2015 U.S. Transgender Survey

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS)?

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) is the largest survey ever devoted to the lives and experiences of transgender people, with 27,715 respondents across the United States. The USTS was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality in the summer of 2015, and the results provide a detailed look at the experiences of transgender people across a wide range of areas, such as education, employment, family life, health, housing, and interactions with police and prisons.


Where can I find USTS reports?

The full report of the 2015 USTS and English and Spanish versions of the Executive Summary can be found on the USTS reports page. The reports page also contains breakout reports, including those about the experiences of people of color and people in particular states.


Where can I find the USTS questionnaire?

The USTS questionnaire can be found in Appendix B of the full report, available at www.ustranssurvey.org/reports.


Who could take the USTS?

The USTS was for all transgender adults (18 years and older), including genderqueer and non-binary people, living in the United States, a U.S. territory, or on a U.S. military base. The 2015 had 27,715 respondents from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and several U.S. territories and military bases overseas. The survey was open to transgender adults at any stage of their lives, journey, or transition. The survey was available online in English and Spanish, and survey-taking events were organized in many parts of the country so people with limited online access could take the survey.


When was the USTS available for completion?

The USTS was available for completion from August 19 until September 21, 2015. 


Who conducts the USTS?

The USTS is conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, the nation's leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people: www.transequality.org.


How was the USTS conducted?

The USTS was an online survey that could be completed on a computer or a web-enabled device such as a smart phone or tablet. In many parts of the country, organizations held survey-taking events where people could access computers and/or the internet to take the survey.


What were Survey-Taking Events?

Organizations across the country opened their doors to allow people access to a computer and a safe place to take the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey in events called Survey-Taking Events. Each event had different availabilities—hosts made their resources available during specific one-time only events, at weekly recurring events, or on a drop-in basis. For example, a community center may have participated by setting aside time on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM where all or some of its computers were available, or it might have hosted people on Monday—Friday from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM each evening for a week or longer. 


How long did it take to complete the USTS?

The survey generally took 30 to 60 minutes to complete, but it took longer for some participants because the number of questions each participant received was based on their individual experiences.


Did participants have to share any personal information to take the USTS?

The USTS was anonymous, so participants did not have to share any information that could identify them, such as their name. All survey answers remain confidential. 


Were participants paid to complete the USTS?

Participants were not paid to complete the survey, but they had the option to enter a drawing to win one of three cash prizes: one prize of $500 and two prizes of $250. 


What languages was the USTS available in?

The USTS was available in English and Spanish.


Was the USTS accessible to people with disabilities?

The survey was accessible to people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities consistent with Section 508 Standards of the Rehabilitation Act. Please contact ustranssurvey@transequality.org with additional questions about accessibility.


What issues did the USTS address?

The USTS covered experiences of transgender people in the United States across many areas of life, with more than 300 possible questions covering a range of issues. Topics in the USTS included experiences with education, housing, employment, health, and many other issues that affect transgender people.


Was the USTS approved by an Institutional Review Board?

The USTS was reviewed and approved by the University of California, Los Angeles Institutional Review Board (IRB). An IRB reviews, approves, and monitors research involving people and ensures that their confidentiality and other rights are protected.


How can researchers access the USTS dataset?

Researchers may submit requests to access USTS data at www.ustranssurvey.org/data-requests. Data will be shared in a manner that protects the confidentiality of people who took the survey. Please note that not all requests for data will be approved and researchers should closely examine the criteria used to assess requests before submitting a request. 


When is the USTS going to be conducted again?

We expect that the next USTS will be conducted in 2020 to collect data that can demonstrate how the experiences of transgender people in the United States are changing over time.