(Bloomberg) -- The proportion of British people identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual has increased by more than 50% in the 5 years to 2022, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics.

The trend is particularly pronounced for the 16-24 demographic, where almost one in 10 identifies with one of these sexual orientations, the data show, which compares with one in thirty British people more broadly. 

Almost 4% of people in managerial or professional positions identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual with the results of the ONS annual population survey reflecting how socio-economic factors impact the trend.

The data surrounding how the British population identifies was released the day after Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that fearing discrimination for being gay should not be enough to qualify for refugee protection at a speech in the US.

For his part, Rishi Sunak has taken a tougher stance on LGBTQ+ issues since becoming prime minister, announcing plans in April to bar trans women from some single-sex spaces.

Regionally, Londoners are more likely to identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual compared to other parts of the country.

The decrease in those identifying as heterosexual or straight might be because more people are exploring their sexual identity as societal attitudes change, the ONS report said.

The data reflects those who ticked “lesbian, gay or bisexual” in the statistics authority’s annual population survey’s questionnaire around sexual orientation. Some people also checked the “other” category, which might reflect wider LGBTQ+ categories.

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