New Gallup Poll Looks at the Most and Least Hospitable Regions for Gays Around the World


A new poll by Gallup finds that less than three in 10 adults across 123 countries say where they live is a "good place' for gays to live, with the highest hospitable attitude claims coming from Netherlands (83%), Iceland (82%), and Canada (80%). Nearly all of the countries where residents say their city or area is "not a good place" for gays to live were African nations.  

For the U.S. 70% of respondents said where they live was a good place for gays, 22% said not a good place, and 8% didn't know or refused to answer.  

Gallup reports:

Of the countries where three in four or more residents feel their area is hospitable to gay and lesbian people, all but Canada are in Europe, and all but Ireland (75%) have marriage equality laws. In Ireland, voters will cast their ballots on a referendum in 2015, and the country could join their European neighbors in allowing marriage equality by next year.

By contrast, in many of the countries where the residents are least likely to feel their city or area is a "good place," it is illegal to be openly gay. For example, "an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex," as Senegal's anti-gay law dictates, can be punished with up to five years in prison and fines of up to $3,000. Laws that allow for the imprisonment of gay and lesbian people are also on the books in Pakistan — where 1% say their area is a good place for gay people to live — Uganda (2%), Ethiopia (2%), and Afghanistan (2%).

The global average and ranking did not include data from more than a dozen countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt because the question "Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for gay or lesbian people?" was itself too sensitive to ask. 

Check out the full poll HERE


  1. GregV says

    According to the summary:
    “Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults in each country, aged 15 and older, conducted in 2009 and 2013.”

    If this is based on interviews with mostly straight adults, the results might be very different from what they would have been if the respondents had been gay.
    I have known straight people living in pretty hostile areas who seem pretty oblivious to the degree of homophobia experienced by gay people in their communities.

  2. says

    good point, GregV.

    even where i grew up in Toronto, a place i’m freaking lucky to have been raised in, we still have families that disown their kids. we still have anti-gay hate crimes. we still have transphobia and prejudice. even in the Best of places, the battles are not yet won.

    and like you said, many straight folks seem oblivious to it – they think that since there’s a well-attended and “popular with the whole city” Pride celebration ,that the battle is over.

    that said, in a lot of places these tides are turning rapidly – the internet generation is rather savvy to the lies some of their elders tell, and the more that LGBT youth come out their very live and very being negate the hatred and animus that other generations were hoping to pass down to the next.

  3. Mike says

    As someone that worked with surveys and statisticians extensively for almost a decade in medical research, I would advise taking this with a huge grain of salt after looking over how the surveys were performed and some of the error and response rates. I know we’re all used to reading “Gallup” and automatically believing that they know how to do polls, but you would be amazed at how little these polls can actually mean. Polls, surveys, and questionnaires are incredibly difficult to design and conduct well, and yet almost everyone believes that *they* can do it without a qualified statisticians overseeing everything. Factor in the additional problems of self-reporting, sampling, multiple languages, demographics, and cultures, and you’ve got quite a challenge.

  4. james street james says

    Geography is just one way to look at it. Intellectual development has a lot more to do with tolerance in general, and gay acceptance in particular. If you live in an area where most people have college degrees life is more comfortable for gays.

    If you work in an environment where intellectual skills are valued there is less prejudice against gays or any minority.

    In places where there is a lot of ignorant superstitious nonsense there is a lot of anti-gay attitude, like certain Caribbean islands, or the continent of Africa, or Vatican City.

  5. JackFknTwist says

    Wow, such criticism of the Poll.

    But even looking at the lists of countries it seems to me to be a conclusion of the obvious.

    Uganda, Mali, Pakistan……..what a shocker that this bunch are hate filled and anti-gay.

  6. SFshawn says

    @James Street James-
    Your assertion regarding the correlation between areas of the world that value intellectual development having a lot more to do with tolerance/acceptance are spot on!
    The San Francisco Bay Area is a perfect example of why GLBT’s flock to this area of the world year after year and why it continues to be a gay enclave(an extremely expensive one I might add). While those areas of the world that replace intellectual development with crazy religious dogma, ‘tradition’, superstitious mumbo jumbo are and will continue to be some of the most UNDESIRABLE places to live or visit in the world. Not only are most of them war torn dirt holes but most are extremely homophobic, misogynistic and place little to no value on human life(on this planet at least).

  7. bcarter3 says

    Agree that this should be taken w/a huge grain of salt. I was surprised, f’rinstance, w/how low the Czech Republic was listed, and how high Syria (Syria!) was.

  8. BRUNO says

    A gay revolution is going on in africa, gays are coming out and fighting and even dying for their rights, where are the trannies? no where, they hide until all the work is done then they come out and behave like the did all the work, so typical.

  9. V-8 says

    The interpretation of the data was very problematic… it really pits Africa as the worst place ever… if one actually looks at the numbers gallup provided (their interpretation is also biased against Africa), on the second page of the article, one can see as many Eastern European and Asian countries as having a negative score as African countries…. I am not denying things r bad in Africa, but it seems problematic to pigeon-hole one whole continent as one monolithic problem and not focus as much on the problems in Europe, for example… like Little Kiwi said, bad stuff happens even in Canada…. (and in case anyone is wondering, I am Euro-Brazilian, living in the US, not African descent)…

  10. Gay Guy says

    I’d like to see a map with two colors and shades in between showing the best to the worst.

    Show in gray those places for which it was not possible to collect data.

  11. Darrell says

    It basically comes down to laws. If places that have gay marriage laws like Canada, Iceland, Netherlands the rankings are on top places with gay marriage laws still underway (on a state though not federal level) like the US or Australia rankings are lower. Places with anti gay laws (along with laws against anything progressive or equal in anyway shape or form or against what the ruling regimes want in regards to controlling their populations) Rankings are rock bottom.

Leave A Reply