Two new studies show that there is an increasing number of transgender young Americans in America. The figures have doubled among 18-24-year-olds according to one institute's research. They range from 0.66% to 1.3% (398.900) in 2016.
According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law Los Angeles, 1.4% (3300,100), of the 13- and 17-year-olds are trans/nonbinary.
Williams, an independent researcher on sexual orientation, gender identity law, and public policy, didn't include data on 13- and 17-year-olds for its 2016 study. Therefore, the growth in this group over the past 5+ decades is not well documented.
According to Williams researchers, approximately 1.6 million Americans over 13 identify themselves as transgender.
A new Pew Research Center survey found that 2% of 18-29-year-olds identify as transgender, and 3% as nonbinary. This is a significantly higher percentage than other age groups.
These figures are probably underestimated. According to the Human Rights Campaign, approximately 2 million Americans identify themselves as transgender.
Although the Pew survey was weighted to ensure that it is representative, it still has its limitations. Researchers believe that the Williams analysis is incomplete. It was based on responses from two CDC surveys, the Behavioral Risk Surveillance Systems (BRFSS), and Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS). Not every state collects data about gender identity.
According to Williams' research, 18.3% of transgender people identified themselves as 13-17-year-olds. This age group accounts for 7.6% of the US 13- and older population.
And despite not having firm figures from earlier reports, they comment: "Youth ages 13 to 17 comprise a larger share of the transgender-identified population than we previously estimated, currently comprising about 18% of the transgender-identified population in the US, up from 10% previously."
The new report 2022 identifies transgender people as being between 18-24 years old. This age group accounts for 11% Americans.
Pew's May survey results revealed that there are increasing numbers of transgender young people. Pew reported in a blog that the percentage of transgender Americans is highest among those younger than 25.
The percentage of trans people identified in the 18-to-25-year-old age group was 3.1%, compared to 0.5% for those 25-29.
This compares to 0.3% for those aged 30-49, and 0.2% for those over 50.
Similar proportions of 13-17-year-olds from all races and ethnicities, of all ages, in the Williams study, report that they are transgender. This includes 1.3% of White youth, 1.4% Black youth, 1.3% of Asian youth, 1.4% Black youth, 1.8% of American Indian and Alaska Native youth, and 1.8% Latinx youth. According to the institute, 1.5% of multiracial and biracial youth were identified as transgender.
The researchers said, however, that "transgender-identified youth and adults appear more likely to report being Latinx and less likely to report being White, as compared to the US population."
According to the Williams Institute, transgender people live in all 50 states. The Northeast and West have the highest percentage of transgender adults and youth, while the Midwest and South have lower percentages.
Williams estimates that as high as 3% of New York's 13-17-year-olds identify as transgender, while only 0.6% of the Wyoming age group is transgender. In Hawaii, New Mexico, Maryland, Washington, DC, between 2% and 2.5% of 13-17-year-olds are transgender.
Arizona (1.9%), Arkansas (3.6%), Colorado (2.2%), Delaware (2.4%), Illinois (1.9%), Maryland (1.9%), North Carolina (2.5%), Oklahoma (2.5%), Massachusetts (2.3%), Rhode Island (2.1%), and Washington (2.2%).
Alicia Ault, a Lutherville-based freelance journalist whose work was published in Smithsonian.com and JAMA. Follow her @aliciaault on Twitter.
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