Over 40% of trans people in US are teens and young adults, new report says

Los Angeles, California - There are around 1.6 million transgender people in the US, ages 13 and up, and about 43% of them are between the ages of 13 and 24, according to a new report.

LGBTQ+ rights activists rally outside New York City Hall.
LGBTQ+ rights activists rally outside New York City Hall.  © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The report, released this week by the UCLA Williams Institute, was based on data from two surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2017 and 2020, as well as advanced statistical modeling.

Researchers found that the percentage and the number of US adults who identify as transgender has remained steady over time.

But the number of transgender people between the ages of 13 and 25 years old nearly doubled since a previous report, published in 2017 – though that study used a different methodology.

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Daily Horoscope Today's horoscope: Free daily horoscope for Sunday, October 2, 2022

The sharp increase could likely be attributed to better access to data on young people who identify as transgender.

The report analyzed data collected by the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and its Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).

Data shows young people are more likely to identify as trans

Younger people are "significantly more likely" to identify as trans, the data shows.
Younger people are "significantly more likely" to identify as trans, the data shows.  © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

For its previous report, the Williams Institute used data from the 2014-15 BRFSS to estimate the number of adults (ages 18 and up) and youth (ages 13 to 17) who identify as transgender.

"Since then, a total of 43 states have used the BRFSS optional gender identity module for at least one year, providing more years of data from more states since these initial estimates," researchers wrote.

Additionally, in 2017, the YRBS, a national survey of high school students, began asking respondents if they were transgender. Since then, 15 states have started asking youth that question.

The data also suggests that younger people are "significantly more likely" to identify as trans than older adults, according to the report: 1.4% of youth ages 13 to 17 vs. 0.3% of adults aged 65 and older.

Overall, the number of US adults who identify as transgender (1.3 million) represents 0.5% of the total adult population. Among US youth, ages 13 to 17, 300,000 of them identify as trans – or 1.4% of the total US population of the same age group.

They also make up about 18% of the transgender-identified population in the US, up from 10% previously.

Cover photo: Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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