Census data revealed: 11% of Durham City residents identify as LGBO

By and

The 2021 Office of National Statistics census has been published, with figures detailing various insights into the social and cultural makeup of the United Kingdom. 

Regarding the census, the ONS states: “The census asks questions about you, your household and your home. In doing so, it helps to build a detailed snapshot of our society. Information from the census helps the government and local authorities to plan and fund local services, such as education, doctors’ surgeries and roads.”

Analysis of this data by Palatinate has shown important information regarding the proportion of County Durham citizens who reflect the LGBTQ+ community. 

According to the census, 2.85% of people aged 16 and over identify as LGBO, with 5.77% choosing not to answer. 91.38% answered as being heterosexual or straight. 

This is 0.35% less than the national average statistic of 3.2%. That said, in Durham City, 10.90% of those questioned identified as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Other (LGBO), an increase of 8.05%. 

A map produced by Palatinate adeptly demonstrates the difference in proportion of those who identify as LGBO in County Durham, with the darker colour of the City of Durham standing out. 

A County Durham resident suggested that members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to “gravitate towards the city centre” as they are more likely to “meet others from their community and feel accepted” within the larger social setting. 

Members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to gravitate towards the city centre

County Durham Resident

The ONS census data also details figures of gender identity. 95.07% of those questioned in County Durham identified as the same as the sex registered at birth.

84.75% of those in Durham City identified as the same as the sex registered at birth, providing again a greater number of those identifying as transgender or as having a different sex to that registered at birth.

In the City of Durham, 0.86% of those questioned identify different from their sex registered at birth, with the remainder choosing not to answer. 

Although precise, this data is encouraged to be taken with a pinch of salt, as at times the proportion of those who do not disclose their answer may provide less representation. 

A spokesperson for ONS stated on their website that “our own problem with accuracy at ONS revolves around those who choose not to answer, as it potentially removes a large amount of data from a particular data set.” 

ONS states that census data can be extremely useful. They suggest local businesses, authorities and academics can use it in order to gain a greater insight into the mechanisms of society. 

“Academics such as university professors often use census data to support research that they are working on. Students use the data in a similar way to get the information they need for coursework and dissertations.”


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