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Cell phone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.
Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Gallup a decade ago found Americans estimating much larger U. However, the differences by political or ideological leanings are in most cases not as wide as those seen by demographic group.
Implications Americans perceive that there is a large U. gay population -- one far larger than is likely reality.
This suggests Americans' estimates are based more on who they are -- and perhaps whom they know -- than on their worldview.
Demographer Gary Gates last month released a review of population-based surveys on the topic, estimating that 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, with bisexuals making up a slight majority of that figure.
Gates also disputes the well-circulated statistic that "10% of the males are more or less exclusively homosexual." Americans' current collective estimate -- which is substantially higher than Gates suggests -- is likely driven more by perceptions and exposure than by scientific measurement or reality. Lower-Income Americans, Less Educated, Young People, and Women Give Highest Estimates Americans with lower incomes and less education give the highest estimates, on average, of the U. gay and lesbian population, and far higher estimates than those with higher incomes and more education.
Gallup also previously found those who personally know someone gay or lesbian to be more accepting on related issues. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.
Combined with Americans' record support for legal gay relations and same-sex marriage, it is clear that America's gay population -- no matter the size -- is becoming a larger part of America's mainstream consciousness. Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 5-8, 2011, with a random sample of 1,018 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U. Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking.