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Research & Data Needs

Transgender people, and the issues they face, are under-studied because surveys of the general population rarely ask whether a respondent is transgender. However, there are tested survey questions about a person’s gender identity and transgender status that belong on government and other general population surveys, and NCTE continues to press for the inclusion of these questions. In addition, researchers must conduct more transgender-specific surveys so that the issues transgender people face are understood more deeply.

Without including questions to determine whether a person is transgender on general population surveys, we lack official information about unemployment rates, income and poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, and all other data that are regularly measured in the general population.

NCTE conducted the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) to gather data on the transgender and non-binary community. With almost 28,000 respondents, the USTS is the largest survey ever devoted to the lives and experiences of trans people. Read the full report and watch the report release event at

The USTS was a follow up survey to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which was a ground-breaking look into the experiences of discrimination and health disparities that trans people face.

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