By Lin Taylor
LONDON, Oct 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More young people across Britain identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in 2016, in a slight increase from the year before, according to official data released on Wednesday.
About 4 percent of those aged between 16 and 24 identified as LGB, a rise from about 3 percent in 2015.
This age group had the highest proportion of LGB people in Britain, followed by 25 to 34 year olds.
"One reason for this pattern may be that younger people could be more likely to explore their sexuality, combined with more social acceptability of sexual identities today and the ability to express these," the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in its report.
More than 1 million people, or 2 percent of the British population, identified as LGB in 2016, a statistically significant increase from 1.7 percent in 2015, the ONS said.
Males and people living in London were also most likely to identify as LGB last year, ONS said.
The figures did not include trangender people.
Although Britain is one of a handful of countries where LGBT people have equal constitutional rights, activists say abuse and discrimination remain rife.
A recent YouGov survey said that hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Britain almost doubled in the past four years, with one in five people targeted in the past 12 months.
(Reporting by Lin Taylor @linnytayls, Editing by Lyndsay Griffiths.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters that covers humanitarian issues, conflicts, land and property rights, modern slavery and human trafficking, gender equality, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org to see more stories)
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