According to a new report released on Wednesday, support for gay marriage increased at an accelerated rate over the past 2 years.

The survey, which was commissioned by the gay marriage group Freedom to Marry, concluded that between 2009 and 2011 the average support for legalizing gay marriage grew at a rate of roughly 5 percent per year, while between 1996 and 2009 the rate averaged 1 percent.

“That's actually a 500 percent increase in the rate of change,” pollster Joel Benenson of Benenson Strategy Group is quoted as saying at a press conference by U.S. News & Report. “We rarely see that kind of upward spike in support around an issue.”

Benenson, who worked for President Barack Obama's presidential campaign, and Dr. Jan van Lohuizen of Voter Consumer Research, who worked for former President George W. Bush's campaign, used polling data from five national polls, including Gallup, PRRI, CNN/ORC, ABC News/Washington Post, and Pew Research Center, to reach their conclusions.

A large majority (68%) of young people below the age of 30 support marriage equality, according to the study.

“Because of demographic shifts, we will see a steady march from a majority to a supermajority” of support for gay marriage, Benenson said.

“Even where anti-gay ballot measures succeed at the time, the net result is that people are prompted into these conversations,” Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson said. “The more people talk about this, the more they move into support of the freedom to marry.”