Are there really LGBT seniors in Berkshire County?

Estimates of LGBT population age 60 and over in Berkshire County


Using the process described below, calculations show that in 2010 there were between 724 and 1217 LGBT people age 60 and over in Berkshire County, and that in 2020 there will be between 856 and 1556.


The actual number of LGBT individuals of any age in Berkshire County is hard to know for certain, as it is for the United States as a whole. Many LGBT people conceal their orientation. The difficulty is increased among older LGBT people, who are likely to be more secretive about their status than younger people, who are less affected by stigma.

The above figures were extrapolated by applying the most authoritative estimates of LGBT people in the United States (between 2.2% and 4% of the population*) to accepted figures on the number of people over age 60 in the county.**


*The most reliable statistics on the number of LGBT people in the population come from The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy at UCLA School of Law. The Institute’s methodology was a survey of four large, national, population-based surveys. The surveys analyzed include:

  • National Survey of Family Growth, 2006-2010 (NSFG)
  • General Social Survey, 2008, 2010, 2012 (GSS)
  • National Health Interview Survey, 2013 (NHIS)
  • Gallup Daily Tracking Survey, 2014.



**The Research Unit of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs has determined that in 2010 there were 32,920 people 60 years of age or older in Berkshire County. The Research Unit’s projections for the 2020 population predict 38,898 people 60 or over, an increase of 18.2%. (The real growth rate may be higher, given that the statewide rate of increase is expected to be 28.3%.)