Gayest cities in the US research summary. We used Saturday Night Science to research the cities in the United States with the highest percent of same-sex households for 2023. The data comes from the American Community Survey 2013-2018 vintage, which breaks down sex by household status. Unfortunately, the Census has stopped reporting at the city level, so this report reflects the most recent data.
The city with the highest rate of same-sex houesholds in the US is San Francisco, CA. 2.3% of households in San Francisco are gay.
The city in the US with the most same-sex houesholds is New York, NY with 16,654 gay households.
Our goal with this post is to use data and science to determine the gayest cities in America.
After analyzing 72 of the largest cities in America, we’ve determined these cities have the largest gay population as a percentage.
Well yea, we could have told you San Francisco was gay. But, what’s more interesting to us, is that only ~2% of households are actually gay. That’s according to official census numbers at least.
Having been to SF before, we would hazard to guess that maybe that number is underreported. But we only tell ’em like we see ’em.
Check out more about America here:
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The 10 Gayest Cities In The United States For 2023
Gay Households: 5,299
% Gay Households: 2.33%
More on San Francisco: Data
It’s probably no surprise that San Francisco ranks as the gayest city in America. Here, 0.02% of residents are gay, and about 1 and a half percent of the total population is in same-sex marriages. San Francisco is a non-discrimination haven. Equality and fairness rule the day here. San Francisco first became a major gay destination during WWII when the Navy discharged gay sailors who were being expelled from the service at Treasure Island. Many decided to stay.
Of course, we mentioned the Castro District earlier. This area of downtown San Francisco is a safe place for anyone – the entire neighborhood has hotels, bars and restaurants that cater to the gay lifestyle. The Castro is a symbol of liberation for the whole world, where the gay community is not only welcomed, but justified.
A lot of this entire region boasts a large gay population. Across the bay, Oakland, Berkeley, and Hayward all also have a large gay community. Hence, a lot of people refer to it as the Gay Area. San Francisco proper isn’t just the gay capital of the US, it’s the gay capital of the world.
Gay Households: 2,377
% Gay Households: 1.69%
More on Atlanta: Data
Gay Households: 1,379
% Gay Households: 1.3%
More on St. Petersburg: Data
Gay Households: 961
% Gay Households: 1.3%
More on Orlando: Data
Gay Households: 3,169
% Gay Households: 1.23%
More on Seattle: Data
Seattle Washington is unsurprisingly one of the gayest cities in the nation. Here, the gay population is 0.01% and also growing. Seattle passed San Francisco for the most households composed of gay or lesbian couples at 2.6% – and is the only U.S. city with more than 1% of households being lesbian couples.
Seattle has two annual Pride festivals. The city is also home to the two largest LGBTQ choruses in the world, the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus. The city of Seattle has protected gay and lesbian workers since the passage of the Fair Employment Practice Ordinance in 1973. Seattle’s hospitals have been recognized for their dedication to equality for LGBT patients as well.
Gay Households: 2,667
% Gay Households: 1.23%
More on Denver: Data
Denver Colorado ranks as the 6th gayest city in America, where an estimated 0.01% of the population identifies as LGBT. Of course, since, like forever ago, Colorado was a very red leaning state, but over the last two decades, it has become much more liberal. The most liberal of of Colorado’s cities is Denver, which also hosts the third largest gay pride parade in the nation.
You’d expect that America’s acceptance of LGBTQ individuals would be growing, and up until recently, that was the case. However, a new alarming study by the LGBTQ Advocacy Group GLAAD has raised some worrisome eyebrows. In 2016, 63% of youth were comfortable interacting with the gay population. A year later, that number was 53% and now, it’s less than half. The only age group that has a growing acceptance of the gay community are the elderly.
In that same vein, it does appear that Americans are more politically correct when it comes to gender acceptance, though, at least publicly. For example, a cafe recently began promoting their Gender neutral gingerbread people. Fox News made a joke of it. No surprise.
Gay Households: 1,909
% Gay Households: 1.2%
More on Oakland: Data
Gay Households: 1,715
% Gay Households: 1.1%
More on Minneapolis: Data
Gay Households: 2,857
% Gay Households: 1.06%
More on Portland: Data
Of course, Portland ranks really high in the nation, that’s no surprise. More than 1 in 20 people in Portland is gay. For a long time, the city of Roses’ slogan was Keep Portland Weird. Now, more and more, you’re seeing Keep Portland Queer around town.
Portland elected its first gay mayor in 2008. An out bisexual Portlander is Oregon’s governor; an out Portland lesbian is the state’s Speaker of the House. Rainbow flags fly everywhere. But back in 1964, the city of Portland attempted to shut down local gay bars in an attempt to crush the gay scene.
It didn’t work.
Today, the Portland Pride Festival and parade draws people from all over the country. Now unlike Seattle, which has a gay district called Capitol Hill, or San Francisco’s Castro district, Portland no longer has a gayborhood. Why? Dating apps have made hooking up at gay clubs less necessary for one. And, as one Portlander put it – why do we need a Gayborhood – here in Portland everyone’s kinda gay.
Overall, Oregon is one of the gayest states in the nation. Wyoming is the least gay state.
Gay Households: 1,468
% Gay Households: 1.01%
More on Long Beach: Data
How we determined the gayest cities in America for 2023
In order to rank the gayest cities in America, we used Saturday Night Science and data from the 2013-2018 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census. We looked at:
- Percentage of all households that are unmarried, same-sex partners
We limited the analysis to non-CDPs that have over 100,000 households.
We ranked each city from 1 to 72 with the city containing the highest percentage of unmarried, same-sex partners households being the most gay.
In the end, San Francisco was the gayest city with ~2% gay households.
Skip to the end to see the list of all the places in the state from gayest to straighest.
We updated this report for 2023. This report is our tenth time ranking the gayest cities in America.
There You Have It – The Gatest Cities In America
So, while we all knew San Francisco would be the gayest city in the country, we added to the list with cities like Atlanta and Portland.
And while the gayest cities are usually on the coasts, Minneapolis does make an appearance in the top ten.
And if you’re interested, here are the least gay cities:
- Virginia Beach
For more reading, check out:
Gayest Cities In The US For 2023
|Rank||City||Households||% Gay Households|
|1||San Francisco, CA||359,673||2.33%|
|3||St. Petersburg, FL||107,173||1.3%|
|10||Long Beach, CA||166,460||1.01%|
|11||Jersey City, NJ||101,007||1.01%|
|19||New Orleans, LA||154,036||0.87%|
|20||San Diego, CA||503,463||0.86%|
|21||St. Louis, MO||140,455||0.81%|
|23||Los Angeles, CA||1,373,864||0.79%|
|24||New York, NY||3,154,103||0.71%|
|26||Kansas City, MO||200,420||0.68%|
|35||Urban Honolulu, HI||128,814||0.55%|
|39||San Jose, CA||321,835||0.51%|
|46||Corpus Christi, TX||116,562||0.46%|
|48||San Antonio, TX||497,794||0.45%|
|50||Fort Wayne, IN||105,174||0.43%|
|52||St. Paul, MN||112,999||0.42%|
|54||Las Vegas, NV||226,396||0.39%|
|55||Oklahoma City, OK||240,471||0.39%|
|63||Fort Worth, TX||291,739||0.31%|
|68||El Paso, TX||225,264||0.24%|
|69||Colorado Springs, CO||178,623||0.2%|
|71||Virginia Beach, VA||169,290||0.18%|