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Data Collection

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the largest continuously conducted health survey in the world. States can opt to include a number of modules with added questions, including questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. The below map is based on participation in the 2022 BRFSS.  Information about 2023 participation has not yet been released.
United States Map
Washington New York U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico Guam Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands American Samoa New Hampshire Vermont Virginia Pennsylvania New York Maine West Virginia Ohio Kentucky Indiana Michigan Illinois Wisconsin North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Georgia Florida Mississippi Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Iowa Minnesota Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Texas 33 Colorado Wyoming Montana Idaho Arizona Utah Nevada Oregon California Hawaii Alaska Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Washington D.C. New Hampshire Vermont
  • State includes questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in state-based BRFSS survey of adults (33 states, 1 territory)
  • State does not include sexual orientation and gender identity module in its state-based BRFSS survey of adults (17 states , 2 territories + D.C.)
  • State does not participate in the BRFSS (0 states, 2 territories)
Note: For more information about the data on this map, visit BRFSS website.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Data Collection." 
https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/data_collection. Accessed 07/24/2024. 

Percent of Adult LGBTQ Population Covered by Laws

*Note: These percentages reflect estimates of the LGBTQ adult population living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Estimates of the LGBTQ adult population in the five inhabited U.S. territories are not available, and so cannot be reflected here. Population estimates are from The Williams Institute.

58%

58 % of LGBTQ Americans living in a state that includes questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in state-based BRFSS survey of adults.

42%

42 % of LGBTQ Americans living in a state that does not include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in state-based BRFSS survey of adults.

0%

0 % of LGBTQ Americans living in a state that does not participate in the BRFSS.

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) is a set of school-based surveys of youth and young adults, conducted every other year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in high schools across the country.  States (and some school districts) can choose whether to include questions about sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. The below map reflects each state's choices regarding the inclusion of these questions in the 2021 state-based YRBSS.  Information about 2023 participation has not yet been released.
United States Map
  • State includes questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in state-based YRBSS survey of youth (19 states + D.C.)
  • State includes questions about sexual orientation only in state-based YRBSS survey of youth (19 states, 2 territories)
  • State does not include questions about sexual orientation or gender identity in state-based YRBSS survey of youth (7 states)
  • State does not participate in the YRBSS (5 states, 3 territories)
  • State includes question about gender expression in state-based YRBSS survey of youth (5 states + D.C.)
*Notes: 
-In 2021, New Mexico asked a transgender status question but using different wording. Because of this different wording, the CDC does not list NM as having asked the transgender status question. We include New Mexico here given our focus on whether states are choosing to collect data about sexual orientation and gender identity in their YRBSS efforts.
-In 2021, California did not have a high enough participation rate to generate reliable data for the whole state, but it still asked the sexual orientation and gender expression questions. 
-Some states that do not participate in the YRBSS have their own similar statewide studies of youth, including the Minnesota Student Survey, the Oregon Healthy Teens Survey (2001-2019) / Student Health Survey (since 2020), the Washington Healthy Youth Survey, and the Wyoming Prevention Needs Assessment Survey. While these studies are also important, participating in the YRBSS helps create not only state-level pictures but also a larger national picture and the ability to study the same data and questions across students in all states. 

To learn more, visit the YRBSS website.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Data Collection." 
https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/data_collection. Accessed 07/24/2024. 

Percent of LGBTQ Youth Covered by Laws

*Note: These percentages reflect estimates of the LGBTQ youth (ages 13-17) population living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Estimates of LGBTQ youth in the U.S. territories or under age 13 are not available, and so cannot be reflected here. Population estimates are from The Williams Institute.

37%

37 % of LGBTQ Americans living in a state that includes questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in state-based YRBSS survey of youth.

48%

48 % of LGBTQ Americans living in a state that includes questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in state-based YRBSS survey of youth.

8%

8 % of LGBTQ Americans living in a state that does include questions about sexual orientation or gender identity in state-based YRBSS survey of youth.

6%

6 % of LGBTQ Americans living in a state that does not participate in the YRBSS.

Key
  • State has this law Includes Questions
  • State does not have this law Does Not Include Questions
State Adults Youth
Alabama State does not have this law State does not have this law
Alaska State has this law
American Samoa
Arizona State does not have this law State has this law
Arkansas State does not have this law State has this law
California State does not have this law State has this law
Colorado State has this law State has this law
Connecticut State has this law State has this law
Delaware State has this law State has this law
District of Columbia State does not have this law State has this law
Florida State does not have this law State has this law
Georgia State has this law State does not have this law
Guam State has this law
Hawaii State has this law State has this law
Idaho State does not have this law State does not have this law
Illinois State has this law State has this law
Indiana State has this law State has this law
Iowa State has this law State has this law
Kansas State has this law State has this law
Kentucky State does not have this law State has this law
Louisiana State has this law State does not have this law
Maine State does not have this law State has this law
Maryland State has this law State has this law
Massachusetts State has this law State has this law
Michigan State has this law State has this law
Minnesota State has this law
Mississippi State does not have this law State has this law
Missouri State has this law State has this law
Montana State has this law State does not have this law
Nebraska State does not have this law State has this law
Nevada State has this law State has this law
New Hampshire State does not have this law State has this law
New Jersey State has this law State has this law
New Mexico State has this law State has this law
New York State does not have this law State has this law
North Carolina State has this law State has this law
North Dakota State has this law State has this law
Northern Mariana Islands State has this law
Ohio State has this law State has this law
Oklahoma State has this law State has this law
Oregon State does not have this law
Pennsylvania State has this law State has this law
Puerto Rico State does not have this law State has this law
Rhode Island State has this law State has this law
South Carolina State does not have this law State has this law
South Dakota State does not have this law State does not have this law
Tennessee State does not have this law State does not have this law
Texas State has this law State has this law
U.S. Virgin Islands State does not have this law
Utah State has this law State has this law
Vermont State has this law State has this law
Virginia State has this law State has this law
Washington State has this law
West Virginia State has this law State has this law
Wisconsin State has this law State has this law
Wyoming State does not have this law
Data current as of 07/23/2024
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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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