The ‘Gen Z’ gender revolution: Under-35s make up 85% of the non-binary and nearly half the trans population in England and Wales

The Gen Z gender revolution was laid bare as census figures showed under-35s make up half the trans community in England and Wales.

More than 47% of those who identified as a different gender than they were registered at birth were aged between 16 and 34 – even though the age band accounts for less than a third of the wider population.

The younger generation was even more dominant among those who described themselves as non-binary, with 85% – 26,000 people – in the under-35 group.

The insight into the changing face of the country – increasingly a major social flashpoint – emerged in the latest details released from the census, which was conducted in 2021.

It shows that 0.54% of over-16s in England and Wales – 262,000 people – identified as trans at the time of the survey.

But the proportion among 16-24 year olds was double that, with 1 in 100 saying they were trans.

For 25 to 34 year-olds the figure was 0.77%, but in the over-75 category it fell to just 0.22%.

A similar proportion of people identified as trans after saying their sex at birth was female and male – at 0.52% and 0.56% respectively.

People who identified as a trans man had a younger age profile than people who identified as a trans woman.

Trans men tended to have a younger age profile, with the 16-24 age category accounting for 28.5% of that group – 14,000 people – while the equivalent for trans women was 19.3%, or 9,000 people.

Gender identity has become a major political issue, with the UK government stepping in to block Scottish legislation that would have reduced the age for formally changing gender to 16 and removed the need for a medical diagnosis.

Concerns have been raised about how women-only spaces can be protected, while many sports have faced dilemmas over whether trans athletes can compete.

Separate figures on sexuality published for the Office for National Statistics showed nearly one in 14 young people identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or another minority sexual orientation (LGB+).

That was more than twice the level for the overall population.

There were sharp variations across the country, with some local areas recording as many as one in six 16-24 year-olds identifying as LGB+.

The census took place in England and Wales on March 21, 2021 and its findings are being released in stages by the ONS.


March 9, 2023



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