straight has barely moved beyond one percent. 

The ONS also found that in 2020, women were more likely than men to identify as bisexual (1.6 percent compared to 0.9 percent) but were less likely to identify as gay or lesbian (1.1 percent compared with 2.5 pecent.)

It says these differences are more pronounced in the younger age groups.

Among LGB people in 2020 almost three-quarters (72.5 percent) had never been married or been in a civil partnership. Just under one-quarter were married or in a civil partnership (23.7 percent).

According to the ONS, "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."

The Attitude May/June issue is out now.