Study shows one million African-Americans identify as LGBT


According to a UCLA Williams Institute study, approximately 1,018,700 (3.7 percent) of African-American adults identify as LGBT, and 34 percent of those in same-sex couples are raising children.

Angeliki Kastanis, Public Policy Research Fellow, and Gary J. Gates, Distinguished Scholar, released the study, “LGBT African-American Individuals and African-American Same-Sex Couples,” which can be viewed in full here

The study found that about 84,000 African-Americans in same-sex couples live in locations with higher percentages of African-Americans, including Georgia, New York, North Caroline, and Maryland. In comparison to the national average, unemployment rates tended to be higher, while the percentage of those retaining college degrees tended to be lower. 

Yet when compared to African-Americans within heterosexual unions, LGBT African-American couples displayed higher advantages—25 percent had college degrees versus 22 percent of heterosexual couples. The employment rate for same-sex African-American couples is also 3 percent higher than heterosexual couples—71 versus 68 percent.

However, LGBT African-Americans (single and in couples) have reportedly lower levels of health insurance coverage.

“Given their lower levels of health insurance coverage and the evidence of broader economic disadvantage, the opportunity for less expensive health care resulting from the Affordable Care Act may be particularly attractive for LGBT African-Americans,” said Gates.

58 percent of all African-American same-sex couples are female, and earn over $20,000 less than male African-American same-sex couples. Those who are raising children have a household median income $15,000 less than their heterosexual counter parts ($47,300 compared to $63,020.)

“LGBT African-American parents and their children evidence significant economic disadvantage and many live in states without LGBT anti-discrimination laws or marriage equality,” said Kastanis. “Establishing these important legal protections could really help these families.”

LGBT African-American females are three times more likely to report to military service. Nearly one in 10 have served. Conversely, LGBT African-American males are less likely to serve (13 compared to 25 percent)—approximately one in seven.

“LGBT African-American Individuals and African-American Same-Sex Couples” studied LGBT adults using the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with an analysis of the 2008-2010 American Community Survey data for both married and unmarried same-sex couples.


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