The Census is chronically undercounting the population of LGBTQ people, according to a group of UCLA researchers.

Given elevated rates of unemployment and poverty in these populations, it’s critical that they are included in official Census counts so they can receive federal funding.

From a letter sent by the researchers to the Census Bureau:

Adding sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex assigned at birth questions to the CPS will enable federal agencies to monitor the employment status and earnings of LGBT people. No other national survey gathers information about job search activities among the unemployed, nor about occupation, hours worked, and detailed earnings. Such data are needed to ensure that LGBT people are included in efforts to reduce unemployment through increased labor force participation, as well as to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions.

We strongly recommend the inclusion of questions about respondent sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex assigned at birth (“SOGI”) on the CPS. Sexual orientation identity questions have been included on federal surveys for 20 years and questions used to identify transgender respondents have been included on state and investigator-led surveys for some time, with more common use of both SO and GI questions over the last decade. We also recommend the inclusion of these demographic items to the household roster as research on proxy reporters [20-22], including some of our own work in progress, finds that they can and do report on these characteristics for others.