A NEW study has found that 6.5 per cent of Australians in their 20s identify as gay, more than any other age group surveyed.

The survey conducted by Roy Morgan Research asked 18,000 Australians aged 14 and over to agree or disagree with the statement: “I consider myself a homosexual.”

The general trend shows a steady increase in people identifying as gay across all age groups.

Between 2006-2008 one in 42 people agreed, with the figure rising to one in 32 people for 2009-2011.

The latest 2012-2014 numbers reveal 1 in 29 people identify as gay.

The figure increased from just over four per cent in 2006 to 2008.

A higher rate occurs among those aged from 14-29, the ages at which more young people are likely to “come out”.

The study also shows that the decrease in respondents in the affirmative in the older age brackets suggests older Australians are less candid in their responses.

Roy Morgan Research chief executive Michael Levine said that the overall rising numbers reveal a cultural shift.

“The rising rates across all age groups shows that people who consider themselves homosexual are becoming more open about it, which in turn reflects increasing acceptance across society,” he said.

“Finding out the ‘real’ number, therefore, is less about getting a head-count and more a gauge of just how open we are.

“As the Single Source survey continues over the coming decade, perhaps we’ll see the figure steady and flatten across age groups, with the question answered as readily and casually as any about vegetarianism or coupon-clipping.”

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