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Report Finds Number of Trans Youth Has Almost Doubled in Five Years

A report from UCLA’s Williams Institute has found that the number of young people who identify as transgender has nearly doubled

The report, which was released this month, uses survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate how many Americans identify as transgender.

The data reveal that while the number of adults who identify as transgender has remained steady since 2017, when the last report was published, the number of trans teenagers ages 13 to 17 has nearly doubled. Approximately 18 percent of trans people are teenagers (up from 10 percent in 2017), despite making up less than eight percent of the population. 24.4 percent of trans people are 18 to 24, making 43 percent of the transgender population young people despite the age group making up only 19 percent of the general population.

Those in younger age groups also appear to have a higher percentage of transgender people overall. 1.4 percent of teenagers 13 to 17 and 1.3 percent of those 18 to 24 identify as trans, compared to 0.5 percent of those 25 to 64 and 0.3 percent of those 65 and older.

“Advances in gender identity data collection over the past five years have provided a more accurate picture of youth in the U.S. who identify as transgender. Previously, we could only estimate that based on adult data,” lead author Jody L. Herman, Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute, said in a press release. “These new estimates show us that current policy debates regarding access to gender-affirming care and the ability to participate in team sports likely impact more youth than we previously thought.”