Young People Are Gayer Than Ever, New Study Says

It's official ONS data now, babes.
Two women's fingers touching
Photo: Christian Filardo

The news is in: Young people are super, super gay. According to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK, 9.2 percent of all 16 to 24-year-olds are estimated to identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB).

That’s compared with 5.1 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds, 3 percent of those between 35 and 49 and a paltry 2 percent of 50 to 64-year-olds. (Boomers, you’re missing out on some great club nights.) 


The findings, which come a few days after the end of Bisexual Awareness Week, also show that two-thirds of these 16 to 24-year-olds identify as bisexual. (It’s actually bi culture to be late for everything – sorry, I don’t make the rules.)      

The big winners here are the girlies: More young women than men identify as LGB – in fact, around one in 10 young women in the UK now identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual, a figure that’s more than doubled over the last five years. 

According to the research, the proportion of British society that identifies as heterosexual has actually fallen, from 95 percent to 93.4 percent – and the number of people who ID as LGB has gone up. 

In 2017, only 2.1 percent – or 1.1 million people – identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual. That’s now risen to 3.3 percent, meaning that the number of girls, gays and theys has jumped to an estimated 1.8 million.  

The ONS says that this “may be attributed to more people exploring their sexual identity, in combination with changing societal attitudes towards different groups and the expression of these today”. 

The Dark Room Boom

If you’re looking to move out of your homophobic town, previous ONS stats can point you towards your yellow brick road, too. Unsurprisingly, one in 20 people in London aged 16 and over identify as LGB, making it the city with the highest proportion of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the UK. 

You may want to avoid the East Midlands, where only 2.1 percent of the population sway that way, while Wales has the highest proportion of LGB people (4.3 percent) out of all four nations.

You can check out the queer quotient – this is not official ONS terminology, FYI – of your local area with this interactive map here