SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders
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LGBT Market Research

Research Report
Frequently Asked Questions

What was the purpose of this study?

The purpose of this study was to examine the values, needs, wants and lifestyle preferences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older people, ages 45-75. This study explores areas such as healthcare, finance and retirement, support systems, housing and sources of information. Out and Visible also aims to make LGBT people more visible and understood as a population and as a market to the wide array of providers, businesses, community advocates, policy leaders and media professionals who are positioned to improve their overall quality of life.

When was the study conducted?

The study was fielded between March 4, 2014 and March 21, 2014.

When was the study released?

The study was released October 6, 2014.

Who conducted the study?

The study was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SAGE. (An additional note on Harris Poll and Nielsen: on February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll. Nielsen Holdings N.V. is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

How was the study conducted?

The data used in this report came from an 18-minute online survey. Using figures from Harris Poll's proprietary LGBT archive, data were weighted for education, age by gender, race and ethnicity, region and household income, where necessary, to align the respondent data with the U.S. population data on LGBT residents, ages 45-75 and non-LGBT residents, ages 45-75. Additionally, Harris Poll's weighting algorithm allowed for adjustments that accounted for attitudinal and behavioral differences between those who are online from those who are not; those who join online research panels from those who do not; and those who responded to this survey and those who did not. Finally, LGBT African American and Hispanic respondents were oversampled to ensure a sufficient number of completed interviews for analysis. For more information on why and how distinct subpopulations were studied, please see the "limitations section" near the end of this report.

How many people are in the study?

The study includes a sample of 2,376 people, ages 45-75, who were surveyed online. This sample includes 1,857 LGBT people and 519 non-LGBT people. For additional break-downs on this sample, please read the full report.

Have there been other national quantitative studies on aging among LGBT older people?

Yes. While this report details findings from a uniquely comprehensive, nationally representative quantitative study on aging among older LGBT people, it also builds on a history of previous important studies. This 2014 SAGE study has one more strength: this study, like the MetLife study noted below, includes a comprehensive national sample that examines similarities and differences between LGBT elders and non-LGBT elders. In regards to previous studies, in 2012, Prudential Financial, Inc. released findings from a national study on the financial health and experiences of more than 1,400 LGBT people, ages 25-68. In 2011, the Institute for Multigenerational Health at the University of Washington released the results of a national study on health disparities among LGBT older people, ages 50-95, led by Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, PhD. And in 2010, the MetLife Mature Market Institute® released the results of a study on aging concerns among 1,200 LGBT people, ages 45-to-64; this study was a follow-up to their 2006 study on the same subject.

What do you mean by "older people" and "older adults"?

"Older people" and "older adults" are used interchangeably throughout this report to describe the age sample of this study: people between the ages of 45 and 75. In order to compare experiences between age brackets, in some instances we use the term "younger" (older) people to refer to people ages 45-59 and "older" (older) people to describe people ages 60-75.

Did the study examine transgender older people?

In order to get the clearest portrait on LGBT older people as possible, this study includes 137 transgender respondents (a sufficient number of completed interviews for analysis) and yields insightful findings on transgender older people's experiences and attitudes. Unfortunately, we acknowledge that it is difficult to discern whether this sample adequately represents the population of transgender older people at large, given the scarcity of national studies on transgender older people. Additionally, as a matter of methodology, researchers have historically struggled to identify the full diversity of older transgender people through representative samples, a policy and practice concern noted by SAGE and the National Center on Transgender Equality in our path-breaking joint report on transgender aging from 2012. We encourage further research and better survey methodologies on this population.

Did the study examine the realities of older people of color?

In order to get the clearest portrait of LGBT older people as possible, LGBT African American and Hispanic respondents were oversampled to ensure a sufficient number of completed interviews for analysis. However, because there are no national studies that count the number of LGBT older people, we cannot precisely understand whether the sample sizes for these two population groups adequately represent the national populations of LGBT African American and Hispanic older people. Further, we were not able to study other racial and ethnic populations in this study—a methodological challenge given the necessary sample sizes and responses for this study. We encourage further research combined with adequate funding resources and the application of a mix of survey methodologies to help achieve as true diversity of LGBT older adults across races and ethnicities as possible.

Why did the study begin at age 45 and end at age 75?

While no study can address all issues or ages of interest, we were interested in learning about the attitudes and experiences of LGBT older people through various stages of older adulthood—as early as age 45, when planning for the future is essential and concerns about aging begin appearing for many people, and as old as age 75, when many people are living their lives as elders. We also encourage further research on people older than age 75, a demographic segment of the population that has unique circumstances and requires dedicated research.

Can I get access to the full questionnaire used for the study?

Yes, to access the full questionnaire for this study, click here.

How can I learn more about these findings, or how to partner with SAGE to support my agency or business?

If you're interested in partnering with SAGE to understand key areas of this report, or to explore how SAGE can support your organizational and business strategies related to LGBT older people, please email us at or contact us at 212-741-2247.

Who supported the study?

The study was generously supported by the Gill Foundation.

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