- 10% married to same-sex spouse; 6% live with same-sex partner
- LGBT adults most likely to say they are single
- Less than 1% of all U.S. adults are in a same-sex marriage
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's annual update on marital status among LGBT Americans finds 10% are married to a same-sex spouse, a proportion that has been steady in the years after the U.S. Supreme Court's legalizing of same-sex marriages nationwide. Meanwhile, the proportion of LGBT adults in same-sex domestic partnerships has fallen to 6%, while the percentage identifying as single or never married has risen to 53%.
Line graph. Trend in marital status among LGBT adults in the U.S. The percentage of LGBT adults married to a same-sex spouse has leveled off to 10% after increasing from 8% once the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015. The percentage of LGBT adults in same-sex domestic partnerships has fallen from 13% in the first half of 2015 to 6% currently. Fifty-three percent of LGBT adults say they are single, up from 47% before same-sex marriage was legal nationwide.
These results are based on aggregated data from 2021 Gallup polls. In each survey, Gallup asks Americans to indicate their marital status and whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or something else. Those who identify as LGBT are then asked if their spouse or partner is the same sex or a different sex. Gallup interviewed over 12,000 U.S. adults in 2021, including 657 who identified as LGBT or something other than heterosexual.
Overall, less than 1% of U.S. adults, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are married to a same-sex spouse (0.7%).
Data collected between January and June 2015, when same-sex marriages were legal in some states but not others, showed an estimated 8% of LGBT adults were married to a same-sex spouse. That proportion increased to 10% in the first year after the June 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling legalized same-sex marriages throughout the U.S.; it has been at that level since.
Over the same period, same-sex partnerships have declined, from 13% before the Supreme Court decision to 10% in the first year after it, to 7% a year ago and 6% in the current survey.
As a result of these shifts, a greater proportion of LGBT adults in same-sex cohabiting relationships are married (63%) rather than living in a domestic partnership (37%). Before the Supreme Court ruling, the figures were reversed -- 38% married and 62% in a domestic partnership.
The high rate of single adults within LGBT communities is a result of the fact that LGBT identification is much more common in younger than older generations. All told, slightly more than half of U.S. adults who identify as LGBT are under age 30, and adults under age 30, LGBT and straight, predominantly say they are single (66%).
Among LGBT adults aged 30 and older, 33% say they are single, 18% are married to a same-sex spouse, and 9% are living with a same-sex domestic partner.
Different-Sex and Same-Sex Marriages Equally Common Among LGBT Adults
LGBT Americans overall are about as likely to be married to a different-sex spouse as to be married to a same-sex spouse -- 11% are married to a person of a different sex. An additional 11% of LGBT adults are living with a different-sex partner, a higher proportion than is living with a same-sex partner.
Five percent or less of LGBT adults indicate they are divorced, separated or widowed.
|Married to same-sex spouse||10|
|Married to different-sex spouse||11|
|Living with same-sex partner||6|
|Living with different-sex partner||11|
|Based on aggregated data from 2021 Gallup polls|
Among LGBT adults aged 30 and older, 16% are married to different-sex spouses, and 9% are living with different-sex domestic partners.
Bisexual Adults Typically Married to Different-Sex Spouses
The roughly equal proportions of LGBT adults in different-sex or same-sex relationships result from the fact that more than half of LGBT adults in the U.S. identify as bisexual. Bisexual adults are overwhelmingly likely to be married to, or living with, someone of a different sex (32%) rather than someone of the same sex (5%).
More specifically, 16% of bisexual adults are married to someone of a different sex, and 16% are living with a different-sex domestic partner. By contrast, 3% of bisexual adults are married to a same-sex spouse, and 2% are living with a same-sex partner. The majority of bisexual adults, 56%, say they are single.
In contrast, lesbian or gay Americans are much more likely to be married to (24%) or living with (14%) someone of the same sex. Different-sex marriages (1%) or domestic partnerships (1%) are rare among lesbian or gay adults. As with bisexuals, the largest proportion of lesbian and gay adults (49%) report their marital status as single.
|Bisexual adults||Gay/Lesbian adults|
|Married to different-sex spouse||16||1|
|Married to same-sex spouse||3||24|
|Living with different-sex domestic partner||16||1|
|Living with same-sex domestic partner||2||14|
|Based on aggregated data from 2021 Gallup polls; Gallup does not have sufficient data to report reliable, separate estimates for gay vs. lesbian adults or for transgender adults.|
Gallup does not have large enough samples of gay and lesbian respondents to break out estimates for the two groups. However, the data suggest the marital-status figures are generally similar for each group. Gallup also does not have sufficient data to report marital status among transgender Americans or those who prefer some other LGBT identification (such as queer or pansexual).
One in 10 LGBT adults are married to a same-sex spouse, a proportion that has held steady during the years in which all U.S. adults could legally marry a person of the same sex. Still, with a growing U.S. population, and an increasing number of Americans identifying as LGBT, the number of same-sex marriages in the U.S. has likely grown accordingly.
Gallup's earliest estimate, from 2015, indicated that there were 368,000 U.S. same-sex marriages, which grew to 491,000 after the Obergefell decision. The estimate based on the current data would be 904,000 same-sex marriages in the U.S.
With younger generations of Americans more likely than older generations to identify as LGBT, the rate of same-sex marriages within LGBT communities, and the number of same-sex marriages in the U.S., is likely to increase. As LGBT Americans reach the age at which they want to find a life partner, many will marry someone of the same sex, an option not available to prior generations of gay or lesbian individuals.
To stay up to date with the latest Gallup News insights and updates, follow us on Twitter.
Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.