More than twice as many Americans identify as LGBTQ+ today than in 2012, according to the results of a Gallup poll released earlier this year. More recently, Wells Fargo released a special economic report this month exploring the growing financial power and economic influence of the LGBTQ+ community and how inclusion is driving economic development.
According to the Wells Fargo report, people who identify as LGBTQ+ are both younger and more educated than the general population. The percentage of millennials identifying as LGBTQ+ has increased from less than 6% in 2012 to 10.5% in 2021, and the percentage of Gen Zers identifying as such has increased from 10.5% in 2017 to almost 21. % Last year.
According to the 2021 National Health Interview Survey, 27.4% of lesbian, gay or bisexual people have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 23.5% of the non-LGB population. Another 32% of LGB people have college experience and nearly 21% of lesbian, gay or bisexual people have completed at least a graduate degree, 5% more than the comparable ratio for the non-LGB population.
“Because the population is young, it has not yet reached its peak earnings, which tends to be [the] late 1940s or early 1950s. Because they are more educated and younger, I would say that their purchasing power is going to increase faster than the general population in the coming years,” said the Wells Fargo Chief Economist Jay Bryson.
The report is the first study Wells Fargo has done on the economic influence of the LGBTQ+ population, and Bryson noted that at this time the bank does not have enough data to provide specific numbers on the power. community shopping, and the data has limitations.
“We have a lot of data on white men or Latinx women, but with this community it’s not as robust, and maybe that has to do with a lot of her self-identification. Even though our social attitudes are more relaxed than 10 or 15 years ago, many people may still be reluctant to identify. The time series is not as long as it is for white men or black women,” Bryson explained. “Secondly, within the community itself, there are different pockets of data. We have a section in the report that talks about education, but the information we have is for people who identify as gay, lesbian, and bisexual. If you were to ask about the transgender population, I don’t have that data.
Still, Bryson said capturing the purchasing power of these populations presents an opportunity for businesses of all kinds.
In 2016, Prudential Financial Inc. surveyed nearly 1,400 LGBTQ+ people and 500 heterosexual people about their financial situation. According to this survey, LGBTQ+ people spend 51% of their income on basic necessities, compared to 47% in the general population, which leads to a difference in terms of savings.
“If you’re a Wells Fargo or Prudential, as these people get older and wealthier, you would expect their savings needs to increase. For financial institutions, there is a huge message here. It’s a market they should try to tap into,” Bryson said.
He expects the percentage that LGBTQ+ people spend on necessities to decline as the population ages and becomes more affluent, giving them more discretionary spending capacity.
“Whether it’s vacations, the latest and greatest barbecue, or a new television, businesses that cater to those with discretionary spending, there is also growth opportunity for these businesses,” said he declared.
According to the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce America’s LGBT Economy Report released in 2016, the community has a spending power of $917 billion. Additionally, LGBT-owned businesses contribute $1.7 trillion to the US economy each year and create more than 33,000 jobs.
“These numbers tell the real story,” said Bob Witeck, president of Witeck Communications, an LGBT-certified business firm that served as an analyst for the report. “While our community’s $917 billion buying power highlights our weight in the marketplace, the jobs, tax revenues and profits we create as employers and entrepreneurs define our full economic value for America. We are just beginning to scratch the surface of our potential.
National LGBT Chamber of Commerce co-founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell wrote in a blog post on the US Chamber of Commerce website last year that more than 75% of LGBT adults and their friends, family and loved ones would switch to well-known brands. be LGBT friendly.
The results match those of the San Francisco-based Community Marketing and Insights LGBTQ community survey, which found in 2018 that 76% of US participants agreed that companies supporting LGBTQ+ equality would get more from their business that year. .
“Several years ago, slapping a rainbow on a bottle of liquor (or a social media profile) one month a year was enough for a brand to consider itself ‘gay-friendly,'” they wrote. “Now more and more consumers are holding brands accountable by demanding that they support the LGBT community all year round.”