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Data Show That the Number of People Hormonally Transitioning has Skyrocketed in Recent Years

By Aly W. | First published July 1, 2019 | Last modified February 4, 2021

Introduction

A number of graphs of new patient numbers for transgender hormone therapy clinics throughout the world that have been published in the recent past show that the number of people hormonally transitioning has been increasing exponentially in the last few years. I think it’s apparent to pretty much everyone how much the visibility of the transgender community has increased in recent years. But it’s a bit fascinating to also see how many more people are suddenly now transitioning and how much larger our community is becoming.

In parallel with the growth in number of people hormonally transitioning, clinical research on transgender hormone therapy has been increasing considerably in the last few years as well. Whereas before it seemed like it was just a few groups conducting most of the research, now clinicians and academics all over are taking up this line of research. I must say that it’s an exciting time for transgender hormone therapy as a clinical discipline and body of knowledge.

London, United Kingdom

Source: MacGregor, E. A., & van den Brink, A. M. (2019). Transgender and Migraine. In Gender and Migraine (pp. 113–127). Springer, Cham. [DOI:10.1007/978-3-030-02988-3_9]

Source: Heneghan, C., & Jefferson, T. (2019). Gender-affirming hormone in children and adolescents. BMJ Evidence Based Medicine Spotlight. [URL]

Original Source: Gender Identity Development Service. Accessed on 18 Jan 2018. Available from: http://gids.nhs.uk/number-referrals (Version from 18 Jan 2018: Wayback Machine)

Original Source: Butler, G., De Graaf, N., Wren, B., & Carmichael, P. (2018). Assessment and support of children and adolescents with gender dysphoria. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 103(7), 631–636. [DOI:10.1136/archdischild-2018-314992]

Melbourne, Australia

Source: Cheung, A. S., Ooi, O., Leemaqz, S., Cundill, P., Silberstein, N., Bretherton, I., … & Zajac, J. D. (2018). Sociodemographic and Clinical Characteristics of Transgender Adults in Australia. Transgender Health, 3(1), 229–238. [DOI:10.1089/trgh.2018.0019]

Wellington, New Zealand

Source: Delahunt, J. W., Denison, H. J., Sim, D. A., Bullock, J. J., & Krebs, J. D. (2018). Increasing rates of people identifying as transgender presenting to Endocrine Services in the Wellington region. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1468), 33–42. [URL]

Albany, New York

The data for this one is a bit older, but is interesting as well:

Source: Leinung, M., Urizar, M., Patel, N., & Sood, S. (2013). Endocrine treatment of transsexual persons: extensive personal experience. Endocrine Practice, 19(4), 644–650. [DOI:10.4158/EP12170.OR]

Vienna, Austria

van Trotsenburg (2002)

“Figure 2: Report of the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the University of Vienna for the status change after sex-transformation surgery because of transsexuality.” (Translated) Additional: “Data from the Transgender Outpatient Clinic of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Vienna General Hospital show a MtF:FtM ratio of 2:1 and are therefore in line with the trend of foreign centers. From 1977 to the end of 2001, 188 persons were registered by the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Vienna, who after an operative sex conversion were considered to be experts in the administrative procedure for the recognition of the new civil status (Fig. 2).” (Translated)

Source: van Trotsenburg, M. A. (2002). Transsexualität: Überblick über ein Phänomen mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der österreichischen Sicht. [Transsexuality: Overview of a phenomenon with special consideration of the Austrian view.] Speculum-Zeitschrift für Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe, 20(4), 8–22. https://www.kup.at/journals/summary/1300.html

Kaufmann (2014)

“Fig. 1: New presentations in the transgender outpatient clinic at the University Women’s Hospital Vienna from 1995-2012” (Translated) Top-left legend translated: “Male-to-female”, “Female-to-male”

Source: Kaufmann, U. (2014). Transsexualität–Gender-Dysphorie. [Transsexuality–Gender Dysphoria.] Der Gynäkologe, 47(2), 104–110. [DOI:10.1007/s00129-013-3207-x]

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

“Figure 1. Number of people and median age for each year, stratified for transwomen and transmen and for children (<12 years), adolescents (12e18 years), and adults (18 years). Age is defined as age at the 1st visit to the VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam. From 1987 through 2002, children and adolescents were seen at the Utrecht University Medical Center and then at the VU University Medical Center only if they could begin medical treatment.”

Source: Wiepjes, C. M., Nota, N. M., de Blok, C. J., Klaver, M., de Vries, A. L., Wensing-Kruger, S. A., … & Gooren, L. J. (2018). The Amsterdam cohort of gender dysphoria study (1972–2015): trends in prevalence, treatment, and regrets. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 15(4), 582–590. [DOI:10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.01.016]

Additional Source: Van Kesteren, P. J., Gooren, L. J., & Megens, J. A. (1996). An epidemiological and demographic study of transsexuals in the Netherlands. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 25(6), 589–600. [DOI:10.1007/BF02437841]

Miscellaneous

The estimated proportion of transgender adults in the United States has increased from 0.2% in 2007 to 1.8% in 2016. (Eismann et al., 2019)

[…] a report from Sweden’s Board of Health and Welfare […] confirmed a 1,500% rise between 2008 and 2018 in gender dysphoria diagnoses among 13- to 17-year-olds born as girls. (Orange, 2020)

[…] In parallel, estimates of the prevalence of transgender identities are rapidly changing. Previous estimates using data from the 1970s calculated the prevalence of transgender identities at 1:30,000 for natal males, and 1:100,000 for natal females;10 however, an adult sample from Massachusetts placed the combined estimate at 0.5% in 2012.11 This 2012 finding has been further supported by two groups using data from the 2014 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to place the estimates at 0.53%12 and 0.6%13 of the US population (1.4 million US adults). (Kinnear & Shumer, 2019)

Recent reports indicate that the overall number of individuals with gender dysphoria who attend clinical services for an assessment has increased substantially over the years in many North American and European countries (Aitken et al, 2015; De Vries et al, 2015). There is also a significant increase in people who self-diagnose as suffering from gender dysphoria and gender incongruence (Kuyper & Wijsen, 2014; Van Caenegem et al., 2015). (Richards et al., 2016)

Additional Reading

  • Nolan, I. T., Kuhner, C. J., & Dy, G. W. (2019). Demographic and temporal trends in transgender identities and gender confirming surgery. Translational Andrology and Urology, 8(3), 184–190. [DOI:10.21037/tau.2019.04.09]
  • Goodman, M., Adams, N., Cornell, T., Kreukels, B., Motmans, J., & Coleman, E. (2019). Size and Distribution of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Populations: A Narrative Review. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics, 48(2), 303–321. [DOI:10.1016/j.ecl.2019.01.001]
  • Collin, L., Reisner, S. L., Tangpricha, V., & Goodman, M. (2016). Prevalence of transgender depends on the “case” definition: a systematic review. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 13(4), 613–626. [DOI:10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.02.001]
  • Arcelus, J., Bouman, W. P., Van Den Noortgate, W., Claes, L., Witcomb, G., & Fernandez-Aranda, F. (2015). Systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence studies in transsexualism. European Psychiatry, 30(6), 807–815. [DOI:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2015.04.005]
  • Landén, M., Wålinder, J., & Lundström, B. (1996). Prevalence, incidence and sex ratio of transsexualism. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 93(4), 221–223. [DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0447.1996.tb10638.x]
  • Flores, A. R., Herman, J. L., Gates, G. J., Brown, T. N. T. (2016). How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States? Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute. [URL]
  • Zhang, Q., Goodman, M., Adams, N., Corneil, T., Hashemi, L., Kreukels, B., … & Coleman, E. (2020). Epidemiological considerations in transgender health: a systematic review with focus on higher quality data. International Journal of Transgender Health, 21(2), 125–137. [DOI:10.1080/26895269.2020.1753136]
  • Zhang, Q., Rechler, W., Bradlyn, A., Flanders, W. D., Getahun, D., Lash, T. L., … & Goodman, M. (2020). Changes in Size and Demographic Composition of Transgender and Gender Non-Binary Population Receiving Care at Integrated Health Systems. Endocrine Practice. [DOI:10.1016/j.eprac.2020.11.016]
  • Spizzirri, G., Eufrásio, R., Lima, M. C. P., de Carvalho Nunes, H. R., Kreukels, B. P., Steensma, T. D., & Abdo, C. H. N. (2021). Proportion of people identified as transgender and non-binary gender in Brazil. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1–7. [DOI:10.1038/s41598-021-81411-4]