From Gallup

Just your best guess, what percent of Americans today would you say are gay or lesbian? 2002 and 2011 Trend

As you can see 52% of US adults answered that more than 20% of Americans are gay or lesbian.

About 3.5% of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.

By contrast roughly 2.2% of Americans are ethnically or religiously Jewish and 4.8% of Americans are Asian.

That is to say that LGBT folks are about 50% more common than Jews and 33% less common than Asians. Those give good anchors around what you would expect to see.

On the other hand, most Americans believe that there are significantly more gays and lesbians than blacks (12.6%) or Hispanics (16.3%) and 35% of Americans believe there are as many or more gays than Catholics (~25%)

What makes this interesting to me is not that people are bad at demographics.

Its that I would assume that people’s immediate experience is influencing their estimate of all of America. Yet, 52% of America can’t be experiencing anything like: 1 out of every 5 people I know is gay.

So my guess is that most people don’t really get what these numbers mean in terms of their daily life. Of course, to some extent we already knew that but it always interesting to see it come out in actual data.

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