Report: LGBT women at higher risk of living in poverty

Mar 12, 2015

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) women are more likely to be at risk of poverty in the United States, thanks to discriminatory laws, according to a report released today by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and the Center for American Progress (CAP).

The National Association of Social Workers is one of 17 organizations that is a partner on the report, which is entitled “Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for LGBT Women in America.”

About four percent of adult women, or 5.1 million people, identify as LGBT and about half are raising children, the report said.

Poverty rates for this population is higher, the report said. Almost one out of three bisexual women and 23 percent of lesbian women live in poverty compared to 21 percent of heterosexual women, the report said. Only 29 percent of LGBT women said they are thriving financially, compared to 39 percent of non-LGBT women.

Transgender women are nearly four times as likely to report annual incomes of $10,000 or less compared to the general population. And LGBT women of color, older LGBT women and LGBT women who are raising children are particularly vulnerable to poverty.

The economic disparities LGBT women face are the result of stigma, discrimination and the legal disadvantages they face because they are women and LGBT, the report said.

“LGBT women face added challenges not solely because of their gender, but also because of who they are and whom they love,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of MAP. “Discrimination and stigma, combined with the struggles faced by all women, make LGBT women and their families especially vulnerable.”

Please share the report via social media (use hashtag #UnfairPrice). And to learn more about what NASW is doing to improve the welfare of people from the LGBTQ community contact NASW Social Justice and Human Rights Manager Mel Wilson at or Evelyn Tomaszewski, NASW’s senior policy associate for HIV/AIDS, LGBT issues and violence prevention, at