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 0.5% of adults 18-24 identify as transgender, and 0.3% of adults 65 and older identify as transgender.
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, the 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 seven 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.
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 0.52% of the adult population identifies as transgender, according to data from 2022.
When breaking down the transgender population by state, the District of Columbia has the highest percentage at 0.92%. Other states with high percentages of transgender adults include North Carolina (0.87%) and Delaware (0.82%). All states in the United States have transgender adults accounting for less than 1% of the adult population.
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.
Most surprisingly, of the transgender population, it seems that the majority of people are from the younger demographics. People who are aged 13 to 17 are more likely to identify as transgender. About 1.43% of the population in this age range are transgender, followed closely by 1.31% of those 18 to 24. Less than half a percent of those 25 to 64 years old are transgender. Older generations, ages 65 and older, also identify as transgender, albeit a far lower percentage. Of the total population, 0.32% who identify as transgender are over the age of 65.