Better data collection needed to serve health and well-being needs of LGBTQI+ people

The number of people in the U.S. who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or other non-binary identities (LGBTQI+) has increased significantly over the past decade to more than 11 million, but there are significant data collection gaps around this diverse population’s health and well-being, according to a report released October 21, 2020 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). The report provides a snapshot of LGBTQI+ well-being across nine dimensions—including the legal system, public policy, stigma, and relationships—and identifies research needs.

Among the challenges identified in the report are bullying and victimization of LGBTQI+ youth in school, the toll posed by discrimination on physical and mental health, and economic security.

“The report is a national call to action to affirm and protect the lives and well-being of LGBTQI+ people,” Sari Reisner, a member of the committee that wrote the report, said in a Fenway Health press release. Reisner is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a research scientist at the Fenway Institute, “This includes not just physical and mental health, but also social and economic well-being, quality of life, support, and community.”

View NASEM video release: Understanding the Well-Being of LGBTQI+ Populations Report Release Webinar

Read Fenway Health press release: New Report Highlights Need For Better Data Collection On LGBTQI+ Well-Being