A new Gallup study released Thursday found that Americans continue to overestimate the percentage of the population that identifies as gay or lesbian, and they do so at a rate of about five times the actual percentage.
“U.S. adults estimate that nearly one in four Americans (23.6%) are gay or lesbian. Gallup has previously found that Americans have greatly overestimated the U.S. gay population, recording similar average estimates of 24.6% in 2011 and 23.2% in 2015,” the group reports.
That estimate is “more than five times Gallup’s more encompassing 2017 estimate that 4.5% of Americans are LGBT, based on respondents’ self-identification as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” Gallup explains. When the estimates are broken down by demographics, even the most conservative estimates still remain about four times higher than the 4.5% estimated actual number.
“Just your best guess, what percent of Americans today would you say are gay or lesbian?” the survey, conducted in 2011, 2015 and 2019, asks. The mean results have been remarkably consistent: 24.6%, 23.2%, 23.6%, respectively.