How Large is the Transgender Population?

Laverne Cox (GLAAD)

Laverne Cox (GLAAD)

The transgender community is really stepping into the spotlight right now, and making progressive strides into mainstream society. So far this year, there’s been award-winning portrayals of transpeople, a transwoman becoming the face of a national advertising campaign and a prominent television personality going public with his transition story.

With all this progress, I was wondering exactly how large the U.S. transgender population numbers. I was fully prepared to find conflicting information or even no numbers, as I wasn’t sure how closely data was being tracked. The Transgender Law and Policy Institute has a fact sheet that claims 2-5% of the population is trans, but of course that’s self-reported and there’s no way of knowing how accurate it is.

Nate Silver’s data journalism site FiveThirtyEight posited one of my concerns in an article last year, that it’s difficult to get accurate data. Journalism Mona Chalabi mentions the widely-known stat from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law’s Williams Institute, which puts the transgender population at around 700K, or around .3% of the U.S. adult population. But Chalabi does acknowledge that more research is needed.

 

A lot of positive things are happening right now for the community, and hopefully that’s lead to even more acceptance and progress. And hopefully, more accurate numbers.

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