- LGBT families are an essential part of communities across America.
- In our recent collection of 50 maps tracking American life today, we included two maps that showed how the LGBT community varies across states.
- Western and Northeastern states have higher shares of the adult population self-identifying as LGBT, while same-sex couples in the South and Mountain West are more likely to be raising children than their coastal peers.
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LGBT-identifying people and their families are an essential part of the American community.
As part of our recent collection of 50 maps tracking American life today, we included the following two maps that look at how the LGBT community varies across states.
The Movement Advancement Project, an advocacy and research group, assembled data from a 2018 analysis by The Williams Institute of Gallup survey results to estimate the share of each state’s population that self-identifies as LGBT.
That share ranged from 2.7% of adults in North Dakota self-identifying as LGBT to a high of 9.8% in the District of Columbia. States in the West and Northeast had larger LGBT populations, while many states in the upper Great Plains and the South had a small share of LGBT-identifying adults.
The Movement Advancement Project also published estimates of how many same-sex couples in each state were raising children. Those estimates were based on a Williams Institute analysis of data from the US Census, which determines family structures based on who respondents list as a spouse and as their own children in their households, rather than asking specific questions about sexual orientation or gender identity.
In what might be a somewhat surprising result, some of the states with the lowest shares of self-identified LGBT adults had very high shares of same-sex couples raising children. For example, while just 2.9% of adults in Montana identified themselves as LGBT according to the above Gallup data, a full 22% of same-sex couples in that state had children.
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