Georgia’s trans population fourth-highest in U.S.

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Georgia has the fourth-highest percentage of transgender residents, a large slice of the 1.4 million trans adults across the U.S., according to a first-ever state-level estimate of people who identify as trans.

Some .75% of adults in Georgia – about 55,650 people – identify as transgender, according to the new study from LGBT researchers at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. That ranks fourth behind Hawaii (.78%, 8.450), California (.76%, 218,400) and New Mexico (.75%, 11,750).

In Georgia, the largest number of trans people are ages 25-64, though the largest percentage is 18-24. The age breakdowns in the state: 18-24 (.86%, 8,700), 25-64 (.75%, 39,500) and 65 and older (.66%, 7,450).

The report comes as transgender issues have gained increased attention in Georgia. Since May, potty wars have erupted over trans access to bathrooms. As the Obama administration proposed guidelines calling for schools to allow trans students to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, parents in Fannin County freaked, the state school superintendent promised a brawl, the state sued and lawmakers threatened a legislative response. Meanwhile, students described the pain of being transgender in Georgia schools and Atlanta-based Fortune 500 companies took the lead on creating trans-friendly rest room policies.

“The findings from this study are critical to current policy discussions that impact transgender people,” Jody Herman, one of the authors of the study, said in a prepared statement.

“Policy debates on access to bathrooms, discrimination, and a host of other issues should rely on the best available data to assess potential impacts, including how many people may be affected,” Herman added.

The report, How Many Adults Identify As Transgender In The United States?, was released on Thursday. It estimated the adult trans population across the U.S. at .6% or 1.4 million – more than double the estimate from a past study in 2011.

The study is based on survey responses in 19 states from the Center for Disease Control's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2014. The report also uses additional data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey to develop estimates for the other 31 states.

Key findings from the report:

  • Approximately 0.6% of adults identify as transgender, or 1.4 million adults.
  • There are differences in the percentage of adults who identify as transgender among the states. Hawaii (0.8%), California (0.8%), Georgia (0.8%), New Mexico (0.8%), Texas (0.7%), and Florida (0.7%) are the states that have the highest percentages of adults who identify as transgender.
  • The states with the lowest percentages of transgender-identified adults are North Dakota (0.3%), Iowa (0.3%), Wyoming (0.3%), Montana (0.3%), and South Dakota (0.3%).
  • Young adults are more likely than older adults to identify as transgender. Among adults ages 18 to 24, 0.7% identify as transgender; among adults ages 25 to 64, 0.6% identify as transgender; and among adults ages 65 and older, 0.5% identify as transgender.

Photo by Brian Hughes

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