States with the highest and lowest LGBT identification

Written by:
June 14, 2018

States with the highest and lowest LGBT identification

More Americans identify as LGBT than ever before. According to a Gallup Poll of 1.6 million adults, 4.1% of the country's population now claims membership in the LGBT community, compared to just 3.5% in 2012.

Virtually all of that growth is traced to millennials, who came of age in an era when much wider social awareness made it more acceptable to live openly. Young Americans are now twice as likely to identify as LGBT than adults from older generations. The increase is most pronounced among women, but large gains were also seen in minority communities, particularly within Asian and Hispanic populations. The Pacific region is now home to the highest concentration of LGBT Americans, but the Mid-Atlantic and Rocky Mountain regions have also seen significant increases. The lowest concentrations are generally found in states where laws and regulations tend to be the harshest and least protective: the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and the South.

To map LGBT identification across the nation, Stacker analyzed Gallup data as well as data from sources that track the LGBT community, including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). The result is a profile of the LGBT community in every state and the District of Columbia, including demographic insight and a synopsis of each state's culture and laws.

It is important to note that this analysis is based primarily on the Gallup study, which inquired specifically about LGBT identification, a term that excludes other non-dominant sexual and gender identities, such as pansexual, questioning and intersex.

RELATED: 33 top LGBTQ+ charities to consider for Pride Month

1 / 51
LGBT Color Run 2017 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.—U.S. Air Force Photo

#51. South Dakota

Population that identifies as LGBT: 2.0%
Sample size: 2,160

The state with the smallest LGBT population is South Dakota, which made headlines in 2017 for passing sweeping anti-LGBT laws. These laws were enacted under the banner of religious liberty, which allows taxpayer-funded agencies to discriminate against the LGBT community. MAP, which tracks state laws and policies that affect LGBT people, gives the state a dismal -0.5 equality profile out of a possible 37. This rating is thanks to the few laws designed to protect South Dakota's 13,043 LGBT residents, as well as the existence of several laws that negatively target them.

2 / 51

#50. North Dakota

Population that identifies as LGBT: 2.7%
Sample size: 2,079

In 2016, Vox reported on the demise of the only gay bar in North Dakota, a rural state the publication described as a "hostile landscape" for its LGBT community. HRC largely confirms that assessment through an analysis of the protections afforded to the state's 15,704 LGBT residents — or more accurately, lack of protections. No laws exist to protect the LGBT community from school bullying, conversion therapy or hate crimes, nor from discrimination in education, housing, public accommodations, employment or health care. The other two issues HRC deems critical are marriage equality, which is now nationally enshrined, and the legal change of gender markers on identifying documents, which North Dakota only partially protects.

3 / 51
Kenneth Freeman // Flickr

#49. Idaho

Population that identifies as LGBT: 2.8%
Sample size: 4,858

A full 68% of Idaho's 34,887 LGBT citizens are women, 77% are white and 42% are raising children. The state scores a low 4 out of 37 on the MAP equality scale, and according to HRC, Idaho does not have even the most basic anti-discrimination and protection laws in place.

4 / 51
South Carolina (LGBT) Pride festival at Columbia, 2012—Hunter-Desportes // Flickr

#48. South Carolina

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.0%
Sample size: 11,166

LGBT citizens of South Carolina are dramatically more likely to be unemployed, less likely to have health insurance and more likely to earn less than $24,000 a year than non-LGBT South Carolinians. Nevertheless, both groups attend college in equal percentages. The state fails to provide eight of the 10 basic measures of legal protection deemed critical by HRC, and scores a low MAP equality profile of exactly zero.

5 / 51
Max Pixel

#47. Montana

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.0%
Sample size: 4,235

Although Montana earns a low MAP score of 3.75 out of 37, it does provide some basic protections for its LGBT community, which is 24,447 Montanans strong. Like non-LGBT residents in the state, a large percentage of the community falls in the 40-59 age demographic. Nearly one in four LGBT Montana residents is raising children.

6 / 51
Little Rock Air Force Base celebrates Pride Month, 2017—U.S. Air Force Photo

#46. Arkansas

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.0%
Sample size: 7,938

Arkansas' 68,496 LGBT residents are divided fairly evenly between women and men, with 53% to 47%, respectively. The state earns a low MAP score of 1 out of 37 thanks to laws that offer little protection for, and sometimes directly target, Arkansas' LGBT population. Residents there do not yet have the right to change gender markers on identification documents.

7 / 51
torbakhopper // Flickr

#45. Alabama

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.0%
Sample size: 12,133

Almost half of Alabama's nearly 113,000 LGBT citizens are non-white, and 35% are raising children. The heart of the Bible Belt in the Deep South, Alabama presents an unforgiving landscape for the community. Its MAP equality profile is poor: -2.5 out of 37. LGBT residents there aren't afforded even the most basic protections, and several state laws were written to restrict and impede them.

8 / 51
Another Believer // Wikicommons

#44. Alaska

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.0%
Sample size: 2,225

Alaska stands out for its large population of young LGBT citizens. Roughly 40% of the state's 16,637-member LGBT community is comprised of 18- to 24-year-olds, an age group that represents just 15% of the non-LGBT population. Like those in other remote and rural states, LGBT Alaskans suffer from a lack of basic legal protection—the state maintains a low 4.5 out of 37 MAP rating.

9 / 51
U.S. Air Force Photo

#43. Kansas

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.1%
Sample size: 7,024

Like Alaska, Kansas is home to an LGBT population that skews young. More than 40% are 18- to 24-year-olds, for an average age of 36. The state's 67,962 LGBT residents are divided into an almost exactly even 50/50 split between men and women. Kansas has failed to institute seven out of 10 basic protections monitored by the HRC and, thanks in part to several religious exemption laws, has earned a MAP score of just 3.5 out of 37.

10 / 51
Two streets in Knoxville, Tennessee—JasonParis // Flickr

#42. Tennessee

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.1%
Sample size: 17,050

Nearly 160,000 LGBT people call Tennessee home, nearly one in three earns less than $24,000 a year and a little more than one in four is raising children. The conservative Southern state can be hostile, earning a dreary MAP score of -1.5 out of 37. In fact, the state expressly forbids cities and towns from passing laws that would prevent discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

11 / 51
The Saint Anthony Falls Bridge over the Mississippi River in 2015—Tony Webster // Wikicommons

#41. Mississippi

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.2%
Sample size: 6,783

In 2017, Mississippi subjected its 72,558 LGBT citizens to choking legislation described by HRC as "by far the most sweeping and devastating state law to be enacted against LGBTQ people in the country." Just a handful of thin protections exist in the state, which earned a MAP score of zero

12 / 51
Iowa City Pride Fest 2017—Alan Light // Flickr

#40. Iowa

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.2%
Sample size: 8,064

There's a 54% to 46% split between women and men, respectively, in Iowa's LGBT community, which consists of nearly 77,000 people. Iowa is the first state on this list to earn a MAP score not considered low (13.5 out of 37) and a decent HRC assessment of laws that protect LGBT citizens instead of marginalizing them. Iowa fully supports laws on six key issues, and partially supports two others.

13 / 51
Senior PRIDE initiative booth at Lexington Pride Festival, 2015—FloNight (Sydney Poore) // Wikicommons

#39. Kentucky

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.3%
Sample size: 10,804

One in three members of Kentucky's 113,069-member LGBT community is raising children, and they go to college at the exact same rate as the state's non-LGBT residents. After failing to enact laws enshrining eight critical protections, Kentucky earned a low MAP score of 6 out of 37.

14 / 51
Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City, 2014—KinkyLipids // Wikicommons

#38. Utah

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.3%
Sample size: 8,349

Utah has enacted laws to guarantee three crucial protections for its LGBT residents, but neglected to enact seven others. A lack of so-called religious exemption laws, however, has helped the state squeak out a decent MAP score of 9.5 out of 37. Nearly three out of four of the 70,272 LGBT citizens there are not raising children, and nearly one in three earns less than $24,000 a year.

15 / 51
Max Pixel

#37. West Virginia

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.4%
Sample size: 4,635

LGBT West Virginians are younger on average by nearly a decade than their non-LGBT counterparts. They're overwhelmingly white and female, and are disproportionately young adults—32% of the population is 18-24 years old, compared to just 9% of the larger population. West Virginia's low MAP score of 3.5 out of 37 is largely attributed to the state's failure to enact gender identity protections, as well as its passing of laws that are hostile with regards to gender identity.

16 / 51
Pride Festival St. Louis—State Farm // Flickr

#36. Missouri

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.4%
Sample size: 13,632

More than 160,000 LGBT citizens have made their homes in Missouri, a state that affords them limited protection and a MAP score of just 3.75 out of 37. Although a plurality of the community falls within the 40-59 age demographic, the state has a robust population of young LGBT residents. Just 11% of Missouri's non-LGBT population is 18-24 years old, compared to 26% of LGBT Missourians who fall into that age group.

17 / 51
Milwaukee Pride Parade 2017—Wayne // Wikicommons

#35. Wisconsin

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.4%
Sample size: 14,078

In contrast to many other states, Wisconsin's LGBT community is dominated by men by a margin of 62 to 38. Just 18% of the state's 152,695 LGBT residents are raising children. Legislatively and culturally, Wisconsin is a mixed bag. The state only partially supports five crucial protection metrics, and doesn't support three others at all. Wisconsin has a decent, if not tepid record in protecting people based on sexual preference, but is negligent in terms of preventing discrimination and worse still when the discrimination is based on gender identity.

18 / 51
Northern Virginia Pride, 2014, at Bull Run—Ted Eytan // Flickr

#34. Virginia

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.4%
Sample size: 20,357

222,417 Virginians identify as LGBT, one in four of whom is raising children. As is the case for so many others residing in Southern states, they face a climate that appears to be difficult by design. Religious exemption laws are on the books, as are laws criminalizing exposure to or transmission of HIV. Just 3% of the state's population is protected against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation. Only 2% are protected based on gender identity.

19 / 51
Peter Salanki // Flickr

#33. Connecticut

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.5%
Sample size: 7,984

Although it doesn't even break out of the bottom 20 states in terms of its percentage of LGBT population, Connecticut is leaps and bounds above the previously covered states in terms of equality. The state supports legislation on all 10 of the issues deemed critical by HRC, and earns an impressive 28 out of 37 on the MAP equality profile. Nearly 99,000 LGBT people reside in the state, just 20% of whom are raising children.

20 / 51
Charlotte NC Rally Against Prop 8 in 2006—James Willamor // Wikicommons

#32. North Carolina

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.5%
Sample size: 23,169

More than a quarter-million LGBT residents call North Carolina home, and they're split fairly evenly between men and women as well as between white and non-white. They go to college at the same rate as their non-LGBT counterparts, but they're much less likely to have health insurance and much more likely to earn low salaries or to be unemployed. North Carolina supports just two of the 10 issues deemed critical by the HRC, which called a 2017 update to the state's controversial anti-LGBT HB2 law "shameful."

21 / 51
Gyrostat // Wikicommon

#31. Oklahoma

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.5%
Sample size: 10,689

Oklahoma shuns nine of the HRC's 10 critical issues, and the one it does support—marriage equality—was mandated by the Supreme Court. The state targets its LGBT community with hostile laws, and the climate is especially unsympathetic toward gender identity issues. Oklahoma earned a MAP equality score of zero out of 37. Even still, the state's LGBT community is more than 100,000 strong, and more than one in three LGBT citizens chooses to raise children there.

22 / 51
Worlds Direction // Flickr

#30. Wyoming

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.5%
Sample size: 2,202

Sparsely populated Wyoming is home to fewer than half a million adults and just 15,631 LGBT residents. There is limited data on the community's demographic makeup and the exact number of LGBT Wyoming residents raising children. What is known, however, is that the state has rejected instituting protections across all nine of the 10 critical Human Rights Campaign issues that weren't forced on it by the Supreme Court.

23 / 51
Tobias Kleinlercher // Wikicommons

#29. Nebraska

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.6%
Sample size: 5,646

Nebraska's 51,616-member LGBT community is split nearly evenly between men and women and about one in three is raising children. LGBT Nebraskans are more likely to have health insurance than the state's non-LGBT members, but they're also far more likely to be unemployed or have low-paying jobs. The state scores a low -0.5 MAP rating, and the resulting environment is particularly harsh in terms of gender identity. Gender identity, in fact, isn't even covered by the only voluntary protection the state offers its LGBT community, out of the 10 considered important by the HRC.

24 / 51
NAWCAD Lakehurst, NJ LGBTQ+A Pride Month Event, 2017—U.S. Navy Photo

#28. New Jersey

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.6%
Sample size: 18,575

The LGBT community in New Jersey is most heavily concentrated in, and distributed within five percentage points across, the 18-24, 25-39 and 40-59 age demographics. The Garden State's quarter-million-plus-strong LGBT population enjoys strong protections in a state that earned a solid 27.5 out of 37 MAP score.

25 / 51
Sign for the Philadelphia Gayborhood—Bohemian Baltimore // Wikicommons

#27. Pennsylvania

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.6%
Sample size: 32,473

With a MAP score of 11.25 out of 37 and no protection laws in seven of 10 key categories, Pennsylvania isn't nearly as friendly to its almost 364,000 LGBT residents as its neighbor to the east, New Jersey. Demographics are split nearly equally between men and women, and a 37% plurality of LGBT Pennsylvanians fall into the 40-59 age range.

26 / 51
Women's March on Austin TX, 2017—Steve Rainwater // Wikicommons

#26. Texas

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.6%
Sample size: 53,349

Nearly three-quarters of a million LGBT Americans reside in Texas, but the community isn't only large, it's also young. A 35% plurality falls between the ages of 18-24 in a state that generally skews much older. The HRC reports that in 2017, thousands of Texans, including many corporate and faith leaders, rallied against SB3, a bill that was widely panned as discriminatory in a state that lacks basic protections across eight of 10 key categories.

27 / 51
New Orleans Pride Parade 2016 — Tony Webster // Wikicommons

#25. Louisiana

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.7%
Sample size: 9,958

Religious exemption laws, laws that target HIV patients and "don't say gay" laws restricting speech on the subject by educators in classrooms combine with a void of basic protections, all making Louisiana one of the least LGBT-friendly states in America. Even so, more than 132,000 members of the community live there, giving the state a high enough concentration to put it in the top half in terms of population by percentage. They have similar rates of unemployment, college attainment and health insurance coverage compared to the state's non-LGBT residents.

28 / 51
Cincinnati Pride Parade 2017—MediaGamut // Flickr

#24. Ohio

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.8%
Sample size: 25,535

In the state of Ohio, 342,084 residents identify as LGBT, about 28% of whom are raising children there. The state is void of nearly all the most basic laws HRC deems critical to protecting its citizens equally. The state's efforts at preventing discrimination based on gender identity are particularly bleak, earning Ohio a paltry 1.75 out of 37 MAP score.

29 / 51
Motor City Pride 2011—Equality Michigan, LGBT Free Media Collective // Wikicommons

#23. Michigan

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.8%
Sample size: 19,860

With more than 294,000 Michiganders identifying as LGBT for 3.8% of the state's total population, no one can deny that the Wolverine State has a robust LGBT community. That's not reflected in Michigan's weak and sometimes antagonistic laws, however. The state has enacted none of the 10 key HRC protections that weren't mandated by the Supreme Court, and the 31% of the state's LGBT community raising children there are forced to do so in a climate that earned Michigan a MAP score of just four out of 37.

30 / 51
Honolulu Pride Parade 2012—Daniel Ramirez // Wikicommons

#22. Hawaii

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.8%
Sample size: 2,121

Hawaii is part of the Pacific region, which includes Alaska and the West Coast, that is now home to the highest LGBT concentrations in America. This is reflected in the state's robust laws and protections. Hawaii's 42,581 LGBT residents, four in 10 of whom are raising children there, enjoy legal protections that earned the state a strong 24.5 out of 37 MAP score. Hawaii fully supports seven of the HRC's 10 key metrics, and partially supports two others.

31 / 51
Baltimore Pride 2016—Ted Eytan // Flickr

#21. Maryland

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.9%
Sample size: 12,532

As previously stated, the Mid-Atlantic region has experienced significant growth in the terms of the percentage of LGBT residents, and Maryland is the heart of the Mid-Atlantic. More than 182,000 LGBT Marylanders call the state home, more than one in four of whom is raising children. The state welcomes them with full support for nine of the HRC's 10 crucial metrics, earning Maryland a sturdy 25.25 out of 37 MAP score.

32 / 51
Chicago Pride Parade 2015—Cheryl Adams // Flickr

#20. Illinois

Population that identifies as LGBT: 3.9%
Sample size: 22,199

Supporting nine of the 10 critical HRC issues and earning a strong MAP score of 26 out of 37, Illinois stands out as a Midwestern state that has written its commitment to the security of more than 385,000 LGBT residents into law. About 60% of the community is white and split nearly evenly between men and women. The community is most highly concentrated in the 40-59 age demographic, just like Illinois' non-LGBT residents.

33 / 51
Atlanta Pride 2009—Jason Riedy // Wikicommons

#19. Georgia

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.0%
Sample size: 20,999

Home to nearly 312,000 residents identifying as LGBT, Georgia is the first state on this list where a full 4% of its population fits into the category, putting it more on par in terms of population with traditionally LGBT-friendly states than with the Deep South. Georgia's draconian laws, however, mirror much more closely the apparent disdain for minorities that has shaped so much of the history of the state and region. The state supports not a single protection that wasn't forced on it by the Supreme Court and, earns a pitiful -1.5 out of 37 MAP score.


34 / 51
2013 Twin Cities Pride Parade—Tony Webster // Wikicommons

#18. Minnesota

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.0%
Sample size: 13,176

One in five members of Minnesota's nearly 170,000 LGBT residents is raising children in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, which doesn't protect children from so-called conversion therapy. It does, however, fully support all nine other key HRC issues. Split evenly between men and women, Minnesota's LGBT population skews young, with the largest plurality found in the 18-24 age demographic.

35 / 51
Phoenix Gay Pride Parade 2010—Kevin Dooley // Flickr

#17. Arizona

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.0%
Sample size: 17,402

With nearly 212,000 residents constituting a full 4% of the population, Arizona's LGBT population is large, vibrant and dangerously under-protected. The Southwestern state earns a MAP score of just 4 out of 37, thanks largely to punitive policies regarding gender identity and a so-called religious exemption law that enshrines legal discrimination. The state balks on seven of the 10 key HRC protections, and only partially supports another.

36 / 51
Providence Pride Festival 2012—Josh McGinn // Flickr

#16. Rhode Island

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.0%
Sample size: 2,395

Although Rhode Island's LGBT community has fewer than 34,000 members—they reside in a tiny state with slightly more than a million residents—that's enough for them to claim a 4 percent stake in the population. The community is dominated by women, who represent nearly three out of every four LGBT Rhode Island residents. They have the luxury of residing in a tolerant and welcoming state that has enacted laws for nine of the 10 key HRC metrics for a MAP score of 30.25 out of 37—the first state to break the MAP benchmark of 30.

37 / 51
Gay Pride Parade 2015 in downtown Indianapolis—Steve Baker // Flickr

#15. Indiana

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.1%
Sample size: 15,642

Indiana has a large LGBT population of more than 207,000, but they're confined by laws that earned the Hoosier State a low 6.5 out of 37 MAP score. The state fully supports just one of the 10 critical HRC metrics, but that isn't saying much considering the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage requires all states to support it by law.

38 / 51
Albuquerque Pride Parade, 2012—Joby Elliott // Flickr

#14. New Mexico

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.2%
Sample size: 5,790

New Mexico has a decent record in terms of protections afforded to its 66,795 LGBT residents, a record that looks better when you consider the state is in the heart of the Southwest—sandwiched between Texas and Arizona, which have far less-inclusive policies. New Mexico has a middle-of-the-pack MAP score of 18.25 out of 37 and fully supports six of the HRC's 10 most important issues.

39 / 51
People of Pulse Nightclub at Come Out With Pride Parade 2009, Orlando—Jeff Kern // Wikicommons

#13. Florida

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.2%
Sample size: 42,605

Florida's vibrant LGBT community includes nearly 692,000 people that represent 4.2% of the state's population. One in four is raising children, more than 40% are non-white and nearly one in four is between the ages of 18-24. With a low MAP score of just 7.75, however, the state does not go out of its way to accommodate them. In fact, the state that suffered the Pulse nightclub shooting has not fully supported a single one of the 10 key HRC protections of its own volition.

40 / 51
Pridefest on Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado, 2008—Jeffrey Beall // Wikicommons

#12. Colorado

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.3%
Sample size: 13,844

More than 184,000 LGBT Americans make their home in Colorado, and nearly one in three of them is raising children there. The male-to-female ratio is nearly identical, and the community is spread out closely among the three youngest age demographics. Colorado has made great strides in accommodating its LGBT citizens, either fully or partially supporting nine of the HRC's 10 crucial issues, which has helped it earn a respectable 23.5 out of 37 MAP score.

41 / 51
Ted Eytan // Flickr

#11. Maine

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.5%
Sample size: 4,094

There are fewer than 50,000 LGBT residents in Maine, although that's enough to grab a 4.5% stake in the population, and more than a quarter of them are raising children there. The state has earned a high 20.5 out of 37 MAP score, failing to support just two of the HRC's most important issues facing the community.

42 / 51
Josh Wilburne // Unsplash

#10. New York

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.5%
Sample size: 41,203

Home to New York City where the modern gay rights movement began, the Empire State is home to nearly three-quarters of a million LGBT Americans. A bastion of equality, New York fully supports all 10 of the HRC's crucial metrics and boasts a high MAP score of 27.25. New York's LGBT community is only slightly more female than male, and is concentrated by all but 9% in the three youngest age demographics. 

43 / 51
Seattle Pride 2017—Kiteinthewind // Wikicommons

#9. Washington

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.6%
Sample size: 17,782

Part of the Pacific region where America's LGBT community is most densely concentrated, Washington counts more than 260,000 LGBT residents among its population. Nearly three in 10 are raising children. Washington boasts an impressive 29.5 out of 37 MAP score, thanks to healthy protections that include full support for all 10 of the HRC's critical issues.

44 / 51
Ted Eytan // Flickr

#8. New Hampshire

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.6%
Sample size: 3,129

The overwhelming majority of New Hampshire's nearly 50,000-strong LGBT population is concentrated in the 18-24 and 40-59 age demographics. The state lags behind many of its New England neighbors with a 17.25 MAP score that is satisfactory at best. It doesn't support two of the 10 HRC's critical issues, and only partially supports two others, but the HRC is celebrating the recent signing of a state law protecting transgender residents from discrimination.

45 / 51
Joshua Stitt // Unsplash

#7. Delaware

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.7%
Sample size: 1,976

A huge plurality—nearly half—of Delaware's LGBT community is concentrated in the 40-59 age demographic, and fewer than one in four is raising children there. Although the Mid-Atlantic region has made great strides in accommodating its rapidly growing LGBT population, Delaware limps to the finish line with an 18.75 MAP score than can be summed up as "just okay." The state's 35,146 LGBT community members enjoy full support on just six of the HRC's top 10 issues.

46 / 51
Forbidden Castle // Flickr

#6. Nevada

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.8%
Sample size: 5,888

Nevada's LGBT population is large and young, with a combined 65 percent of the 108,000-plus community packed into the 18-24 and 25-39 age demographics. They enjoy living in a state with a high 24.5 MAP rating and legislative support for all 10 critical issues touted as important by HRC.

47 / 51
Pride parade, Portland, Oregon (2015)—Another Believer // Wikicommons

#5. Oregon

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.9%
Sample size: 11,859

Oregon is at the center of the Pacific region, which is now the heart of America's LGBT community. More than 158,000 LGBT residents call the state home. They're just as likely as non-LGBT Oregonians to have health insurance, more likely to go to college and less likely to be unemployed. The state fully supports all 10 key issues tracked by HRC and tops out with a high 28.75 MAP score.

48 / 51
San Francisco Pride Parade 2012—Victorgrigas // Wikicommons

#4. California

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.9%
Sample size: 69,467

California has long been one of the epicenters of LGBT life and culture in America, and its massive 1.48 million-member community reflects that heritage—so, too, do the Golden State's laws. The state's permissive, protective legal framework earned it a whopping 33 out of 37 MAP score, while codifying support for all 10 crucial HRC protections.


49 / 51
The AARP Booth at the 2017 Boston Pride Festival—Whoisjohngalt // Wikicommons

#3. Massachusetts

Population that identifies as LGBT: 4.9%
Sample size: 15,193

More than one-third of Massachusetts' LGBT population, which totals more than a quarter-million residents, is raising children in the state. Massachusetts fully supports eight of the HRC's 10 primary issues, and partially supports one other. Those efforts have earned the state a high MAP score of 27 out of 37.

50 / 51
Ted Eytan // Flickr

#2. Vermont

Population that identifies as LGBT: 5.3%
Sample size: 2,200

One of just three states (including Washington, D.C.) that boasts an LGBT population greater than 5% of all residents, Vermont fully supports 9 of the 10 key HRC metrics and partially supports the other, earning the state a strong MAP score of 27.5 out of 37Nearly six members in 10 of the nearly 27,000-strong community are women.

51 / 51
Capital Pride Parade in DC, 2017—S Pakrhin // Wikicommons

#1. District of Columbia

Population that identifies as LGBT: 8.6%
Sample size: 1,746

The state with the highest concentration of LGBT Americans isn't actually a state at all. It's the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., where 68% of the community is male and just 15% is raising children. Its 34 out of 37 MAP score bests even the high bar set by California. The District's 48,184 LGBT residents enjoy legal protection across all 10 of the HRC's most important issues.

Trending Now