This greatly hinders the gathering of statistics pertaining to the gay community. The latest study done by the British civil service in December 2005 using actuarial tables and estimates supplied by the Department of Trade and Industry reported the figure for gay people in the UK as being 3.6 million or 6 percent of the population.
On 26 December 2005, China Daily reported that Zhang Beichuan, China's foremost expert on homosexuality estimated, according to statistics, that the number of gays in the Peoples' Republic was between 39 and 52 million, or 3 to 4 percent of the population. In 2001, Fridae, Asia's largest English language-LGBT web portal, polled its gay and lesbian members residing in Singapore.
Of the 595 respondents, 39% declared that they were "attached" or "living with a partner." 40% of the respondents who were in relationships had been with the same partner for more than 6 months.
A high proportion of respondents lived with their parents, while only 22% owned or rented their homes.
Mainstream society in Singapore was largely unaware of the existence of a local LGBT community until the publication of a groundbreaking series of articles in 1972 by the evening tabloid of the day, "New Nation" (see main article: Singapore's first newspaper articles on the LGBT community).