New study estimates number of American, Georgian transgender teens

Just under 1 percent of Georgian teens aged 13 to 17 identify as transgender, according to a study released Jan. 17 by The Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law.

That’s about 4,950 youths, the study shows. About 0.86 percent of young adults in the Peach State — aged 18 to 24 — identify as transgender.

Nationally, there are an estimated 150,000 transgender teens in the 13-to-17 age range, the study finds. It is the age group with the highest percentage of individuals who identify as transgender.

“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 US,” Dr. Kerith Conron, one of the study’s authors, said in a news release.

States with the largest estimated transgender youth populations are California, Texas, New York and Florida. The smallest are North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Georgia falls toward the higher end.

“Prior research suggests that transgender youth begin to ‘feel different’ in regard to their gender and understand themselves to be transgender at young ages, such as 4 years old,” the study reports. “Calculations by the authors using existing datasets to identify transgender youth under 18 suggest that the highest proportions of youth who identify as transgender occur around ages 15 to 17.”

Study authors examined data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which included a yes-or-no question on transgender identity. The authors then used statistical methods to estimate the number of transgender individuals in each state and each age group. The study is the first to provide population estimates for adolescents who identify as transgender in each state.