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LGBTQ Adults Are Facing Hunger At Almost Twice The Rate As Others, New Data Shows

A lesbian couple hold hands during the annual Gay Pride rally, on June 8, 2007. Recent survey data shows that LGBTQ adults in the U.S. are more likely to report higher rates of food and economic insecurity.
Image credit: David Silverman

LGBT adults living in the U.S. are nearly twice as likely to be experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic than non-LGBT adults, according to new survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Of the more than 64,000 people who responded to the bureau’s latest Household Pulse Survey, just over 13% of LGBT adults reported living in a household that experienced food insecurity in the past seven days, compared to 7.2% of non-LBGT adults.

The survey also revealed the extent to which many LGBT Americans are struggling with economic insecurity. According to the results, 36.6% of LGBT adults reported living in a household that struggled to pay for expenses in the past seven days, with over 8% saying they were not confident they could afford to make their next housing payment on time. By comparison, just over one quarter of adults who do not identify as LGBT reported experiencing economic insecurity.

Nearly one-in-five LGBT adults reported living in a household with lost employment income in the past four weeks, compared to just under 17% for non-LGBT adults.

The data released on Wednesday offered rare insight into the economic health of the nation’s LGBTQ population. The Census Bureau said the survey was the first time in the agency’s history that one of its sponsored surveys included questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. Previous surveys had asked only for a respondent’s sex.

The Pulse survey is designed as a window into how Americans are faring throughout the pandemic. The survey is sent to about one million households every two weeks, and data releases will continue every two weeks until October 11.

According to Gallup survey data, 5.6% of U.S. citizens identify as LGBT.

Josie Fischels is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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