More Brits openly identify as LGBTQ+ than ever before, study finds

A person holds up a Pride flag during a protest.

The number of openly LGBTQ+ Brits has rocketed to record heights over the past few years, a report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has found.

Statistics published on Wednesday (27 September) revealed that the number of Britons living openly as members of the LGBTQ+ community shot up by 50 per cent between 2017 and 2022.

The increase is especially prominent for Brits aged between 16 and 24, with almost one in 10, on average, identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

The percentage of LGBTQ+ women in that age bracket hit double digits over the past five years, jumping from 4.8 per cent in 2017 to 10 per cent last year.

For older age groups, the shift is slightly less pronounced, although still significant.

Brits aged 35 to 49 who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual rose from two per cent six years ago to three per cent in 2022.

You may like to watch

Overall, 1.1 per cent of men and 1.9 per cent of women identify as bisexual, while 2.7 per cent of men and 1.1 per cent of women identify as gay or lesbian, the new figures show.

Maybe not surprisingly, London is the queerest part of the UK, with 5.3 per cent of the population identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, compared with an average of 3.3 per cent across the rest of the nation.

Wales is also reportedly pretty queer with about 4.3 per cent of the population identifying as something other than heterosexual.

Among the least openly queer parts of the UK are Northern Ireland, the East Midlands and the East of England, all sitting well below the average.

The statistics seem consistent with the growing positive attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people recorded by various polling groups.

Statistics collected by the British Social Attitudes Survey found that social attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people have become significantly more positive since the 80s.

Additionally, YouGov reported that, as of July, a record number of Brits continue to support same-sex marriage 10 years after it was legalised in England, Wales and Scotland.

A whopping 78 per cent of people say they support same-sex marriage, while only 42 per cent supported it in 2011.