A new Gallup survey ranks the top 50 metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the highest percentage of the adult population who identify as LGBT, and not surprisingly, San Francisco ranks at the top of the list.
But many will be surprised that socially conservative Salt Lake City made the top 10 at #7. The lowest percentage of residents who identify LGBT? Birmingham, Ala.
The results are based on responses to the question, “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?” — included in more than 374,000 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted between June 2012 and December 2014. It is the largest ongoing study of the distribution of the LGBT population in the U.S. on record, and the first time a study has had large enough sample sizes to provide estimates of the LGBT population by MSA.
Article continues belowVia Gallup:
The top 10 includes metro areas from every region of the country except the Midwest. Given the long history of a visible and politically active LGBT community in San Francisco, the city’s ranking at the top of this list is not surprising. Similar to San Francisco, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) like Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles in the West, and Boston in the Northeast, are known for their progressive social and political climates and active LGBT communities. Hartford is the capital of Connecticut, which has permitted same-sex couples to legally marry longer than every state except Massachusetts.
MSAs like Austin and New Orleans in the South, and Denver in the Rocky Mountain region, all have reputations as socially progressive cities within states and regions that are much more conservative, perhaps making them regional hubs for the LGBT population.
The ranking of Salt Lake City in the top 10 may seem surprising because Utah is one of the most conservative states in the country. However, the state recently passed a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment and public accommodation, the first state to do so since 2007. The majority of states still do not have such laws on the books.
Birmingham, Alabama, with 2.6% LGBT identity, has the lowest percentage of LGBT adults of any of the 50 largest metro areas, followed by Pittsburgh and Memphis, Tennessee. Other MSAs with low percentages of LGBT adults include San Jose, California; Raleigh, North Carolina; Cincinnati; and Houston.