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Changing at a Gallup

Gallup recently did a survey.

OK that’s not a shock. It’s what they do. They have been surveying the American populous for 80 years. Mostly known for their political surveys, Gallup also does surveys of various social and cultural topics: everything from what people want in a job to how are people feeling about various issues of the day. Gallup doesn’t do these surveys on a one and done basis but repeats them over time to gain insight into trends, creating comparisons over time.

Being an Actuary I trend to be interested in trends and this type of measurement over time. Gallup is a highly respected organization with a proven track record. While no one is ever perfect Gallup does use the best surveying practices and does a broad enough survey to give it credibility.

In short they do a good job and are a vetted source of information.

While there are lots of Gallup surveys, a recent survey caught my attention.

It seems the percentage of adults (i.e. people born before 2004) who identified themselves as LGBTQ+ has risen to 7.1%.

Gallup’s data come from “interviews with more than 12,000 adults” conducted in 2021. Gallup defines an adult as someone 18 years of age or older, which in this case means anyone born in 2003 or earlier.

This is up from 5.6% a year ago which is significant.

In fact that percentage has risen every year they have done the survey since 2012, where it was 3.5%.


Think about that for a second. 1 in 14 people now identify as LGBTQ+.

What is even more fascinating is the breakdown by generations.

The younger someone is the more likely they are to identify as LGBTQ+.

Only 2.6% of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) identified as LGBTQ+.

4.2% of Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) identified as LGBTQ+.

For Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) the percentage that identify themselves as LGBTQ+ rose to 10.5%. That is a huge jump.

However for people born between 1997 and 2003, i.e. Generation Z, that number was a staggering 20.8%. 1 in 5 adults under 25 years old identify as LGBTQ+.

That has significant implications from a workplace perspective.

Think about it.

Traditional retirement age is around 65. Most of the older generations are retiring. Millennials and Generation Z are a growing part of the workforce. So If you are interviewing anyone under 40 years old, there is a 10-20% chance they are LGBTQ+.

Let me repeat that.

Anyone…. Under ….. 40!

I bet a lot of the roles in your company are filled with people 40 and under.

If you do not have an inclusive work environment do you think they will stay?

If your work environment is not welcoming do you think they will even join your company?

And just to state the obvious, LGBTQ+ people have friends. And while they may not be LGBTQ+ themselves, how do you think they will feel about the company culture if it is not inclusive? If they feel their friends are not getting a fair deal? … Quick note: In a prior post I talked about how connected we are in regards to the LGBTQ+ community.

In my experience the LGBTQ+ community is the last community to get addressed in a corporate culture. Their Employee Resource Group (ERG) is the last to get set up. It is the last to get executive sponsorship. It is the last to get funding.

So as you are building out your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy, think about the impact the LGBTQ+ community will have on your culture. And how it will in the future as that community inevitably grows.

As always I hope this helps. I look forward to continuing the conversation. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

All the best,

Dave Terné

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