Study Reveals 150,000 American Youth Ages 13 to 17 Identify as Transgender

Author: The Williams Institute
Published: Thursday 19th January 2017 - Updated: Tuesday 28th February 2017
Summary: Age of Individuals Who Identify as Transgender in the United States study provides new estimates of age composition of individuals who identify as transgender in the U.S. and estimates of size of transgender identified population by age group.


New Estimates Show that 150,000 Youth Ages 13 to 17 Identify as Transgender in the US - In addition to 0.6 percent of U.S. adults (1.4 million individuals), new study finds that 0.7 percent of youth ages 13 to 17 identify as transgender...

An estimated 0.7 percent of youth ages 13 to 17, or 150,000 youth, identify as transgender in the United States, according to a new study released by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. This study is the first to provide population estimates for youth who identify as transgender in each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

The study, titled Age of Individuals Who Identify as Transgender in the United States, by Jody L. Herman, Ph.D., Andrew R. Flores, Ph.D., Taylor N. T. Brown, MPP, Bianca D.M. Wilson, Ph.D., and Kerith J. Conron, Sc.D., provides new estimates of the age composition of individuals who identify as transgender in the U.S. and estimates of the size of the transgender-identified population by age group. The youngest age group, 13 to 17, has the highest estimated percentage of individuals who identify as transgender.

"Current policy debates in several states have involved legislation that would impact transgender students," said Dr. Jody L. Herman. "Our estimates suggest that thousands of youth could be negatively impacted by laws that would limit their access to school facilities and undermine protections against discrimination."

Key findings from the report:

"Agencies and institutions that have a responsibility to protect and promote the wellbeing of adolescents now have an idea of how many transgender youth should be served in every state in the U.S.," remarked Dr. Kerith J. Conron.

For Age of Individuals who Identify as Transgender in the United States, the authors utilized data from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a national, state-administered survey, which collected data on transgender identity among adults in 19 states for the first time in 2014. The BRFSS represents the best available population-based data to study the size and characteristics of adults who identify as transgender. The authors used an advanced statistical method to produce population estimates for youth, as well as adults. Inclusion of gender identity measures in population-based youth surveys remains necessary to advance knowledge about the size, characteristics, and needs of the transgender youth population.


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