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How many people are actually trans?

If this data shows anything, there is a fad going on among younger people that is passing their elders by

New census data suggests one in 200 people are trans — but that may be misleading

According to census data just released* by the Office of National Statistics, 262,113 people in England and Wales have a gender identity different from their sex registered at birth. That’s around 0.5% of the population.

What this data actually means, however, is harder to grasp. We know that 47,572 people identified as ‘trans women’ and another 48,435 identified as ‘trans men’, but they are in the minority. There were 30,257 non-binaries (sex breakdown unknown), 18,074 with some other gender identity, and a whopping 117,775 who gave no specific gender identity. 

But the usual suspects soon show up on the geographic map. Non-binary people account for around 0.06% of the population overall, but hotspots include Oxford (0.25%), and Cambridge (0.26%). In fact, the data serves to illustrate where students live. Why are there so many non-binary people in Gwynedd (0.09%) and Ceredigion (0.23%), yet so few in Carmarthenshire (0.04%) and Anglesey (0.03%)? It’s perhaps no coincidence that the universities in North and West Wales are in Aberystwyth and Bangor.

Similar patterns show up for ‘trans woman’ and ‘trans man’. If this data shows anything, there is a fad going on among younger people that is passing their elders by. The concept that we all have an innate gender identity that is fixed and immutable is maybe just that — an idea without foundation.

What was most surprising for me was how many people answered the question, “Is the gender you identify with the same as your sex registered at birth?” It was voluntary, but only 6% left it blank. I found it difficult to answer. I might be transsexual – hormones and surgery have changed my body profoundly and irreversibly — but I don’t identify as a gender: I am simply me. In the end, I said “no” and indicated “transsexual” in the write-in box. I am therefore one of the 18,074. Most of my generation and above said “yes”. But is that an acknowledgement of a gender identity, or were they simply going along with what they thought was expected of them? We don’t know.

What this data does show, however, is that a significant number of people identify as transgender. We are not the vanishingly small group that was once suggested. For example, prior to the implementation of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 it was estimated that there were just 5000 transsexual people across the whole of the UK; now there are over 50 times as many transgender people in England and Wales alone.

But these groups are not the same. Transsexualism is a psychological condition that can be treated with drugs and surgery. Anyone can identify as transgender, and it appears that far more people are now doing so. The implications for society could be profound. The Scottish Parliament has just passed a bill that would allow Scots to self-identify their gender — and hence their legal sex. In effect, they have taken a process designed for transsexuals and opened it up to a group considerably larger. A group that may well do what previous generations did — grow up, find work, get married and move beyond the folly of youth.

The ONS plans to release more detail later in the year, focusing not just on sex and age but also on ethnicity and religion. And it is that latter one that really interests me. I’m willing to bet that the correlation between the Jedi Knights and the people who identify as transgender is off the scale.


Debbie Hayton

* This article was first published by Unherd on 6 January 2023: How many people are actually trans?

By Debbie Hayton

Physics teacher and trade unionist.

10 replies on “How many people are actually trans?”

There’s no doubt that the whole thing has become a fad. It is a way for the lonely, the confused, the disenfranchised, the ugly, and the misfits to feel special. The people who used to wear foil hats to keep aliens from controlling their thoughts are now the same ones who run around with rainbow-colored clothes, or who make eyesores of themselves on social media.

I also think that transgenderism is a way for young people to gain a psychological advantage over their parents. Trans activists have given children the idea that being trapped in the wrong body is such an existential torture that they must be allowed to have hormones and surgeries, etc., and anything else they want. Schools are now amplifying that message by teaching kids that they can choose their gender. Once the child has a “special need”, he or she can demand more from the parents.

Yes, there is a core of 1/2 of 1% who are genuinely transgender, but the rest are just along for the ride.

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I quite agree. Am sure many of the 0.5% are identifying for attention, fact the numbers have increased exponentially since schools & unis became engulfed in ideology since stonewall took on trans cause in 2014. This is backed up by detransitioners who say they did it to get attention, got treated as special by everyone, helped their moral, but later they found out they had other medical conditions. But medical profession had used the affirmative approach. I cant understand why they do this for this but they dont for anorexia, both conditions are about how a person views their body, thus need proper help, as my friend did, to like their body and live a happy life.

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Although I agree with much of what you say, DH, I would suggest that transsexualism has simply been extended to encompass the new wave of ‘trans’ identity. It is now mainly the young who are affected, and gullibility, narcissism, all manner of paraphilias encouraged by early exposure to the porn industry all play their part.

Many will be gay and many will be heterosexual. The girls, in particular, seem to be caught in a social contagion, and they and the young boys are actively encouraged to mutilate themselves, while the older men have managed to create a mantra that having a willie is still feminine. That alone should raise a red flag that this is sexual for many, and has nothing to do with a gendered soul and other such nonsense. I do not mean to be rude to you or unnecessarily condemnatory, but transsexuals have been breaching women’s boundaries for a long time, and have, unwittingly, perhaps, opened the doors wide to this new wave of ‘trans’.

I absolutely agree with you that there are many, many more adult men with paraphilias than we ever envisioned, or that governments are willing to acknowledge to the wider population, and most are desperate to access female spaces and rights, no matter how much that is denied by the virtue-signallers. Again, a red flag signalling that sex is at the base of this. Most of the young people and children could be saved, however, if this wicked ideology were crushed, and it is that, above all other abuses, that should never be forgiven. Dr Mengele would be proud of what is happening today to the children, and the Taliban would be cheering at the deliberate attempts to subjugate females.

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Very interesting analysis, and very interesting data. You’re right, the map shows mostly university regions lit up like rainbows. Ceredigion looks oddly concentrated, perhaps just because it’s a large county with a sparse rural population, so skewed by the disproportionate student population at Aberystwyth. West Wales is also a magnet for the less conforming generally.

As usual, we can see strong evidence here for cultural contagion, which affects the young and adolescent most strongly, hence the skew towards younger populations, but the trans activists interpret the rapid increase as the latest victory over oppression, saying there are just more trans people feeling empowered to come out. What comes out, thankfully, in the end, is truth.

Hey, I’m sure you’ll know, Debbie, and you’re probably working on another article: the Scottish Gender Reform Bill has been blocked by the UK Government, precisely on the issue you’ve discussed: it’s at odds with UK anti-discrimination legislation protecting single-sex spaces, etc.

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… I too was very puzzled by the number indicating a difference between their gender and assigned sex but not adding text to clarify their gender identity. Unfortunately, too many surveys are badly conceived, and this may be such a case. We might infer that a certain proportion assume that their gender disconformity automatically implies the opposite, so they can’t see the point in filling in the opposite binary sex in the box; some might consider the question meaningless, despite not feeling like their assigned sex; others might have no word for, or not want to put a word on, so nebulous a thing; and some might not have noticed the box and moved on.

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Despite my hating the way the question was worded i said yes i am the same sex as at birth but I would never answer a question asking my gender identity – I would want to say I dont have one, i have a biological sex, as does everyone. Its a daft question to anyone who doesn’t relate to the question. Its like asking me which part of the moon i’m from. I’m not so would ignore it. But a question asking which degree i did, id relate to and answer. So actually, having said the above, i understand why it was asked and understand its importance – but it could be answered wrong (see below!).

But i expect many ignored the word “identity” and answered it thinking it meant biological sex, which everyone has. Many people i know wouldn’t understand it, eg my mum so would ignore it thinking doesn’t apply to her. I spent hours filling out the census, it went on forever, so boring – but only noticed whats going on a year or so ago, having received much info through Debbie’s enlightening columns, so wonder how i would have answered it, if i didnt know what a “gender identity” was – I bet id have said “no” and written in my gender identity as my biological sex (you can laugh at my ignorance, i think that’s funny! wonder if the census people noticed if anyone actually did that!)

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Hi Debbie, I am one of the 117,775. I put ‘nothing’ in the field.
I’m not transgender or transsexual and I don’t believe in gender and I don’t ‘identify with a gender’. That is, I have never personally experienced this feeling people describe of such a thing. That doesn’t mean that I don’t respect people who do believe this or experience this feeling, the same as I respect people who are religious. But I am an atheist and I only have a sex, and that was the only way I could answer the question truthfully.
I have been reading your work for a while, and I don’t mind whether you are a woman or a man, but someone so sensible and respectful is definitely a lady. 🙂

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Nemo: few people would care if being ‘trans’ did not involve fetish behaviours in public and access to female spaces, sports, jobs, etc. It would be very simple to make sex biological sex, with no access for gender, and to limit the areas in which a GRC could be used, although, at the same time, maing it easier, quicker and cheaper to get, while retaining all birth, offender details, etc. It would necessitate third spaces where anyone could use the facilities who wished to do so, leaving male and female provision ‘trans’-free on grounds of sex biology. No one sensible could disagree with that.

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