A new report places the number of people who identify as transgender in the United States at 1.4 million, or 0.6 percent of the nation’s adult population, double the estimate most widely used until now.
The estimate places Florida’s proportion of transgender people at almost 0.7 percent, for a total of 100,000 people, giving Florida the sixth largest proportion of transgender people in the nation. Hawaii has the largest, followed by California, New Mexico, Georgia and Texas.
In Florida, the study finds that 13,450 of those who identify as transgender—0.75 percent–are in the 18-24 age group. The proportion declines slightly in older age groups: 66,750 Floridians age 25 to 64 are estimated to identify as transgender (0.67 percent), and 19,350 age 65 and over do (or 0.55 percent).
The study was conducted by the Wilson Institute at UCLA’s School of Law. It uses in part the Centers for Disease Control’s Risk Factor Surveillance System—a survey conducted in 19 states–to reach its estimate, as well as Census Bureau data in 31 states. Florida was in the latter group. In 2011, a study by Gary Gates and the same institute had placed the proportion of people who identify as transgender at 0.3 percent.
“Since then,” the institute report’s authors, who include Gates, write, “more state-level data sources have emerges that allow us to utilize an estimation procedure that would not have been possible with the limited data available in 2011. Compared to the data used in Gates’s study, these new data sources provide more recent data (2014), larger sample sizes, and more detailed information about respondents. This allows for the development of more recent, detailed, and statistically robust estimates of the percentage and number of adults in the United States who identify as transgender.”
The institute places the total proportion of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people at 4.1 percent, one of the highest proportions of any state, with 26 percent of LGBT individuals raising children.
Beside starkly updating previous estimates, the new numbers are especially relevant in the current political context as various states, among them Florida, are attempting to pass laws that target transgender people’s rights to use public facilities as equally as others. Florida tried and failed to pass a law that would have required people to use public bathrooms in accordance with the sex of their birth. North Carolina passed such a law.
“The findings from this study are critical to current policy discussions that impact transgender people,” Jody Herman, one of the authors of the study, said ina release. “Policy debates on access to bathrooms, discrimination, and a host of other issues should rely on the best available data to assess potential impacts, including how many people may be affected.”
Se the full report here.