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How the Worldwide LGBTQIA+ Population Index was calculated

Helping you to understand how the global population relating to the LGBTQIA+ community was calculated
Community Image - About Worldwide LGBTQIA+ Population Index
Discover all of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and all groups with non-traditional gender and sexual identities, collectively known as the LGBTQIA+ community, living in countries, sub-regions and continents across the globe. With no official world census, estimates relating to the community’s population vary depending on the country and the source. Estimates range from 2% to as high as 15% of the world’s total population.

The LGBTQIA+ Population index is collated using conservative estimates, and the figures are based on those reported and published by each country annually. Though conservative, it is likely that the actual global population relating to the community is much more significant due to more countries becoming more inclusive and introducing laws and protections relating to the LGBTQIA+ communities.

Through years of research and vocal advocates and pioneers from within the LGBTQIA+ community, the world is starting to understand that sexual or gender identities are not something a person chooses. Instead, you are simply born that way. With no official censuses, it is hard to establish the actual size of the worldwide LGBTQIA+ community, with many hiding their true identity for fear of persecution

Understand the size of the community within any given country, region or continent worldwide with this easy-to-use guide, which ranks individual countries by estimated LGBTQIA+ population

Country population statistics are typically established by using:
  • The total number of individuals that were living in that country for the previous year
  • The total number of births and deaths
  • The total number of people that have left the country (emigrated) and those that have moved to the country (immigrated)

By combining all of those various factors, it is easy to establish the number of people living in any given country for a specific point of time, their gender and age; however, to understand more about a person, governments will often carry out censuses where more detailed information is obtained. Censuses are expensive and time-consuming to arrange, so typically, they are not carried out frequently, usually any period from five to ten years or more between each census.

The questions asked in the census help to understand more about attitudes, behaviours and preferences; however, there has been no official world census regarding the LGBTQIA+ community. Research and studies have been carried out in which the estimates of LGBTQIA+ individuals range dramatically, with some estimating as high as 15% of the population identifying as LGBTQIA+ in one particular country. With no official census or the means to accurately capture the actual number of LGBTG+ individuals, it is necessary to provide reasonable estimates.

The LGBTQIA+ population volumes are based on several averages that helped us to establish the following conservative estimates against the total population:
  • Lesbian & Gay – 1.3444%
  • Bisexual – 1.2889%
  • Transgender – 0.0060%
  • Total – 2.6393%

The index has been compiled from country-specific information obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau |International Programs | International Database

The LGBTQIA+ Population Index is updated annually, typically in the first three months of the year


Learn more about the exceptional and diverse global LGBTQIA+ community. Discover interesting facts, join in the fun with interactive games, learn more about the exceptional pioneers and advocates and take pride in all of the sexualities, gender identities and special groups. Discover all things LGBTQIA+ with Gayther today


Each year, countries from around the world publish official population statistics. These statistics typically include a breakdown of the genders, age ranges, birth rates, and the total number of people that have moved to and from a country. All of the data is calculated throughout the year. For any given year, it is officially published within the first three months of the following year.

Gayther Population - Official Statistics
For the LGBTQIA+ population index, we use the official country statistics as the basis on which we apply our LGBTQIA+ community estimates


With countries around the world treating members of the LGBTQIA+ community differently, planning an overseas trip can be challenging. With over 233 country and 435 regional guides, Gayther guides provide you with all the information you need when planning your trip. From LGBTQIA equality to essential travel information, discover Gayther guides today
Now that we have the official country population statistics, we can establish the total worldwide LGBTQIA+ community by applying our LGBTQIA+ estimates.
Gayther Population - LGBTQIA+ Calculations
  • We start by multiplying the official population against the estimated Lesbian and Gay ratio (1.34444444444444%)
  • We then multiply the official population against the estimated Bisexual ratio (1.28888888888889%)
  • Lastly, we multiply the official population against the transgender ratio (0.006%)
  • Once we have the volumes for each of the groups, we are now able to establish the total population size for each country


Over the past 50 years, the LGBTQIA+ global community has seen many positive developments, where the rights and protection for community members have greatly improved. The improvements and changes are a direct result of the exceptional individuals who stood up, often at great personal risk, to fight for and promote community rights. Discover more about some of these exceptional individuals today
Gayther Community - About Population

Historically, countries worldwide have avoided using sexuality or gender identity-related questions as part of the censuses or electoral roles. Without the question sets, people from the LGBTQIA+ community cannot be identified and included in official statistics. Though some countries are slowly beginning to have the relevant questions on forms, only a handful of countries encourage community members to be identified and counted amongst the population statistics.

Even with tailored questions relating to the LGBTQIA+ community, there are other barriers, some generational in which some older community members still find it hard to be open about their gender or sexuality on official polls and censuses. Also, there are concerns about sharing personal information about their gender or sexual identity in countries that are only starting to become more inclusive. Given the stigmatism that still exists and the fact that a change of government or a shift in popular opinion could instantly change things for them, making them targets by being honest about who they are.

Without any official statistics, non-profit organisations, pollsters, and those who analyse trends and movements have predicted that in some countries, such as the USA, the number of people who identify as LGBTQIA+ could be as high as 15% of the total population. In countries where the government is hostile towards the community, many will likely hide their sexuality or gender identity for fear of being targeted and persecuted. The LGBTQIA+ estimates used within the population index are based on various articles, research papers, and studies worldwide over the past twenty-plus years. The LGBTQIA+ population estimates are at a country level, enabling population trends and statics for individual countries, regions and sub-regions.

Based on the average from various published reports, a conservative estimate is approximately 2.6% of the world’s population identifies as LGBTQIA+. From a community perspective, it is difficult to further breakdown those estimates at a micro-level relating to individual groups; however, the population index is based on:

  • Lesbian & Gay – 1.3444%
  • Bisexual – 1.2889%
  • Transgender – 0.0060%
  • Total – 2.6393%

Understanding, even as an estimation, the size of the global LGBTQIA+ community is essential. It reinforces that people who identify as LGBTQIA+ live within every country worldwide, are from every race, and religious denomination, and are all part of the society of the countries they live within. Further validating that they have no choice around who they are often at significant risk to their personal safety. Identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or any of the groups with non-traditional gender and sexual identities is not a choice but an acceptance of who they are.

LGBTQIA+ and straight people are not different; they all want the same things. To receive their fundamental human rights, to receive an education, to have access to healthcare, to receive a fair wage, and of course, to love whomever they wish. Countries across the globe are changing. Hopefully, we will have a worldwide census with the actual number of LGBTQIA+ people living worldwide one day. In a world where people can be honest and be counted without fear of persecution.


Acceptance and coming to terms with a part of what makes you can be challenging for many people. The Gayther pride in series is about celebrating all things relating to sexualities, gender identities and special groups. Showcasing the exceptional people, interesting facts and ways to connect with those unique communities, all designed to help and promote pride in LGBTQIA+ identities

Gayther Affinity is a private platform for the LGBTQIA+ community and their friends. A space that gives you the freedom to be yourself, helping you communicate with and connect to people similar to yourself from around the world and from all age groups and backgrounds. Get involved with groups discussions, ask questions or quickly search for inclusive business, services, and events near you. Gayther Affinity is committed to safeguarding its users. Through a closed network where user registration is required and enforcing block/report policies and functions to stop online abuse. Signup for your free Affinity account today.


IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The LGBTQIA+ population index is based on conservative estimates relating to the global community’s size, which has been applied to the total population recorded in 2021. We cannot accurately confirm the actual number of LGBTQIA+ individuals living within any given country. There are no official censuses that focus specifically on sexual orientations or gender identities; therefore, the volumes are based on reasonable estimates. We acknowledge that the actual size may be higher or lower than our estimates in certain countries. The index is a global index and will include countries where identifying as LGBTQIA+ is considered illegal or where the individual is likely to be persecuted. The estimates are applied to the entire world population. The index is for illustration purposes only and is not a census or tool to single out or isolate a proportion of any given country’s population. It is essential that before travelling that you independently establish information relating specifically to your own requirements and circumstances. Though we endeavour to keep all information across the site updated, we do not provide any guarantees to the accuracy and completeness of any information displayed. This page may contain external links to third party websites; Gayther provides these links for your convenience and does not endorse, warrant or recommend any particular products or services. By clicking on any external links, you will leave Gayther and be taken to the third-party website, which you do so at your own risk and by accessing the site, you will be required to comply with the external third party’s terms and conditions of use and privacy policies