In Brazil, 12% of people are LGBTA, unprecedented survey shows

The percentage accounts for 19 million Brazilians

Published on 05/11/2022 - 14:36 By Camila Maciel - São Paulo

In Brazil, 12 percent of adults are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or asexual, as per an unprecedented survey by State University of São Paulo (UNESP), published in scientific journal Nature Scientific Reports.

The percentage corresponds to 19 million Brazilians, according to population data from official statistics agency IBGE.

The survey mapped sexual and gender diversity in the country from a representative sample of the Brazilian population. Six thousand people over the age of 18 were interviewed across 129 cities, in the five regions of the country. Questionnaires were used by Datafolha Institute in November and December 2018.

According to Giancarlo Spizzirri, a psychiatrist from the University of São Paulo (USP) and main author of the article, this is the first time a survey like this is carried out in a Latin American country.


The data show that, of the 12 percent categorized as LGBTA, 5.76 percent are asexual, 2.12 percent are bisexual, 1.37 percent are gay, 0.93 percent are lesbian, 0.68 percent are trans, and 1.18 percent are non-binary. The survey covers both sexual and gender diversity.

The author of the study noted that the percentage of asexual people was surprising and that more studies should be done to understand this number. Of those who said they do not feel sexual attraction, the vast majority are women (93.5%).

Public policies

The scientists emphasize the work helps bring visibility to the LGBTA population, contributing to the development of public policies on the health of these groups.

“I thought we would find more people with sexual and gender diversity in the capitals, but that was not the case. The distribution was equal, both in and out of the capitals, and across all regions of Brazil, practically. In other words, the policies have to cover all the regions, and not just the urban areas,” he argued.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Lílian Beraldo

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