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New Gallup survey finds 3.4% of adults in the US are LGBT

NEW YORK -- A new survey estimates that 3.4 percent of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, in what may be the largest study ever aimed at calculating the nation's LGBT population.

The Gallup survey released Thursday was based on interviews with more than 121,000 people.

“Contemporary media often think of LGBT people as disproportionately white, male, urban and pretty wealthy,” said the report's lead author, demographer Gary Gates of the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute. “But this data reveal that relative to the general population, the LGBT population has a larger proportion of nonwhite people and clearly is not overly wealthy.”

According to the survey, which was conducted between June and September, 4.6 percent of African-Americans identify as LGBT, along with 4 percent of Hispanics, 4.3 percent of Asians and 3.2 percent of whites. Overall, a third of those identifying as LGBT are nonwhite, the report said.

In contrast to some previous, smaller studies, the Gallup survey found that identification as LGBT is highest among Americans with the lowest levels of education. Among those with a high school education or less, 3.5 percent identify as LGBT, compared with 2.8 percent of those with a college degree and 3.2 percent of those with postgraduate education.

A similar pattern was found regarding income groups. More than 5 percent of those with annual incomes of less than $24,000 identify as LGBT, compared to 2.8 percent of those making more than $60,000 a year.

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