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Tuesday 09 November 2010

Only 1.5 percent of Brits gay or bi, survey shows

Posted in: International Daily News
By Daily News staff - 24th September 2010

The first ever count of Britain's gay population has found that just 1.5 percent identify as gay or bisexual, much lower than the commonly-used estimate of 5 to 7 percent.

The Office of National Statistics interviewed more than 450,000 people, which is the biggest pool of social data other than the Census.

Based on the findings, they estimate 1.3 percent of men are gay and 0.6 percent of women are lesbian. Another 0.5 percent, mostly women, identify as bisexual.

ONS said the widely used estimate of 5 to 7 percent was based on different sampling methods and responses to questions about sexual attraction and behaviour both in the past and present.

The survey found that the gay population is highly educated and economically successful, being twice as likely as straight people to have university degrees or the equivalent. Nearly half of all gay and lesbian people in Britain work in managerial or professional grade jobs, compared with fewer than one in three heterosexual people.

London is home to the highest concentration of gay people at 2.2 percent of the population.

The ONS survey was based on a question of self-perceived sexual identity. Respondents were provided with a showcard containing four options: heterosexual/straight, gay/lesbian, bisexual or other. They were asked which option best described themselves.

A valid response was provided by 96 percent of those surveyed, with fewer than 4 percent refusing to respond.

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