Approximately 1.2 million people living in the US identify as non-binary, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. 

This is the first first broad-based population estimate of this kind, and it is meaningful to show lawmakers exactly who they’re helping when they sign orders to protect against gender-identity-based discrimination.

According to the Williams Institute research findings, non-binary people make up a significant subgroup of the adult LGBTQ population and have similar vulnerabilities in mental health and income as the general LGBTQ population.

The data reveals that most of these people are young (76% are between the ages of 18 and 29). Many suffer from chronic stress, including the inability to make ends meet (68%), and tense or conflicted relationships with their parents (60%).

Helana Darwin, a scholar of social inequality who has published several studies on non-binary people, said it’s important to recognize this is not a homogenous community. The binary gender schemas, including both man/woman and cis/trans frameworks, obscure the gender diversity that actually exists.

And as can readily be seen, the participants in this project support Darwin’s observation completely.  Some of the people in this series live in very small rooms—where the bed occupies the entire room—and struggle with loneliness. Some are people who live happily with their partners in their own home.  Some suffer from gender dysphoria while some do not.  Some are afraid to tell their relatives about their identity, while some have full support from their families.