CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New data analysis from Gallup reveals that 3.8 percent of the Charlotte metro area’s population — nearly 90,000 people — identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
The new numbers come from the Gallup Daily tracking interviews, which surveyed more than 374,000 people between June 2012 and December 2014. Gallup’s question was, “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?” Gallup says it is the “largest ongoing study of the distribution of the LGBT population in the U.S. on record, and the first time a study has had large enough sample sizes to provide estimates of the LGBT population by MSA.”
Gallup had previously released estimates for LGBT populations in the nation’s 50 states. In North Carolina, 3.3 percent of the state’s population — or nearly 330,00 people — identifies as LGBT.
Gallup looked at the nation’s top 50 metropolitan statistical areas. In North Carolina, two were ranked — Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia and Raleigh.
Raleigh’s metropolitan area did not include Durham and Chapel, a point surveyors said could influence Raleigh’s results, given traditionally higher LGBT populations in cities with large college presences. Gallup found that 3.2 percent of the population in that metro area identified as LGBT.
The highest ranking metro area was San Francisco, with 6.2 percent of its population identifying as LGBT. The rest of the top ten included, from highest to lowest, Portland, Austin, New Orleans, Seattle, Boston, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Denver and Hartford. The bottom ten included, from highest to lowest, Richmond, Nashville, Milwaukee, San Jose, Raleigh, Cincinnati, Memphis, Pittsburgh and Birmingham.
Researchers noted that the distribution of LGBT people across states and cities is fairly even.
“The distribution of LGBT identity across the largest metro areas in the U.S. is relatively narrow, with a range of 3.6 percentage points from the highest to the lowest MSA among the top 50,” Gallup said. “This mirrors previous analyses of the distribution of the LGBT population across states, which show similarly fairly even distribution, at least in comparison to the many other pronounced geographic differences found on race, ethnic, political and ideological variables.”