September 23, 2010
Gay population in Britain revealed
The percentage of gay Britons is much smaller than initially thought, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
In the study, around 1.5% of the total population identified as gay, which is much lower than the commonly cited 5%-7% used by ministers when debating the civil partnerships legislation.
This equates to approximately 481,000 people in the UK who identify as lesbian or gay, and 242,000 who identify as bisexual.
The research also found that London housed the highest concentration of gay people (2.2% of the population), with only 0.9% located in Northern Ireland.
The study was based on 450,000 interviews, making it the largest study of its kind.
In addition, the figures revealed that gay people were more likely to be in managerial or professional occupations than straight people with 49% in such roles compared to 30% of straight workers. LGBs were also better educated, with the statistics showing that 38% hold a degree.
More than 45% of the gay community cohabits, the study revealed, although only 8% live in a household with at least one child. A third of bisexual households have at least one child.
[Story edited for clarity 24 Sept 2010]
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