For the first time, we can estimate the size of Seattle's LGBT community.
For the first time — thanks to Gallup — we can estimate the size of Seattle’s LGBT community.
The Census Bureau does not ask this question, but Gallup does: “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?”
In the Seattle area, 4.8 percent answered “yes.”
The question was included in Gallup Daily tracking interviews between June 2012 and December 2014. This survey is so large — they conducted more than 372,000 interviews — that Gallup is able to estimate the percentage of LGBT people for each of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.
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According to that data, Seattle has the fifth-highest percentage of LGBT people in the U.S. San Francisco is No. 1 with 6.2 percent, followed by Portland, Ore., New Orleans and Austin, Texas, in order.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, only 2.6 percent of Birmingham, Ala.’s population identifies as LGBT. (The margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point.)
Percentages can sometimes be a little misleading — for example, Salt Lake City (4.7 percent) ranks higher than New York (4.0 percent) in Gallup’s numbers. So I thought it would be interesting to take the percentages from Gallup and use them to calculate the actual size of the LGBT communities, based on the total populations of each metro (I used 2013 census data).
The LGBT community in the Seattle metro area (Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue) pencils out to about 173,000 in a total population of 3.6 million. That ranks Seattle’s LGBT community as the 14th largest. New York easily earns the top spot with nearly 800,000, while Birmingham — again — ranks last, with less than 30,000.
The chart below shows all 50 metros ranked by the percentage of LGBT people, and also shows the estimated size of that population.
Scroll down on the right. Each column is sortable by clicking on the heading.
Sources: Gallup, U.S. Census Bureau