Both men and women in the LGBTQ community tend to earn less than the general population, but LGBTQ women are often more confident than their male counterparts that they will meet their financial goals, according to research by Prudential.
The report, which also looks at women, black Americans, Asian-Americans, Latino-Americans and caregivers, builds on Prudential’s 2018 financial wellness census, which showed a nation almost equally divided between those who are financially healthy and those who are struggling.
Prudential and Chadwick Martin Bailey conducted a survey in the fourth quarter of 2017 among 3,013 U.S. adults ages 25 to 70.
One in every 10 survey respondents — 297 in all — identified as LGBTQ, a higher proportion than some other surveys have found, according to Prudential. It said this may reflect differences in how, and in what form, the question was asked.
The Prudential survey asked separate questions about gender identity and sexual orientation, and as an online poll may have encouraged respondents to be more open that they might have been in one-on-one interviews.
Prudential noted that a 2017 Gallup poll found 4.5% of the U.S. adult population identified as LGBTQ. That poll, it said, simply asked people whether they identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and was conducted over the telephone.
Half of the LGBTQ participants in the Prudential survey reported household income below $50,000. LGBTQ women, in particular, lagged on the income front, with 40% reporting household income below $30,000, versus 35% of their male counterparts and just 24% of both non-LGBTQ men and women.
Prudential said the disparity may reflect the younger average age of LGBTQ survey participants: 38% were millennials. The same with work arrangements: LGBTQ respondents were slightly less likely to be working full time, it said. And if they were women, they were likelier to be working flexible schedules in which their hours change regularly.
The survey found that both LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ women put a high priority on keeping up with current expenses and saving enough money to last through retirement. The former, however, were more focused than other women on financing major purchases, buying a home, providing tuition for their children and reducing student loan debt.
LGBTQ men — who are less likely to be married or have children, according to Prudential — generally place less importance on financial goals than LGBTQ women or non-LGBTQ respondents. Only 17% of LGBTQ men in the sample reported having any children, versus 54% of LGBTQ women. This compared with 61% of non-LGBTQ men and 66% of non-LGBTQ women.