Cover: Regional and Local Inequalities in Disability Status by Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Regional and Local Inequalities in Disability Status by Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

A Cross-Sectional Ecological Analysis of the 2021 Census of England and Wales

Published in: Health Equity, Volume 8, No. 1, pages 279-288 (2024). DOI: 10.1089/heq.2023.0231

Posted on rand.org Apr 24, 2024

by Robert J. Romanelli

Purpose

To examine regional differences in disability status by sexual orientation and gender identity and to explore local factors that are associated with levels of inequalities for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or other sexual orientations (LGB+) or transgender.

Methods

This was a cross-sectional ecological analysis of 2021 Census data from England and Wales. The main outcome variable was disability status. The main explanatory variables were sexual orientation and gender identity. Weighed linear regression was used to examine differences in disability status by sexual orientation (LGB+ vs. heterosexual) and gender identity (transgender vs. cisgender). The magnitude of between-group differences was explored by region and, in England, local authority-level urbanization and socioeconomic deprivation.

Results

Among 48.5 million census respondents within 331 local authority districts (LADs) across England and Wales, LGB+ and transgender groups were more likely to report having a disability than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. Inequalities were prevalent across regions of England and Wales, but were smallest in the Greater London area and largest in the southwest of England. Inequalities were also larger within English LADs that were relatively less urbanized and relatively more socioeconomically deprived.

Conclusions

This study identified disparities in disability status by sexual orientation and gender identity, which varied by region and local socioeconomic deprivation and urbanization. More research is needed to better understand how to support disabled LGBT+ people, especially those in less urbanized and more socioeconomically deprived areas.

Research conducted by

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