The Gallup Poll people have conducted a rather massive survey – 206,186 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia – asking one simple question:
Do you, personally, identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender?
Gallup then ranked the states by most to least, and news and bloggers were quick to find that ranking interesting. Which was, in itself, interesting in that it illustrated that most folks don’t understand polls and that Gallup is more than happy to play into their ignorance.
Margins of error for individual states are no greater than ±6 percentage points, and are ±3 percentage points in most states. The margin of error for the District of Columbia is ±6 percentage points.
In other words, the ranking is all in the margin of error.
But the national margin of error is much smaller, +/- 1% (95% confidence). And the overall finding is pretty close to what we’ve long calculated here at BTB: 3.5%.
And it’s not exactly news either. Gallup told us back in October that the percentage was 3.4%, along with a lot of other inside-the-margin-of-error details. And this poll appears to be an extension of the last.
But, in any case, we are finally getting a number into general circulation that is probably more accurate than the old Kinsey 10%. (Though I’m sure we would all find it interesting what was in the heads of the three to four percent which refused to answer either yes or no.)