The latest report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shed light on the shifting landscape of sexual orientation in the United Kingdom. In 2022, the ONS reported that 93.4% of the UK household population aged 16 and over identified as heterosexual or straight, marking a decline from 95.0% in 2017. Simultaneously, an estimated 3.3% of the UK’s population identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB), representing a continued increase from 2.1% in 2017.
When examining the data by gender, intriguing disparities emerge. Among men, 2.7% identified as gay, while 1.1% identified as bisexual. In contrast, among women, 1.9% identified as bisexual and 1.1% as lesbian. Both genders recorded a 0.6% rate of ‘other’ identity, encompassing diverse sexual orientations such as pansexuality, asexuality, queer, or omnisexuality. These findings suggest that sexual orientation is experienced and identified differently among various gender groups.
Furthermore, the data underscores the significance of age in shaping sexual identity. Among the 16-24 age group, a notable 6.4% identified as bisexual, reflecting a generation that has grown up with increased visibility and representation of bisexuality in mainstream media. This contrasts with the 65+ age group, where only 0.5% identified as gay or lesbian and 0.2% as bisexual, indicating evolving attitudes toward sexual orientation over time.
A Changing Landscape
These statistics align with global trends, echoing the increasing recognition of bisexuality, particularly among younger generations. It reflects a broader societal shift towards greater acceptance and understanding of diverse sexual orientations, fueled by increased visibility in popular culture. From television series like “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” to “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Atypical,” “Heartstopper,” “The Boys,” and more, media representation has played a pivotal role in fostering inclusivity and supporting individuals in embracing their true selves.
As the UK continues to evolve in its understanding of sexual identity, it is clear that society is becoming more accepting and diverse, offering a brighter future for LGBTQ+ individuals across the nation.
Note: The statistics are based on data provided by the Office for National Statistics in 2022 and reflect trends in sexual orientation in the UK.