LGBT by the Numbers

There are a lot of reasons why supplier diversity plans should have an LGBT component.

  • An estimated 9 million Americans identify themselves as either gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, according to the Williams Institute.
  • Virtually every county (99 percent) has same-sex couples as residents, and more than two-thirds (67.6 percent) of those couples own their own home, according to the Williams Institute’s research on 2010 U.S. Census data. More than three-fourths (76 percent) of LGBT individuals have annual household incomes above the national average, and nearly a third (30 percent) have annual incomes above $100,000.
  • There are roughly 800,000 to 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses, according to the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
  • The U.S. LGBT population has $790 billion in total buying power, according to a 2012 study by Witeck-Combs Communications Inc. and Packaged Facts.
  • Ninety-two percent of lesbians and 89 percent of gay men said that an employer’s treatment of its LGBT workers affects their decision to conduct business with that employer, according to Community Marketing Inc.’s Gay and Lesbian Consumer Index. Further, 91 percent of lesbians and 88 percent of gay men said corporate sponsorship of LGBT events and participation in LGBT organizations also influenced their buying decisions. Three-quarters of respondents said they changed brands after a company voiced support of LGBT communities.

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a California-based journalist. She can be reached at