Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender or sense of personal identity does not match the sex they were born with. In other words, a transgender person may have been born as a male but identifies as a female or vice versa.
Transgender people are part of the LGBTQ+ community. According to the Williams Institute, 1.4 million adults identify as transgender in the United States. About 0.7% of adults 18-24 identify as transgender, and 0.5% of adults 65 and older identify as transgender.
Laws Protecting Transgender People
When it comes to LGBTQ rights, the United States has made significant strides over the years. Several states have protections for transgender people, including employment, public accommodations, housing, credit, and schools. Unfortunately, many states do not have these protections in place.
The following 13 states prohibit discrimination against transgender people in employment: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The following 14 states protect transgender people from discrimination in public: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The following 13 states protect transgender people from discrimination in housing: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The following seen states protect transgender people from discrimination in the extension of credit: Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Vermont, and Washington
The following 11 states prohibit gender identity discrimination in public schools (and in some cases, private schools that receive some state funding): California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
Transgender Population by State
Calculating the percentage of the population of people that are transgender is difficult since surveys that respondents voluntarily take are the only way to collect this data.
In the United States, approximately 0.58% of the adult population identifies as being transgender, according to data from 2016. When breaking down the transgender population by state, the District of Columbia has the highest percentage at 2.77%. All states in the United States have transgender adults accounting for less than 1% of the adult population.
The ten states with the highest percentage of transgender people are:
- District of Columbia - 2.77%
- Hawaii - 0.78%
- California - 0.76%
- New Mexico - 0.75%
- Georgia - 0.75%
- Texas - 0.66%
- Florida - 0.66%
- Oregon - 0.65%
- Oklahoma - 0.64%
- Delaware - 0.64%
There are other nations where being transgender is recognized, but there is very little data on how many transgender people there are in these nations. Some nations, such as India, recognize transgender as a third gender. However, other nations are not so open to this idea. In 36 countries in Europe, a mental health diagnosis is required before a transgender person is legally recognized. Twenty European countries even require the sterilization of transgender people.