More people over the age of 65 are identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in the UK, a report says. 

According to newly released data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of people aged 65 and over who identify as LGB went from 0.7% in 2018 to 1% in 2019.

Even though there has been a slight increase, the data revealed that the majority of the people who identify as LGB are in the younger age groups. 

Statistician for the Population Statistics Division, Penelope McClure, opened up about the increase of LGB representation in a statement. 

“An estimated 1.4 million people aged 16 and over in the UK identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in 2019 – a statistically significant increase from 1.2 million in 2018 – continuing the trend we have seen over recent years,” she said. 

“People aged 16 to 24 continue to be the most likely as LGB however the proportion of older adults identifying as LGB, while much smaller is also increasing.” 


The data also revealed that the number of people aged 16 years and over identifying as straight has decreased from 94.6% in 2018 to 93.7 % in 2019. 

The statistics go on to unveil that 6.6% of people aged between 16 and 24 were more likely to identify as LGB in 2019. 

In terms of the English regions, London has seen a huge increase in the number of people identifying as LGB, going from 2.8% in 2018 to 3.8% in 2019.

“Of the nine regions, only London showed a statistically significant difference in the proportion of people identifying as LGB to the other regions, which may be partly explained by the younger age structure of the London population,” the report said. 

The increase of people identifying as LGB has seen a gradual increase over the years.

In a 2020 interview with The Independent, Laura Russell – director of campaigns, strategy and research at LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall – praised the rise in LGBTQ+ representation but argued it wouldn’t be an “entirely accurate” figure.

“We still don’t live in a society that is safe and equal for LGBT people. Recent statistics have shown that hate crimes against LGB people have risen by 25 per cent in the last year alone, and are even higher for trans people,” she said.

“If we want to live in a world where everyone is accepted without exception, we need every person who believes in equality to stand up and support their LGBT friends, family and the wider community.”

The ONS reports are based on the Annual Population Survey (APS), which collects data on self-perceived sexual identity for people aged 16 and over across the UK.