You’ve probably heard that the LGBT community is at risk of discrimination. But did you know that these numbers can be tracked and that we can actually quantify how much of a problem this is? In this blog post, we share LGBT discrimination statistics that are both shocking and terrifying. It’s not a pretty story—but it’s one worth telling so that we can all work together towards a better tomorrow. These statistics about LGBT discrimination prove where we are as a society, and how much work we still have to do to get to where we should be.
We know that sometimes it can feel like there’s a disparity between the progress made on LGBT rights and the pace at which it’s actually happening. And that’s okay—we’ve all been there, and we’re right there with you.
For many of us, it can be hard to imagine what life is like for people who don’t enjoy the same privileges we do. It’s easy to forget that for some people in the world, their very existence is an offense. Or that they are judged based on who they are and who they love.
We believe that providing you with facts and statistics about this type of discrimination is important because we want you to know what’s really happening in your country and around the world. We want you to know what you can do to help change things for the better.
The following statistics should help you better understand what life is like for members of the LGBT community living in America and the rest of the world today.
LGBT Discrimination Statistics Around The World
1. Azerbaijan was ranked the worst country for LGBT discrimination in 2021
The ILGA Europe annual benchmarking tool, known as the “Rainbow Map”, illustrates the legal policy and discrimination situation of LGBT people across Europe. The map features the rankings of 49 European countries, looking at their respective legal and policy practices.
To create the ranking, ILGA looks at equality and hate crime, hate speech, legal recognition, and various other factors. For 2021, the lowest-ranked country on the map was Azerbaijan, with only a 2% rating, followed by Turkey at 4%, and Armenia at 8%.
For the sixth year in a row, Malta achieved the number one spot on the Rainbow map, with a score of 94%. Malta recently published new policy guidelines for LGBTI asylum claims.
2. 81% of countries prohibit discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation
The annual State-Sponsored Homophobia report, looking at sexual orientation laws around the world, found as of 2020, 81 countries in total prohibited discrimination in employment as a result of sexual orientation. These countries include the United States, UK, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Mexico, and the Netherlands.
3. 62% number of people in the UK say they have been harassed as a result of LGBT discrimination
A survey conducted by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights across 30 countries found little progress has been made to minimize discrimination in Europe and the UK over the last 7 years. Around 62% of LGBT people in the UK say they had been harassed in the last five years. This is 6 points higher than the European average of 56%.
The number of people in the UK who say they have been violently attacked as a result of discrimination has gone up by 9 points in the last five years, and more than half of the respondents in the study said they always or often avoid holding hands with same-sex partners in public.
The report notes people are cautious about being open with their sexuality and gender identity across Europe. Only 47% of people say they are fairly open, compared to 56% in the UK.
4. Over 90% of all LGBT people believe they are discriminated against in the US
A report conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NPR, and Harvard into the discrimination against LGBTQ people in the US found that 90% of people believe there is significant discrimination against people identifying as bisexual, gay, and lesbian. 91% of people said they think there is active discrimination against transgender people.
Around 43% believe discrimination comes from individual prejudice issues, while 33% believe the biggest problem comes from a lack of appropriate government policies and laws. Older people are more likely to identify the issue of individual prejudice as being bigger than the issue of poor legal policies.
5. Over 1 in 3 LGBT Americans faced discrimination in 2020
The CAP report on the state of LGBT discrimination conducted in 2020 found countless LGBT people continue to face discrimination in the public sphere, and in their workplace, leading to a host of adverse consequences for these people’s physical, mental, and financial wellbeing.
More than 1 in 3 LGBTQ Americans in the study felt they faced discrimination of some kind during 2020. This number increased to 3 in 5 for Transgender Americans. 1 in 2 people within the study also said discrimination and exposure to instances of discrimination have negatively influenced their economic and mental wellbeing.
6. 14,491 hate crimes were recorded against LGBT people in 2019
A report released by the UK government about the rise of hate crimes throughout the country revealed discrimination in the region could be leading to an increase in certain crimes. In 2019, the police recorded 14,491 crimes committed against people because of their sexual orientation.
Additionally, 2,333 offenses against transgender people occurred based on their sexual identity. These included verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, bullying, assault, and damage to property.
We have to do better.
7. Hate crime has increased 9% in the UK over the last year
In the year ending March 2021, the police and government in the UKL reported 124,091 hate crimes in England and Wales. This is an increase of approximately 9% from the year before. Hate crimes reported included a number of forms of harassment and discrimination issued against people based on their race, sexuality, or gender identity.
Notably, the report suggests increases in police recorded hate crimes are not due to an increase in discrimination against LGBT people and individuals of certain races. Rather, the researchers believe the increase has been driven by improvements in crime recording.
8. Iceland was the only country in 2021 to advance trans rights
The ILGA Europe Rainbow Map, measuring discrimination and equality throughout Europe, noticed a number of positive changes throughout 2021 for LGBT citizens. Norway extended legal protection from hate crime to its Penal Code, and various countries like Portugal and Northern Ireland removed all restrictions on LGBT people for blood donation.
However, Iceland was the only country in 2021 to implement legal recognition for non-binary people over the 12 months prior to the release of the report.
Malta was also the only country in the 12 months prior to the report to introduce changes affecting the protection of LGBT asylum rights.
9. In 27 states throughout the US there are no state-wide laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations
(Freedom for all Americans)
According to a regularly-updated infographic produced by the Freedom for All Americans website, in 27 states throughout America, there are no specific state-wide laws protecting people from discrimination based on their gender identity or sexuality when it comes to housing, employment, or public accommodations.
The website highlights there is currently 1 state where laws protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment (Wisconsin), however, no gender identity protections are in place. Utah provides some protections for LGBT people.
In 21 states and the district of Columbia, laws have been enforced to protect those in the LGBT community.
10. Protection against discrimination could be promoting acceptance of LGBTQ lifestyles
According to a Gallup report in 2021, the number of LGBT people identifying as such in the United States increased to a record-breaking 7.1% from 5.6% in 2020. According to the report, one in five Gen Z adults identified as LGBT, and bisexual identification was the most common.
According to the report, the number of adults considering themselves to be LGBT has grown at a faster pace between 2020 and 2021, as more of Gen Z has reached adulthood. The Gallup researchers believe part of the increase has to do with the legal protections available against discrimination.
11. A record number of murders against trans people occurred in 2020
A report by the Human Rights Campaign found a record number of murders were committed against transgender and gender non-conforming people in 2020. The report also recorded more violent crimes toward transgender people than any year since the group started tracking the data in 2013.
The report further found sexual violence and sexual assault had increased against transgender people, with 50% of transgender respondents saying they had been assaulted sexually at least once in their life.
12. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation represent 16.7% of all crimes
As reported by the FBI in 2019, 16.7% of all misconduct are hate crimes based on sexual orientation: this accounts for the third-largest category of hate crime behind race and religion.
In addition to the increase in the number of hate crimes involving sexual orientation, there was also an increase in the number of hate crimes involving gender identity. Overall, 2.2% of all hate crimes in 2018 involved gender identity, a number that rose to 2.7% in 2019.
The report also noted that because reporting hate crimes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not a mandatory requirement, the numbers likely only represent a small fraction of the true problem.
LGBT Discrimination in Life and Housing
13. 24% of LGBTQ people of color have experienced discrimination from a healthcare provider
Reports by AmericnaProgress.org indicate discrimination against LGBT people may be significantly worse for people of color. The report shared around 24% of LGBTQ people of color have reported some form of discriminatory treatment from a healthcare provider or doctor.
Approximately 18% of the people in the study said they had to teach a doctor about their sexual orientation to get the right level of care, while 8% of white LGBTQ respondents reported the same issue.
A further 10% of LGBTQ people of color had a doctor refuse to see them entirely because of their sexual orientation and 19% said their doctor was visibly uncomfortable working with them. 4% and 11% of white respondents shared the same experiences.
14. 40% of trans people in the UK have experienced discrimination when seeking housing
(Trans Lives Survey 2021)
The Trans Lives survey, taking insights from the “TransActual Community Voice Survey” in the UK, revealed 40% of respondents have experienced transphobia when looking for housing opportunities in Britain. A further 27% said they have also experienced homelessness during their lives.
The report also found around 63% of respondents experienced transphobia while seeking employment opportunities, rising to approximately 73% of BPOC residents.
15. More than half of states lack laws explicitly banning discrimination against LGBTQ Americans for housing purposes.
According to an analysis of the hardships LGBTQ people may face in the modern world by American Progress, more than half of states have no laws explicitly banning discrimination against LGBTQ Americans when it comes to assessing housing and loan applications.
44% of LGBT people of color say they have experienced discrimination preventing them from purchasing or renting a home to some degree. Approximately 32% of white LGBTQ respondents said they experienced the same discrimination.
The report also found that 26% of LGBTQ people of color experienced discrimination in an apartment environment, while 14% of respondents had similar issues.
16. 93% of UK Trans people believe the media has influenced the discrimination they experience in everyday life.
(Trans Lives Survey 2021)
The Trans Lives survey conducted in the UK in 2021 revealed that 99% of trans people have experienced transphobia and discrimination when using social media, and another 97% have seen discrimination in print and digital media.
According to the people in the study, 93% believed media transphobia and lack of correct representation have impacted the discrimination they experience from strangers on the street. 85% also believe transphobic rhetoric in the media has influenced how their family treats them, while 81% said this was also true of colleagues, and 70% said it was true for friends.
Over 70% of the respondents believed media discrimination has impacted their mental health.
17. Half of LGBT Americans hide personal relationships due to discrimination
A report on the State of the LGBTQ Community in 2020 found Americans often hide personal relationships to avoid discrimination. More than half of the respondents in the report said they have hidden a personal relationship due to fear of discrimination. Around one-fifth to a third of other respondents said they have altered some part of their work or personal lives.
College-educated and younger LGBT individuals were more likely than older respondents to report they had hidden a personal relationship from others. Two-thirds of Gen Z respondents said they have hidden a relationship.
LGBT Discrimination in Health and Social Situations
18. 1 in 5 LGBTQ people avoid medical care out of worry about discrimination
A report compiled by Harvard, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and NPR found that 16% of LGBTQ people reported being discriminated against as a result of their identity when seeing a doctor or visiting a health clinic, and 18% of respondents avoid doctors for this reason.
When it comes to accessing healthcare, 31% of respondents said they have no regular health care professional or doctor providing most of their care.
19. 34% of LGBTQ Americans say they’ve been harassed when using a restroom
(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
A report developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Harvard T.H Chan Public Health school, and the NPR found that 34% of LGBTQ people in America said they had been verbally harassed when using a restroom.
The report also found a majority of all LGBTQ Americans say they or a family member or friend who is also LGBTQ have experienced various forms of discrimination. 57% say they have been threatened or harassed (in a non-sexual manner) because of their identity. A majority of LGBTQ respondents also say they or a loved one has experienced violence (51%) or been sexually harassed (51%) as a result of their identity.
20. 14% of Trans people in the UK have been refused GP care on account of their gender identity
(Trans Lives Survey 2021)
For LGBT people, gender identity can be a significant problem when gaining access to crucial services, like healthcare. In the UK, 14% of trans respondents in the Trans Lives survey said they were refused GP care because of being trans, while 70% said they had been impacted by discrimination when accessing healthcare.
45% of the respondents in the study felt the GP didn’t fully understand their needs, and 57% reported avoiding going to the doctor entirely when unwell. Notably, people with disabilities in the Trans community in the UK are more likely to experience delays when attempting to access transition-related healthcare, with 93% feeling their treatment has been delayed.
21. 36% of LGBTQ people of color and 32% of white LGBTQ people avoid public spaces
A report by American Progress found a significant number of LGBTQ people (36% of respondents of color and 32% of white respondents) avoided public spaces like stores in their everyday lives to avoid discrimination and abuse.
21% of respondents of color and 17% of white respondents also said they avoided getting necessary services for themselves or their family in fear of discrimination. Another 16% of colored and 8% of white respondents also avoided adding children to their family to reduce the risk of discrimination.
The study also found that 21% of respondents of color and 16% of white respondents avoided public travel to minimize their exposure to harassment and discrimination.
22. 57% of LGBTQ people experience slurs about their identity
A study conducted by Harvard, NPR, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 57% of LGBTQ people in America say they have been exposed to slurs due to their sexual orientation or their identity. A further 53% of respondents also experienced offensive or insensitive comments about their gender identity or sexuality.
What’s worse, most LGBTQ people say they’re concerned about seeking support from the police. 16% of LGBTQ respondents felt they had been discriminated against by the police during interactions. A further 30% said they have avoided calling the police and other authority figures when in need out of fear of discrimination.
23. 67% of trans women and 60% of trans men have experienced transphobia when using public transport in the UK
(Trans Lives Survey 2021)
The Trans Lives Survey conducted in 2021 found countless non-binary, trans, and LGBTQ people throughout the UK experience discrimination in various parts of their lives. Around 67% of the trans women in the report said they experienced discrimination when using public transport, and 60% of trans men felt the same way. 63% of non-binary people experienced discrimination when using busses, trains, and other transport systems.
A further 72% of respondents said they felt they had been exposed to transphobia and instances of hate when trying to access standard goods and services, like retail products, or help from a plumber, electrician, or handyman.
24. 66% of transgender Americans believe discrimination significantly influences their psychological wellbeing
According to the CAP study on the state of the LGBTQ Community in 2020, Transgender individuals experience significantly high rates of physical, spiritual, and psychological harm based on discrimination. 66% of the respondents in the study reported a significant impact on their mental health due to discrimination.
Another 46% of respondents said they had experienced significant physical health problems due to discrimination. The effect of discrimination had an even higher impact on black respondents, with 4 out of 5 respondents reporting moderate or significant damage to their mental health, and 65% reporting damage to their physical wellbeing.
LGBT Discrimination in Work and Finance
25. 10% of LGBT employees have left a job due to lack of acceptance
A Zippia study into workplace discrimination against LGBT people in 2022 found that 10% of employees have left a job because the environment did not show acceptance of LGBT people. Furthermore, 36% of the LGBT people in this study said they have experienced harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
This identifies the workplace as the second most common space where LGBT people experience discrimination, topped only by public spaces at 51%.
The report notes that 25% of LGBT people reported experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation in the past year. A total of 90% of transgender people experienced harassment or discrimination on the job.
26. 93% of Fortune 500 Companies have non-discrimination policies for sexual orientation in place
The HRC Corporate Equality Index for 2022 looked at the discrimination and inclusion policies of 1,271 companies in 2022. According to this report, which focuses on companies in the United States, around 93% of all Fortune 500 companies had a sexual orientation non-discrimination policy in place. A further 91% of respondents had a non-discrimination policy in place for gender identity.
66% of the Fortune 500 companies in the report had transgender-inclusive benefits available for employees, while another 56% had domestic partner benefits.
The report also found that 99.8% of CEI-rated employers include “sexual orientation” as part of their non-discrimination policies, and 99.7% include the terms “gender identity”.
27. Nearly 1 in 10 LGBTQ people experienced workplace discrimination in the US in 2020
A report published by the Williams Institute at the University of California in 2021 found approximately 1 in 10 LGBTQ people in the US experienced some form of workplace discrimination in the previous year. A further 46% of respondents said they had experienced unfair treatment during their career as a result of their gender identity or sexuality.
Examples of discrimination reported by the people in the study included being harassed at work, denied a raise or promotion opportunity, being ignored for a new job, or even being excluded from events for the entire workforce. A further 9% said they were fired or denied a job in the previous twelve months due to their gender identity or sexuality.
28. 80% of non-binary people have experienced transphobia from colleagues at work
(Trans Lives Survey 2021)
The Trans Lives survey study in the UK found around 80% of non-binary people had experienced some examples of transphobia from colleagues, compared to approximately 73% of trans women and the same percentage of trans men feeling the same way.
Further, 69% of black people and people of color said they experienced transphobia from a line manager at work. People of color reported consistently higher levels of transphobia from colleagues than white respondents, 88% compared to 73%.
29. One-Third of LGBT people find discrimination impacts their financial wellbeing
The CAP report on the state of the LGBT Community in 2020 found that 29% of respondents believe discrimination has moderately or heavily influenced their financial wellbeing. 37% of black respondents and 54% of transgender respondents believe discrimination has had an impact on their economic situation.
More than a third of LGBT Americans also said they believe their ability to be hired has been negatively affected by discrimination in 2020. 31% of respondents went on to say they feel discrimination has influenced their ability to retain employment, gain a promotion, or earn a higher salary from their existing job.
Transgender individuals had the greatest difficulty with employment-based discrimination, with 53% believing such discrimination harmed their ability to be hired.
30. LGBTQ people in America are more likely to live in poverty
A report into the impact of discrimination on LGBT people in 2021 conducted by American Progress found 15% of LGBTQ respondents of color and 9% of white respondents had no high school diploma, while 30% of colored respondents had a college degree, and 36% of white respondents said the same.
Despite this, the report revealed that 48% of the respondents of color also had an income of under $40,000 a year, and 41% of white respondents had an income of the same level. 32% of respondents of color and 20% of white respondents said they relied on assistance from the SNAP program for supplemental nutrition.
31. 22% of LGBTQ people in the US say they have experienced discrimination at work
A report conducted in collaboration with Harvard found that 22% of LGBTQ people have personally experienced discrimination against their identity when it came to being considered for a promotion, or being paid an equal amount to their counterparts.
Around 20% reported discrimination when applying for jobs, and one in 5 LGBTQ people even say they have been discriminated against when applying for, or attending college.
In the report, Harvard also found LGBTQ people of color were more than twice as likely to be discriminated against because of their sexuality or identity when applying for jobs.
32. 1 in 4 LGBTQ employees say they were sexually harassed at work in 2020
A study into LGBTQ discrimination and harassment in the workplace by the Williams Institute found that 1 in 4 employees said they had experienced sexual harassment at work. A further 1 in 5 respondents said they had experienced some form of physical harassment, including being hit or “beaten up”.
Reports of discrimination were particularly high among people of color in the study, with 29% saying they had been denied a job due to their identity. A further 36% of LGBTQ respondents of color said they had experienced verbal harassment during their careers.
33. 93% of CEI-rated employees support LGBTQ employment diversity
The Corporate Equality Index report for 2022 produced by HRC found around 93% of CEI-rated employers offered their employees a robust set of practices for supporting LGBTQ diversity. A further 93% also offered an employee diversity council or resource group with included LGBT programming and support.
The report also found that 662 major businesses have now implemented gender transition guidelines intended to help establish best practices for transgender inclusion.
34. In the UK, Nearly half of LGBTQ+ psychiatrists experience hostility at work
A study conducted by the Representative Body for the Royal College of Psychiatrists found around 48% of respondents said they had experienced negative treatment in the past based on their gender identity or sexuality.
A total of 2,282 people responded to the study overall, with 572 of those identifying as LGBTQ+. Notably, the report found the number of people facing abuse in the workplace was much higher for psychiatrists from minority backgrounds (Black and Asian). 58% said they had experienced microaggressions, harassment, and bullying.
Microaggressions, identified as hostile comments and behaviors were the most common form of hostility reported in the study.
35. 31% of LGBTQ workers feel depressed or unhappy at work
An HRC study on the climate for LGBTQ+ workers throughout the United States revealed 31% of respondents say they feel depressed or unhappy at work. Around 534% of respondents said they report hearing inappropriate jokes about LGBT people once in a while, and 1 in 5 have been told by co-workers how they should dress.
As a result, the HRC report notes around 46% of LGBT employees in the US today say they are closeted at work, compared to 50% who said the same thing in 2008.
28% of respondents said they’re constantly lying about their personal life, and 20% have stayed home from work because they felt their workplace wasn’t accepting of them.
36. 10-28% of LGBT people were given a negative performance review based on being gay or transgender
A Zippia report exploring the presence of discrimination in the workplace for LGBT people found that 1 in 5 people were discriminated against because of their identity when being considered for a promotion. 10% to 28% of respondents said they received a negative performance evaluation or were passed over for a promotion because they were transgender or gay.
A further 47% of people said they had experienced an adverse job outcome because they were transgender. This included 23% of people who were denied a promotion, 44% who were passed over for a job, and 26% who were fired due to being transgender.
By now, you should have a pretty good sense of what life is like for LGBT people and how discrimination affects them on a daily basis—and not just in their personal lives.
In addition to the statistics about discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace, we saw that members of the LGBT community are discriminated against when they want to adopt or foster children, they face unfair treatment in the criminal justice system, and they are disproportionately affected by homelessness.
All of this makes it clear that discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people is far from over in our country. It’s a real social issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
When we think about all of these numbers, we can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed.
It’s important to remember that even though the problem is big, we can make a difference by taking small steps to create change. You can help just by being a good friend or neighbor to someone different from you, or by talking with your family about what you’ve learned here.
You have everything you need inside of you to be an incredible person who makes other people’s lives better. You are capable of doing so much good in this world!
What do you think about these statistics? Are you surprised by what you read? Let us know.