PSRC first in nation to ask about sexual orientation in a large-scale travel survey

To celebrate Pride month, PSRC has published a new Puget Sound Trend where we explore the transportation needs for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+).

In 2023, PSRC began to ask about sexual orientation in its Household Travel Survey, making it the first in the nation to ask about sexual orientation in a large-scale travel survey.

Data was pulled from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey at the state level and for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Statistical Area (Seattle MSA), which consists of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

According to the Household Pulse Survey, between July 2021 and May 2023, 17% (516,000) of adults in the Seattle MSA identify as LGBTQ+. Out of these 516,000 adults, 12% (360,000) identify as gay or lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, and the remaining 5% identify as something else.


PSRC Data Collection

Over the past 30 years, PSRC has been conducting household travel surveys to ask residents about their travel patterns and social demographic characteristics. In our current survey (2023), a question about the respondent's sexual orientation was added.

Although there were concerns that including the question would result in respondent dropout, PSRC has had higher-than-typical response rates and lower dropout rates relative to other areas conducting similar travel surveys.

With this new demographic data, PSRC hopes to understand specific housing and transportation needs of the LGTBQ+ community and the disparities they experience. Check out the Puget Sound Trend.