The population of young transgender people has doubled in 5 years

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According to a new study, the number of teens and young adults in the United States who identify as transgender has doubled in the past five years.


What do you want to know

  • The number of teens and young adults in the United States who identify as transgender has doubled in the past five years, according to a new study
  • The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law released a study on Friday estimating that there are 1.6 million transgender people ages 13 and older in the United States.
  • The study found that 1.4% of 13-17 year olds and 1.3% of 18-24 year olds identify as transgender; five years ago, both figures were 0.7%
  • Overall, the Williams Institute found that the percentage of adults who identify as transgender has remained steady at 0.6% since its last report in 2017.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a think tank that conducts research on law and public policy related to sexual orientation and gender identity, released a study on Friday finding that there are 1.6 million transgender people ages 13 and older in the United States.

The analysis is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health survey data from 2017 to 2020 as well as statistical modeling.

Overall, the Williams Institute found that the percentage of adults who identify as transgender has remained stable at 0.6% since its last report in 2017, but there has been a sharp increase in the number of people transgender people aged 13 to 24.

The study found that 1.4% of 13-17 year olds and 1.3% of 18-24 year olds identify as transgender. Five years ago, both figures were 0.7%. Together, the two groups are estimated at nearly 700,000 people.

Jody Herman, the lead author of the article, told Spectrum News that there are several reasons for the increase in the estimate of the transgender youth population, including that the survey of risky behaviors of Young people at the CDC began asking high school students in 2017 if they were transgender, giving researchers a clearer picture. .

Herman, a senior public policy researcher, said other factors likely include changing populations, greater awareness and education about trans people and gender identities, and the rise of social media that allows young people to connect with people they relate to.

“I think it’s a combination of things,” she said. “And we should be suspicious of pointing fingers at one thing.”

The percentage of young transgender people is disproportionate to the general population. Thirteen to 17-year-olds make up 8% of the U.S. population but make up 18% of transgender people, according to the report. 18-24 year olds make up 11% of the total population, but are estimated to make up 24% of the transgender community.

Older adults, on the other hand, make up a disproportionate segment of the transgender population. People between the ages of 25 and 64 represent 62% of the American population, but 47% of transgender people. People 65 and older make up nearly 20% of all Americans, but 10.5% of transgender people.

Among people aged 25 to 64, 0.5% identify as transgender and 0.3% of people aged 65 and over are transgender.

Of the states for which data was available, New York had the highest percentage of young people who identify as transgender (3%), while New Jersey had the lowest (0.67%). North Carolina had the highest percentage of all transgender adults (0.87%), while West Virginia had the lowest (0.4%).

According to the study, 39% of adults identify as transgender women, 36% are transgender men, and 26% said they did not confirm their gender.

The estimates come in a year when many state legislatures have introduced bills targeting transgender people. According to the Human Rights Campaign, more than 130 state anti-trans laws have been proposed in 2022.

Herman said it’s important to remember that trans people live in every state.

“We should keep that in mind when thinking about the political landscape and things that might affect trans people,” she said. “Things like this will impact real people, and these numbers represent real people.”

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