Surveys Show Where LGBT Americans Live
Western cities top the list, and here's why
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2015 2:45 PM CDT
A member of the Montenegrin gay community waves a rainbow flag during a gay pride march in Podgorica, Montenegro, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014.   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

(Newser) – Want to meet Americans who tell pollsters they're gay? Then try metropolitan areas out West—including, oddly enough, Salt Lake City—even over East Coast or Midwestern cities, Vox reports. Drawing on surveys of more than 374,000 adults in 50 US cities, Gallup says the top five for LGBT residents are San Francisco (6.2%), Portland, Ore., (5.4%), Austin (5.3%), New Orleans (5.1%), and Seattle (4.8%); politically conservative Salt Lake City (4.7%) came in seventh. Why the latter? Well, the higher percentage of self-identifying gays in Western cities may reflect the particular lack of acceptance they face in nearby rural areas, the New York Times reports.

The bottom five are Raleigh (3.2%), Cincinnati (3.2%), Memphis (3.1%), Pittsburgh (3%), and Birmingham (2.6%). No huge surprise about Birmingham, the Times notes, considering the prevalence of anti-gay attitudes in the South. Yet consider the statistical similarities: The percentage of Americans identifying as gay runs at 3.6% nationwide, including roughly 3% outside some big cities. And the data may simply reflect how comfortable LGBT residents are coming out to a pollster: "I'm as out as out can be, and my first thought was, 'Do I really want to tell Gallup that I’m gay?'" a California official tells the San Francisco Chronicle. "There might be some hesitancy for some people to self-identify with someone they don’t know at all."