The proportion of young women in the UK identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) has more than doubled in five years and now stands at around one in 10, new data suggests.
Some 10.6 per cent of women aged 16 to 24 identified as LGB in 2022, up from 4.8 per cent in 2017, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Among 16 to 24-year-old men the proportion is slightly lower, at 7.9 per cent in 2022 – around one in 13 – up from 3.8 per cent in 2017.
Across the whole UK population aged 16 and over, an estimated 3.3 per cent identify as LGB, the equivalent of 1.8 million people. This is up from 2.1 per cent, or 1.1 million people, in 2017, meaning the figure has increased by more than 50 per cent.
The proportion identifying as heterosexual has fallen over the same period, from 95 per cent to 93.4 per cent.
This drop ‘may be attributed to more people exploring their sexual identity, in combination with changing societal attitudes towards different groups and the expression of these today,’ the ONS said.
LGB identification is higher among young adults than in any other age group, the ONS found.
A total of 9.2 per cent of all 16 to 24-year-olds (630,000 individuals) are estimated to identify as LGB, compared with 5.1 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds, 3 per cent among those aged 35 to 49 and 2 per cent of 50 to 64-year-olds.
The figure dips to 0.7 per cent for people aged 65 and over, though this proportion has remained broadly stable in recent years and is similar to 2017.