One Equal World

Trans Census

Posted on: December 22, 2016

A trans woman is shown smiling at the camera.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Whether or not the new data released by a government survey team about transgender American citizens matters is up to the beholder. To some, it matters a great deal to know the size of the community of which we’re speaking.

The percentage of the population made up by transgender people is, to one way of thinking, related to how much they and their issues really matter. To many, however, the numbers don’t matter. If there were only one transgender person in all the world, their rights would matter just as much.

But the numbers are in, and there is definitely more than one. In fact, according to data compiled recently out of a 2014 U.S. government survey, there are approximately 1.3 million transgender adults across the United States.

That’s approximately 0.53 percent of the adult population, or one out of every 189 people. It’s also more than the population of San Francisco or Washington D.C. Five US states have populations smaller than that. You could populate Maine or New Hampshire with only transgender people.

The researchers, a team from the University of Michigan led by Dr. Halley Crissman, go on to say that their margin of error probably swings low rather than high, since many trans people might have avoided the survey out of privacy concerns.

They also found that transgender adults were more common in nonwhite populations, and nearly twice as likely to be living below the poverty line and half as likely to have attended college. But in other ways, they fit neatly into the statistics of the general population—they were just as likely to be married as the cisgender population and had the same unemployment statistics, though they were prone to holding lower-paying jobs.

The findings of Crissman and their team were published on December 20th, 2016 in the online American Journal of Public Health.

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