- For the first time, majority say their area is a good place for gay people
- Gay acceptance highest in European countries, other Western nations
- Acceptance low in countries in Africa, post-Soviet Eurasia, southeastern Europe
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For the first time in Gallup World Poll’s trend dating back to 2006, a majority of people (52%) worldwide say their city or area is a "good place" for gay or lesbian people to live.
The latest figure, based on surveys in 123 countries and areas in 2022, is more than double the 21% recorded when Gallup first asked this question a decade and a half ago.
Between 2014 and 2019, perceptions of acceptance stretched to include roughly one in three adults globally, ranging from 31% to 38%. This figure increased markedly in 2020 (49%) and maintained that level in 2021 (50%), with the latest figure marking the first reading in majority territory.
Gallup previously reported that over the decade from 2011 to 2021, more than a dozen countries had gone from minorities saying their area was a good place for gay people to live to majorities reporting this now.
European Countries Continue to Rank as Best Places for Gay People
More than four in five residents in 15 countries perceive their area as hospitable to gay people. As has been the case throughout Gallup’s trend, Nordic countries -- Sweden (91%), Norway (90%), Iceland (87%), Denmark (84%) and Finland (83%) -- represent the world region where residents perceive the greatest level of acceptance of gay and lesbian people.
Other European countries also top the list, including the Netherlands (89%), Spain (87%), Malta (84%), Luxembourg (82%) and the United Kingdom (81%).
Australia (87%) and New Zealand (86%) also make the list of countries most accepting of gay and lesbian people -- as do North American countries Canada (89%) and the United States (81%).
Nepal (86%), which experienced a tremendous increase in the percentage saying it is a “good place” for gay people to live over the past decade, is the sole non-Western country among the most accepting nations. The trend toward increasing acceptance in Nepal culminated earlier this year in the legalization of same-sex marriages in the country.
Meanwhile, in 22 countries that span the globe, fewer than one in 10 residents say their local area is a good place for gay and lesbian people to live. This list includes several sub-Saharan African nations: Gambia, Malawi, Senegal, Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. Several post-Soviet Eurasian states also rank among the least-accepting places for gay people, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.
Few residents in the southeastern European countries and territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania say their communities are good places for gay or lesbian people to live. Indonesia and Malaysia in Southeast Asia are also among the least-accepting places on the planet, as are Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories in the Middle East.
Over more than a decade of measurement, the world has become increasingly hospitable for gay and lesbian people, according to global residents -- with a small majority now saying their neighbors and community are accepting of gay people.
Gallup has documented massive changes in perceptions of acceptance in countries that span many regions and cultures. But the latest update, like others before it, illustrates the wide range of attitudes that still exist in the world. While 91% of Swedes say their area is a good place for gay people to live, for example, 91% of Gambians say it is a bad place. Many adults across the world may be answering with their country’s laws in mind -- which, in some places, can result in the death penalty -- as opposed to their own personal attitudes. One of the harshest such laws was recently enacted in Uganda.
Though Gallup’s trend paints a picture of a generally upward trajectory in acceptance of gay people, it has also recorded key declines in perceptions of acceptance in certain countries. So, while the world is now more accepting than at any previous point in the trend, it is important to keep tracking this measure.
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