Nov 4, 2022 - News

1 in 5 Arizona voters will identify as LGBTQ+ by 2040

Change in the share of voters in select states who identify as LGBTQ+
Data: Human Rights Campaign; Chart: Axios Visuals

Almost 20% of Arizona voters are expected to identify as LGBTQ+ by 2040 — more than the national average, according to a report from the Human Rights Campaign.

  • Currently, the LGBTQ+ population represents about 13% of voters statewide.

Why it matters: The growth of this voting bloc — driven by higher LGBTQ+ identification among younger generations — could transform the electoral landscape at local, state and federal levels, Axios' Sophia Cai reports.

The big picture: Arizona is one of several consequential swing states where the proportion of LGBTQ+ voters is expected to increase substantially between 2020 and 2040, researchers found.

Zoom in: The percentage of Arizonans identifying as LGBTQ+ has almost doubled with each generation, according to a 2021 U.S. Census survey.

  • 5.3% of baby boomers (born between 1946-64)
  • 7.9% of Gen Xers (1965-80)
  • 17.7% of millennials (1981-96)
  • 30.9% of people born in 1997 or after

State of play: Arizona already has a higher percentage of people who identify as LGBTQ+ than most other states, but our politics often don't reflect that.

  • The legislature passed laws this year banning gender-affirming surgery for youth and banning transgender girls from playing in girls sports at public schools.

What they're saying: Equality Arizona interim executive director Jeanne Woodbury tells Axios Phoenix she believes these policies aim to discourage LGBTQ+ people from political involvement because opponents realize they could wield significant power.

  • Her organization registers LGBTQ+ voters and encourages them to participate in council meetings, campaigns and other political processes.

Yes, but: If the population does increase as predicted, Woodbury says, that "fundamentally changes" what's politically possible in terms of equal protections and opportunities in Arizona.


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