Even though sexual orientation is still somewhat a sensitive issue, it seems that it is becoming less of a taboo issue at a global level, and here we will see some of the gayest countries in the world per capita.
A stubborn argument of ignorant people is that being gay is simply matter of choice. But some things are better explained by science, and this is also one of them. Since we are the part of nature, even though we sometimes see ourselves as something out of it, we should have in mind that homosexuality is not “reserved” for human species only. As science has studied, homosexuality is common throughout the animal kingdom, as well.
Homosexuality is not caused by a single factor but is rather a result of multiple of causes, scientists have agreed. Those are biological, environmental and cognitive factors. From the evolutionary point of view, great answers on homosexuality issues are nicely explained by pioneering evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, as you can see here.
Since we have seen that being gay is actually primarily a matter of biology, it is a logical assumption that global percentage of the gay population (which is approximately 3-5% and up to 10% according to some researches) can be transferred to a percentage of the gay population of each country. Things should be much easier that way. But, of course, being a delicate issue, we have the data from surveys which unfortunately have several deficiencies. First, not whole population percentage can be taken into account and second, more important issue, comes from the participants themselves: not everyone will admit they are gay. But that is the matter of social issues in particular countries and regions in the world. For example, research has shown that views on homosexuality depend on several factors. It seems that tolerance toward homosexuality is greatly influenced by religious impact in the country, the wealth of the country and freedom of speech. So, the most opened regions towards homosexuality and most gay-friendly countries are Europe and North America, while the least gay-friendly are the Middle East and African countries. In some of those, homosexuality is even punished by death.
So, because of the obvious issues on the matter which countries have the highest percentage of LGBT people, the data we can rely on are the surveys themselves. Also, most countries do not conduct surveys on this matter usually, and that is why we would probably not have the most accurate figures. One of the research points could be a percentage of gay marriages per country, but we all know not all countries are happily accepting gay marriage, and not all countries have it legalized (as much as 74). On the matter of this subject, make sure to also take a look at the 10 Countries with the Biggest Gay Populations in the World.
Our information on the gayest countries in the world per capita comes from various resources. We have started form Pink News and Dalia Research, to name a few. Then, after we have seen some countries appearing more than others, we have checked some individual data for them and for some other countries on several other resources, as you will see below, in order to find those suitable for our list.
You should also have in mind that sample size used in the researches we used, wasn’t the same and that different approaches and different research questions were asked during the surveys. But that’s just one of the issues why these polls are not the most reliable ones. Surely there are more gay people than these statistics show, which can be nicely seen as the time passes. Almost every region shows the higher percentage of the homosexual population than before, as they state. But then the question arises, what is ‘before’? Well, some results change even in the span of several years, in case of the UK for example, but you will read more on that later. Anyway, since they are the only actual source we have regarding the gayest countries in the world per capita, let’s proceed down to our list and see which those countries are:
Percentage of gay population: around 2
Canada is one of the gayest countries in the world per capita since 74% of Canadians claim to know someone from LGBT community. Some resources also state that the figure might be up to 5%, but we took the number provided by Statistics Canada.
14. New Zealand
Percentage of gay population: 2.6
Same-sex marriage became legalized in 2013 in New Zealand. Also, earlier this year New Zealand’s justice minister has apologized to gay men for the criminalization of homosexuality that was happening until 1986. Nice of her.
Percentage of gay population: around 4
We all remember the fuss about the referendum held in 2015 about the amendment to Irish Constitution about gay marriage. Overall numbers have shown that approximately 60% of voters voted for and about 37% voted against the amendment. This also puts Ireland a number one country to put voting for an issue like this. But, luckily, Ireland’s gay couples finally got the right to get married legally.
Percentage of gay population: 4.1
The USA is a huge country and much can be said on the issue of gay percentage for each state. But looking at the country in general, the awareness about human rights and LGBT community is rising. Also in only four years, a percentage of adults identifying themselves as gay rose for about 0.5 % (being 3.5 in 2012 to 4.1 in 2016).
Percentage of gay population: 4.8
What brings Italy to our list of the gayest countries in the world per capita are the figures saying that 4.8% of the population is gay. But, it’s not all roses in Italy, as it is one of the worst western countries to be gay in. It only comes to the middle of rankings made by Rainbow Europe about respecting LGBT rights, based mainly on countries’ laws and policies and how they affect LGBT communities.
Percentage of gay population: 4.9
One of the first thoughts, when one thinks of Poland, is the number of churches in the country. Poland is one of the most religious countries of Europe (with around 90% of the population being Roman Catholic). But, with the figure of 4.9% of the population being gay, it seems that Poland is becoming a more gay-friendly country, although same-sex marriage is still not legalized.
Percentage of gay population: 5.4
It is no wonder to see France on the list of gayest countries in the world since Paris was known for being the gay heaven through the 20th century. Today Marais, a historical part of Paris, is considered to be the gay center of Paris. Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2013 in France.
Percentage of gay population: 6
Although being among gayest countries in the world per capita, Mexico is not the greatest place on Earth to be gay. Homophobia is widely spread throughout the country, which, apart from open hatred, is shown through opposing to already legalized same-sex marriage.
Percentage of gay population: 6.2
Austria is one of gayest countries in the world per capita, though (only) 49% of the population supports gay marriage. Nevertheless, gay marriage had been legally accepted since 2010.
Percentage of gay population: 6.4
Apart from being gay-friendly and having recognized gay communities throughout the 20th century (unlike in other European and world’s countries), Netherlands was also the first country to legalize same-sex marriages in 2001. An interesting fact is that Netherland also had first gay bars opened during the 1920s, and the tradition continues until nowadays.
Percentage of gay population: 6.5
More and more people in the UK identify themselves as gay or lesbian, showed by statistics, with a percentage of the gay population rising about 0.3 from 2015 to 2016 (from 1,7-2% according to them). Although some other resources have the figure of gay population in the UK being around 1.5-2%, we have based our research on the data provided by Dalia Research, as we have noted earlier.
Percentage of gay population: 6.9
Spain has been considered as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, and also one of the gayest countries in the world per capita. Nowadays, more and more younger population in Spain identifies themselves as gay (up to 14% aged between 14 and 29). It is also one of the countries where it’s easiest and best to live for gay people.
Percentage of gay population: 7.4
Percentage of gay population: 7.6
Homosexuality has a long (documented) history in Japan. From priests in monasteries to samurais, many of them practiced homosexuality. Homosexuality in Japan became restricted only in the 19th century during the Meiji Restoration in order to bring Japan closer to western trends. Even though Japan became quite closed to gays since then, it seems that LGBT acceptance is coming back to Japan’s old roots.
Percentage of gay population: 8.2 (men) and 4.8 (women)
Believe it or not, Israel seems to be the gayest country in the world per capita. Israel is one of the most developed and open-minded countries in the Middle East, we might say, and recent research on the topic of LGBT population among Israelis has shown that even 8.2% of men admit they are gay! Also, Tel Aviv Pride is one of the most visited events of that kind in the world with much over 100,000 participants coming each year.
This wraps it up for our list of gayest countries in the world per capita.