The Williams Institute: Estimated 1 million African-American adults identify as LGBT

The Williams Institute
–Angeliki Kastanis, Gary J. Gates

AA-mapMore than 25% live in Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Maryland

An estimated 1,018,700 (or 3.7 percent) of African-American adults consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), and 34 percent of African-American same-sex couples are raising children. The estimated 84,000 African-American individuals in same-sex couples tend to live in areas where there are higher proportions of African-Americans. For example, a quarter of African-American same-sex couples live in Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Maryland.

Overall, LGBT African-American individuals have higher unemployment rates (15 percent v. 12 percent) and are less likely to have a college degree (23 percent v. 26 percent) when compared to their non-LGBT counterparts. LGBT African-American same-sex couples are also less likely than their different-sex counterparts to have health insurance coverage for both partners (63 percent v. 79 percent).

The report finds overall higher unemployment rates (15 percent v. 12 percent) and lower proportions with a college degree (23 percent v. 26 percent) among LGBT African-Americans, when compared to their non-LGBT counterparts. However, these disadvantages are not present among African-Americans in same-sex couples. Twenty-five percent of African-Americans in same-sex couples have completed a college degree, compared to 22 percent of African-Americans in different-sex couples. In addition, 71 percent of African-Americans in same-sex couples are employed compared to 68 percent of their counterparts in different-sex couples. LGBT African-Americans are also less likely than their non-LGBT counterparts to have health insurance.

African-American same-sex couples raising children, report household median incomes $15,000 lower than comparable African-American different-sex couples ($47,300 vs. $63,020). Female African-American same-sex couples, which comprise 58 percent of all African-American same-sex couples, earn over $20,000 less than male African-American same-sex couples. LGBT African-American females and African-American females in same-sex couples are three times more likely to report military service than their non-LGBT counterparts.

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