Feds: 2.3% Are Gay Or Bisexual

Via the Washington Post:

Less than 3 percent of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday in the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation. The National Health Interview Survey, which is the government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviors, found that 1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves bisexual. The overwhelming majority of adults, 96.6 percent, labeled themselves as straight in the 2013 survey. An additional 1.1 percent declined to answer, responded “I don’t know the answer” or said they were “something else.” The figures offered a slightly smaller assessment of the size of the gay, lesbian and bisexual population than other surveys, which have pegged the overall proportion at closer to 3.5 or 4 percent. In particular, the estimate for bisexuals was lower than in some other surveys.

 Here’s NBC’s take:

It’s official: Just under 2 percent of Americans say they are gay or lesbians and just under 1 percent say they’re bisexual. The first federal health survey to look at the question of sexuality finds that 96.6 percent of Americans declare they are heterosexual, or straight. Another 1 percent won’t say. The survey by the National Center for Health Statistics shows significant differences in health risks, also. People who say they are gay, lesbian or bisexual are also more likely to smoke and binge drink. But they also exercise more than straight Americans. They survey found that 26 percent of gays and lesbians smoke, compared to 18 percent who identified as straight and 29 percent of bisexual. And 33 percent of homosexuals say they had five or more drinks in a single day over the past year — the formal definition of binge-drinking — compared to 22 percent of straight people and nearly 40 percent of bisexuals.

The survey did not ask about gender identity.