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Almost Half of the World Sees Their Area as Gay-Friendly

Almost Half of the World Sees Their Area as Gay-Friendly

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Nearly half of people worldwide (45%) viewed their city or area as a “good place” for gay or lesbian people to live in 2023. Nearly as many, 44%, said it is “not a good place.”

Acceptance is down from levels between 2020 and 2022, when it hovered around 50%, but it is still more than double the 21% first measured in 2006.

Nordic countries, including Norway (92%), Iceland (90%), Sweden (89%) and Denmark (86%), continue to rank among the most accepting places in the world. Other European countries -- including Spain (89%), the Netherlands (88%) and Malta (87%) -- also top the list, as does Australia (85%).

Nepal (87%), which became the first country in South Asia to recognize same-sex marriage in 2023, remains the only non-Western country among the most accepting nations.


Perceptions of acceptance remain lowest in African and Middle Eastern countries, including several where consensual same-sex sexual acts are illegal, such as Senegal (1%), Gambia (3%), Malawi (4%), Zambia (5%), and Lebanon (5%).


Mozambique Now One of the Most Gay-Friendly Countries in Africa

Between 2022 and 2023, people in 11 countries became more likely to see their area as a good place for gay or lesbian people to live.

This perception increased most in Mozambique, where a new high of 49% say their area is a good place for gay people, up from 36% in 2022.

When Gallup first asked this question in 2006, relatively few Mozambicans (8%) perceived their area as hospitable to gay people, in line with figures recorded in most African countries at that point. Since decriminalizing gay and lesbian relations in 2015, perceptions have become more favorable almost every year. Today, Mozambique is among the most accepting nations in Africa, just behind South Africa (54%).

Double-digit increases were also recorded in Comoros -- where 26% now say it is a good place, up from 16% in 2022 -- and in Malaysia, where 19% say it is a good place, up from 9%.


Perceptions in Belgium (84%) increased by six percentage points, placing it among the 10 most accepting nations in the world in 2023. Increases in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (54%) and Greece (51%) each mark new highs, with majorities in both countries now perceiving their area as a good place for gay or lesbian people.

Record highs were also recorded in Cyprus (49%), the Dominican Republic (44%) and Japan (42%). Eastern European countries Slovakia (39%) and Albania (15%) also registered increases in the percentage saying their area is accepting.

Acceptance Drops in a Dozen Countries

Adults in about a dozen countries became less likely to view their area as hospitable for gay or lesbian people in 2023, with a sharp drop in India that contributed to the lower global average. The current 43% recorded in India, the first figure below the 50% mark since 2019, comes as the nation’s Supreme Court declined to make same-sex marriage legal, punting the issue to the Parliament. However, rather than shifting to believing their area is not a good place for gay or lesbian people to live, more people in India said they did not know or had no opinion.

The decline in the global average may also have been influenced by a six-point decrease in China from Gallup’s previous measure in 2021 (which was included in the 2022 global average). In 2023, 41% of Chinese residents said their area is a good place for gay or lesbian people, down from 47% in 2021.

Double-digit decreases in perceptions of acceptance were recorded in Bangladesh (60%) and South Africa (54%) -- though majorities in both countries still perceive their area as a good place for gay people to live.

Meanwhile, Canada (83%) and Italy (68%) remain among the world’s most accepting places despite six-point decreases in the percentage saying “good place” in both countries. Smaller majorities perceive acceptance in Colombia (52%) and Singapore (51%) despite decreases in each country.

The remaining decreases recorded were in nations where perceptions of acceptance were already low, including Lithuania (25%), Benin (13%), Tanzania (9%), Mauritania (7%) and Mali (6%).


Bottom Line

Perceptions of acceptance of gay and lesbian people vary greatly around the world and change over time, often coinciding with developments in a region’s gay rights movement.

Residents’ views of their area’s hospitability have, over time, generally trended toward more positive environments for gay people to live. However, increases in acceptance are never guaranteed to be lasting, as is the case for a dozen countries in Gallup’s latest update.

How residents answer Gallup’s question, fielded since 2006, may not reflect their personal attitudes toward homosexuality but more so their assessment of the area as a place to live for a marginalized group. And their responses are often influenced by social and political victories and losses for the LGBTQ+ communities there.

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For complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.

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