LGB Population Smaller, Fitter Than Previous Reports, According to the CDC

According to the most recent findings from the CDC’s National Health Statistics Report, just over 2% of adults in the U.S. identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

Cdc-logoWhile that figure is somewhat lower than the results of similar surveys from other organizations like Gallup, the reported numbers change drastically as the age of the sample population is lowered. Similar CDC studies of youth in Washington, D.C. revealed 15.3% of participants identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, Dr. David Mariner explained to USA Today.

Meant to shed light on the state of the LGB community’s health, the study’s findings were mixed. LGB individuals were more likely to binge drink and smoke, the latter of which has overtaken HIV as the leading health risk to the LGBT community. Conversely, LGB people were just as likely as heterosexuals to  exercise regularly, and gay men were less likely than their straight counterparts to be obese.

Read through the CDC’s National Health Statistics Report here AFTER THE JUMP

CDC National Health Statistics Reports



  1. crispy says

    The keyword here being “identify.” We all know good and well that the Ricks and Peteys of the world ain’t identifying as “gay” on a CDC survey.

    When you account for the cowards, the numbers become closer to the 3-4% that many of us expect.

  2. petey says

    Most of the men who have homosexual experiences do not identify as gay or bisexual. They classify themselves as straight because that is what they wish to be known as.

    Therefore, I would say that the CDC survey on sexual identity is baloney. It does not accurately reflect reality. The CDC is making gay people seem insignificant with tiny percentages that don’t reflect reality.

    F@ck the CDC.

  3. Michael says

    In my social circle comprised of mostly millenials going to college, I would say 30-40% are gay or bi. It’s not a big deal anymore and all the stigma and shame about sexual orientation seems to me to be coming from older people. It’s kind of annoying.

  4. Turing's Ghost says

    I think the key variable is age. People of a certain age will be more paranoid in disclosing to the gov’t sexual preference. Also, sadly, a large part of the population of men of my generation were devastated by the aids crisis and are no longer around to be counted.

  5. Mike in the Tundra says

    Anyone who lives in a metropolitan area would think the percentage would be around 15% to 20%. Also the pollsters mostly contact people with landlines.

  6. Kit says

    Tragically, Turing’s Ghost is right: a lot of people from my generation aren’t here any more to be counted. You can read Randy Shiltz’s excellent book The Band Played on: The People and Politics of the AIDS Epidemic to see why.

  7. oncemorefeeling says

    These studies are worthless.

    Any time any straight person parrots a single-digit percentage at me, I ask them how many queer people they know. Then they think about how large a percentage that sampling is and inevitably say, “But I thought that was only me.” Then I tell them no, it’s everybody.

    10% is a good guess for the number of gays alone and it is an insanely conservative and obviously way too low number for the amount of all non-heterosexual people, at least to anybody who actually lives in the real world.

  8. petey says

    Many people will deny having affairs, too. My point is that people rarely identify with a behavior that is considered “off”. Same applies to homosexuality.

    Most men would never admit to male homosexuality. It is not something to aspire to. This is why surveys on identity based on behaviors that can be hidden are so inaccurate.

  9. crispy says

    The 10 percent number that’s frequently cited is not a “good guess.” It comes from the Kinsey Reports, which were wildly inflated because participants were volunteers.

    In urban areas, yes, 10 percent seems likely or even conservative. But taking into account rural areas and virtually all of the midwest, you’re crazy if you think 10 percent of the total population identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

  10. Malcolm says

    The majority of men who are attracted to men or who even have sex with men do not identify as gay. The large majority men who are attracted to women and men, identify as heterosexual, not bisexual. Gay identity is so thoroughly maligned and stigmatized that only the rare, bold person will embrace it.

  11. Derrick from Philly says

    Well, what some of you are saying is that being a homosexual (or bisexual) man is not the same as being a self-acknowledged Gay (or Same-Gender-Loving) man. The same goes for women, I suppose.

    But Gays have always know about the Closeted and DownLow guys. You can have ’em.

  12. says

    No survey required to know that the percentage of comments on this thread written by one closeted person under different names is way higher than the percentage of LGB people anywhere!

  13. Derrick from Philly says

    LOL @ ERNIE’S comment. You’re so right.

    Man, I don’t even try to figure who he is from day to day anymore. LOL

    Oh, I know I shouldn’t laugh at crazy people, but…LOL

  14. Rick says

    @Ernie, Derrick, and Tyler: You guys are pitiful. Really, you are. I guess you are referring to me, but I do NOT post under any name other than Rick and never have…..I guess you are just so deeply threatened by the reality that gay people are not one gigantic monolith of PC robots that you have to invent these conspiracy theories to re-assure yourselves that they are.

    Now, with that out of the way, here is what I think regarding the survey:

    The problem with all these surveys–and with your mindsets–is that you simply don’t want to acknowledge that sexuality comes in 100 shades of gray and is not black and white for most people. Because that suggests that there is a degree of choice in terms of what part of one’s sexual orientation one chooses to act on….and implies that most men who are attracted to men could refrain from having sex with men simply by exercising will-power.

    Well, guess what? That whole “choice” question should not matter in a truly enlightened society, because choice is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing, and people should be free to have sex with whomever they want–including some combination of men and women–according to whatever their particular mix of predilections is.

    That men are increasingly thinking this way and behaving accordingly deeply threatens those who want “gay” to have a very specific cultural definition–one that revolves around the culture of effeminacy–and the more men that have sex with other men and the less stigma it carries, the less able the proponents of that culture of effeminacy can “control” what “gay” means.

    Which is pretty ironic, given that the original purpose of the gay movement was to eradicate homophobia and free men from the narrow confines of enforced heterosexuality, NOT to force them into boxes that consist of either “gay” or “straight” with no in-between.

    Most men who have sex with other men do not embrace “gay” culture–and that is what bothers so many of you. It is not about sex; it is about your identity.

    But you better get used to it……..”Gay” as a concept is on its way to the dustbin of history….along with the culture of effeminacy that largely defined it….

    I think the 2% is about right when it comes to men who are “hardcore gay”–meaning having absolutely no attraction to women AND embracing “gay” culture……but the number of men having sex with other men is much, much higher and increasing….and that will eventually obliterate the debilitating culture that “gay” and LGBT have come–sadly–to represent.

  15. ratbastard says

    I call BS. Of all the questions you could ask someone in a survey, especially a face to face survey, sexual orientation and desires are by far the most touchy. The vast majority will not tell the truth, IMHO. As for gay and bi men snd women, most (again,IMHO) are not what I’d call professional homosexuals (think little kiwi), they don’t live it 24/7/365, and many don’t particulary bond with the estsblished LGBT community. I think it’s impossible to get sccurate ststistics of sexual orientation by surveys. Probably the best way would be to study ststistics regarding stuff like online porn.

  16. Tyler says

    Rick, the troll who posts under dozens of different usernames to post homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic and racist rants with blissful anonymity is labeling those who call him out pitiful. That’s really pathetic. At least OWN being a soulless troll. Don’t play the victim card.

  17. says

    Who said I was referring to you @Rick? (You’re fitting that shoe on your own foot.) And what gives you the impression any of us feel threatened? The closeted have cause to feel threatened; openly gay people don’t, not because of any gay culture/identity blah blah you’re trying to put forth but because living openly and honestly makes people happier than living in secret.

  18. johnny says

    Crispy, you’re not quite right here…

    The key word is “identify”….

    I would contend that the percentage is about 15 or higher in both urban AND rural areas if they simply were able to accurately gauge behavior and sexual proclivity.

    The number of married men who are on the down-low will never be known because they’ll never “identify” as gay or even bi, but there’s a lot more of them out there than anyone would guess. When I was single, half of the guys that responded to a personal ad I put in the paper were married or dating a woman and wanted sex on the sly. And I got about 120 responses, most from rural areas.

    Just that small sampling alone told me a lot about these polls and how inaccurate they are.

  19. crispy says

    That’s why I used the word “identify” in my comment. There’s a huge distinction between sexual activity and identification.

    BTW, it’s cute that you believe the stuff people say when answering a personal ad.

  20. Enchantra says

    I would like to conduct my own study. I would take the junior class of a public high school in an economically stable and ethnically homogenous community in the Midwest. That way you aren’t dealing with the gay drop out rate yet, and you don’t have the problem of class-flight from the public to private schools.

    Then, based on interviews with the male students (females are harder to figure out) I would decide who is gay and who isn’t. Self identification has always been the problem in these studies. People lie.

  21. Tyler says

    Oh look, Rick brought out Enchantra (he must have slipped into a sexy slip or some lingerie at some point this morning).

    Enchantra, aka Enchantra Hearne, aka sexy, female alter ego of David Hearne that Rick brings out when his main aliases have been caught.

    If anyone knows about liars it’s “Enchantra” who is herself a fraud and a lie perpetrated by Rick.

    What next, Rick. Are you going to post a transophobic comment under my name in retaliation?

  22. Zlick says

    I note with predictability that the comments thus far almost exclusively deal with and dispute the population claim, but does that mean we have to also disagree with the obvious d’uh survey result that gay men are more fit than the general population? Heheheh.

  23. Dback says

    Around 3 percent will self-identify on a survey at LGBTQ. Now add another 3 percent who may self identify but won’t come out especially on a government survey. Now add 2-3 percent more who aren’t out even to themselves but are alcoholics etc. Bingo, close to 10 percent.

  24. Randy says

    Let’s get rid of the word “identify”. It’s a word used only to belittle.

    Even things which are clearly adopted identities like Christian or Democrat don’t get the word “identify” slapped on them.

  25. Malcolm says

    How about the issue of people who are same-sex attracted but for moral, religious, or cultural reasons will never engage in same-sex activity and will not identify as gay or bisexual? There are millions of people who are attracted to the same-sex but are celibate or marry the opposite sex because they think acting on their same-sex attractions would be immoral, sinful, or just plain weird. Should they be considered gay or bisexual because of their unacted upon attractions?

  26. Paul R says

    Zlick, normally I would laugh too (because it’s true). But I was really annoyed by the the link between gay and fit—and then way beyond—earlier this week when I had to go to DMV to get the suspension lifted on my license (requested by a doctor a year ago after I fainted in a grocery store for no discernible reason; it had never happened before and hasn’t since). The woman interviewing me asked what I thought was the cause, and I said I’d been eating and sleeping poorly and was probably dehydrated to boot. Then she said that the doctor had noted I’d lost a bunch of weight in a fairly brief period, and I said, Yes that’s true; like I said, I wasn’t eating well at the time because I was working crazy hours, but I’ve since moderated my work tendencies, improved my diet, started taking supplements, drinking tons of water, etc., and my boyfriend and other friends are vigilant about making sure I eat.

    So, seemingly apropos of nothing, she gave me a quizzical look and asked, Are you anorexic?

    I found it surprising, inappropriate, and none of her business. I’m 6 feet tall and weigh 175, so my BMI is actually at the higher end of the “normal” range. No one in their right mind would look at me and think I was anorexic. When I said no, I gave her an equally quizzical look and asked why she’d asked, and she said that in her experience, many gay men are anorexic and don’t realize it (?!). I came pretty close to telling her that in my experience, stupid people shouldn’t jump to inane, uninformed conclusions about something as serious as an eating disorder. But I wanted my license back and said nothing.

  27. Nigel says

    I most states a person who is gay can legally be fired from their job and have housing denied so what impact does that have on telling a stranger that your are gay. Get a clue. People are under reporting.

  28. Nigel says

    I most states a person who is gay can legally be fired from their job and have housing denied so what impact does that have on telling a stranger that your are gay. Get a clue. People are under reporting.

  29. Tarc says

    The CDC usually does a great, but they dropped the ball here. We know from dozens of much better done studies what the actual numbers are, and they are much higher than 2% for strict homosexuals, let alone LGBT folks. I get to know about two hundred random aged college students a year, and I see numbers that reflect the general concensus: 9% gay men, 6% gay women, about 20% bi folks. *shrugs* You get tiny numbers when you make bad surveys or make people unconfortable about telling the truth.

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