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In 2014, The Integrated Household Survey (IHS) asked a question on self perceived sexual identity of adults in the UK. This question was developed as part of the ONS Sexual Identity Project, which developed, tested and implemented the question to satisfy the increasing demand for data on sexual orientation to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. ONS focused on 1 component of sexual orientation, sexual identity, as this is the most relevant dimension of sexual orientation to investigate given its relation to experiences of disadvantage and discrimination.

In 2014, the IHS found 1.6% of adults identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). This comprised of:

= 1.1% who identified as gay or lesbian
= 0.5% who identified as bisexual

A further 0.3% of the population identified their sexual identity as “other”. These were adults who did not consider themselves to fall into the heterosexual / straight, gay / lesbian, or bisexual categories.

Figure 1 shows the full breakdown of self-reported sexual identity in the UK in 2014.
Figure 1
Source: Integrated Household Survey – Office for National Statistics
Download chart XLS format (40 Kb)

Figure 2 illustrates how the size of the size of the LGB population has remained the same since 2013 (1.6%) and has experienced a small increase since 2010 (from 1.5%), although this increase was not statistically significant.
Figure 2Source: Integrated Household Survey – Office for National Statistics
Download chart XLS format (38.5 Kb)

Sexual identity by age group

The likelihood of an adult identifying as LGB decreased with age. In 2014, 2.6% of adults aged 16 to 24 identified as LGB. This decreased to 0.6% of adults aged 65 and over. Figure 3 shows this pattern for 2014.
Figure 3Source: Integrated Household Survey – Office for National Statistics
Download chart XLS format (38 Kb)

Sexual identity by gender

In 2014, twice as many men identified themselves as gay (1.5%) when compared with women who identified themselves as gay or lesbian (0.7%). By contrast, women were more than twice as likely to identify themselves as bisexual (0.7%) compared to men (0.3%). Figure 4 shows the size of the LGB population by gender in 2014.
Figure 4Source: Integrated Household Survey – Office for National Statistics
Download chart XLS format (39 Kb)

Sexual identity by region

In 2014, London had the highest proportion of adults identifying themselves as LGB (2.6%). Differences between other regions of the UK were relatively small and mostly not statistically significant, with LGB identification ranging from 1.0% (East Midlands) to 1.8% (South East). Figure 5 shows this pattern for 2014.
Figure 5Source: Integrated Household Survey – Office for National Statistics
Download chart XLS format (41 Kb)

Sexual identity by occupation

Figure 6 shows that adults in managerial and professional occupations were more likely to identify themselves as LGB (2.1%) than those in either intermediate occupations (1.3%) or routine and manual occupations (1.4%).
Figure 6Source: Integrated Household Survey – Office for National Statistics
Download chart XLS format (39 Kb)

The main findings by the Office of National Statistics:

= In 2014, 1.6% of adults in the UK identified their sexual identity as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
= The likelihood of an adult identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual decreased with age. Around 2.6% of adults aged 16 to 24 years identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual. This decreased to 0.6% of adults aged 65 and over.
= Around 0.5% of adults identified themselves as bisexual, with women (0.7%) being twice as likely as men to do so (0.3%).
= London had the highest percentage of adults identifying themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual, at 2.6%.

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