These Are The 10 Gayest Places In California


We looked at years of data to determine which California cities have the most pride

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When the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of same-sex marriages, America generally, and the gay community specifically, celebrated. Same-sex marriages, and the gay and lesbian movement is more mainstream than ever.

While the national discussion has been brought to the forefront, at the state level, conversations continue.

Did you know that an estimated 0.5% of California residents is gay? That ranks 9 in the nation. That means there are a total of 129,000 gay households in The Golden State.

Our goal with this post is to use data and science to determine the gayest cities in California.

After analyzing 448 cities with over 1,000 households, we’ve determined these are The Gayest Cities in California:

  1. Palm Springs (Photos | Jobs)
  2. West Hollywood (Photos | Jobs)
  3. Rancho Mirage (Jobs)
  4. Cathedral City (Jobs)
  5. San Francisco (Photos | Jobs)
  6. Laguna Beach (Photos | Jobs)
  7. Desert Hot Springs (Photos | Jobs)
  8. Signal Hill (Photos | Jobs)
  9. Tiburon (Photos | Jobs)
  10. American Canyon (Photos | Jobs)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.For more California reading, check out:

1. Palm Springs

Palm Springs, California

Households: 23,556
Gay Households: 1,535
% Gay Households: 6.52%
More on Palm Springs: Comment | Data | Jobs

Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 55mi east of San Bernardino, 107mi east of Los Angeles, 123mi northeast of San Diego, and 268mi west of Phoenix, Arizona. The population was 44,552 as of the 2010 census. Palm Springs covers approximately 94 square miles, making it the largest city in the county by land area.

2. West Hollywood

West Hollywood, California

Households: 22,232
Gay Households: 1,318
% Gay Households: 5.93%
More on West Hollywood: Comment | Data | Jobs

West Hollywood, occasionally referred to locally as WeHo, is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Incorporated in 1984, it is home to the Sunset Strip. As of the 2010 census, its population was 34,399. It is considered one of the most prominent gay villages in the United States.

3. Rancho Mirage


Households: 9,510
Gay Households: 384
% Gay Households: 4.04%
More on Rancho Mirage: Comment | Data | Jobs

Rancho Mirage is a resort city in Riverside County, California, United States. The population was 17,218 at the 2010 census, up from 13,249 at the 2000 census, but the seasonal population can exceed 20,000. Located between Cathedral City and Palm Desert, it is one of the nine cities of the Coachella Valley. Rancho Mirage was incorporated in 1973 from a merger of Mirage Cove with five unincorporated areas known as the “Cove communities”, and had 3,000 permanent residents at the time. Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, died at his home in the city in 2006, and Jane Wyman died one year later at her home in the same city.

4. Cathedral City

Source: Public Domain

Households: 17,680
Gay Households: 529
% Gay Households: 2.99%
More on Cathedral City: Comment | Data | Jobs

Cathedral City is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. Colloquially known as Cat City, the population was 51,200 at the 2010 census. Located between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, it is one of the nine cities of the Coachella Valley in Southern California. Cathedral City has the second largest population in the Coachella Valley, after Indio.

5. San Francisco

San Francisco, California

Households: 356,797
Gay Households: 6,444
% Gay Households: 1.81%
More on San Francisco: Comment | Data | Jobs

6. Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach, California

Households: 10,879
Gay Households: 186
% Gay Households: 1.71%
More on Laguna Beach: Comment | Data | Jobs

Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California, in the United States. It is known for a mild year-round climate, scenic coves, environmental preservation, and an artist community. The population in the 2010 census was 22,723.

7. Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs, California

Households: 9,275
Gay Households: 147
% Gay Households: 1.58%
More on Desert Hot Springs: Comment | Data | Jobs

Desert Hot Springs, also known as DHS, is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. The city is located within the Coachella Valley geographic region, sometimes referred to as the Desert Empire. The population was 25,938 at the 2010 census, up from 16,582 at the 2000 census. The city has undergone rapid development and high population growth since the 1970s, when there were 2,700 residents.

8. Signal Hill

Signal Hill, California

Households: 4,078
Gay Households: 63
% Gay Households: 1.54%
More on Signal Hill: Comment | Data | Jobs

Signal Hill is a city in California located in the Greater Los Angeles area. Situated on a hill, the city is an enclave completely surrounded by the city of Long Beach. Signal Hill was incorporated on April 22, 1924, roughly three years after oil was discovered there. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,465.

9. Tiburon

Tiburon, California

Source: Public domain

Households: 3,838
Gay Households: 53
% Gay Households: 1.38%
More on Tiburon: Comment | Data | Jobs

Tiburon is an incorporated town in Marin County, California. It is located on the Tiburon Peninsula, which reaches south into the San Francisco Bay. The smaller city of Belvedere occupies the south-west part of the peninsula and is contiguous with Tiburon. Tiburon is bordered by Corte Madera to the north and Mill Valley to the west, but is otherwise mostly surrounded by the Bay. Besides Belvedere and Tiburon, much of the peninsula is unincorporated, including portions of the north side and the communities of Strawberry and Paradise Cay.

10. American Canyon

American Canyon, California

Households: 5,680
Gay Households: 78
% Gay Households: 1.37%
More on American Canyon: Comment | Data | Jobs

How do you determine the best cities for same-sex households in California?

In order to rank the gayest cities in California, we used the 2011-2016 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 1,000 households.

We ranked each place from 1 to 448 with the city containing the highest percentage of unmarried, same sex partners households being the most gay.

In the end, Palm Springs ended up being the the most gay place with 6.52% gay households.

Read on below to learn more about the gayest places in California. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the places in the state from gayest to straighest.

There You Have It — The Most LGBT Friendly Cities in California

If you’re looking at the number of gay households in California, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the least gay places in California:

  1. Imperial
  2. Grand Terrace
  3. Kerman

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Gayest Cities In California

Rank City % Gay Households Gay Households Households
1 Palm Springs 6.52% 1,535 23,556
2 West Hollywood 5.93% 1,318 22,232
3 Rancho Mirage 4.04% 384 9,510
4 Cathedral City 2.99% 529 17,680
5 San Francisco 1.81% 6,444 356,797
6 Laguna Beach 1.71% 186 10,879
7 Desert Hot Springs 1.58% 147 9,275
8 Signal Hill 1.54% 63 4,078
9 Tiburon 1.38% 53 3,838
10 American Canyon 1.37% 78 5,680
11 El Cerrito 1.34% 134 9,963
12 Sebastopol 1.34% 46 3,445
13 Needles 1.31% 27 2,061
14 Oakland 1.31% 2,078 158,937
15 Yountville 1.17% 16 1,372
16 Long Beach 1.14% 1,875 163,919
17 Cloverdale 1.14% 36 3,163
18 Brisbane 1.13% 21 1,862
19 Belmont 1.05% 107 10,177
20 Pinole 1.01% 69 6,803
21 Sierra Madre 1.0% 44 4,403
22 Avenal 0.99% 21 2,120
23 Berkeley 0.97% 447 45,923
24 Santa Cruz 0.96% 213 22,088
25 Nevada City 0.96% 13 1,354
26 Palm Desert 0.95% 225 23,729
27 La Verne 0.93% 104 11,157
28 Yucca Valley 0.93% 79 8,501
29 La Quinta 0.89% 135 15,232
30 Rancho Cordova 0.87% 213 24,447
31 Rio Dell 0.86% 12 1,397
32 Healdsburg 0.82% 39 4,775
33 Sausalito 0.81% 33 4,061
34 Atascadero 0.81% 91 11,250
35 Pacific Grove 0.81% 55 6,828
36 Burlingame 0.8% 98 12,196
37 Lafayette 0.8% 76 9,465
38 Albany 0.77% 57 7,395
39 Half Moon Bay 0.77% 38 4,933
40 Sacramento 0.76% 1,371 179,865
41 Aliso Viejo 0.76% 141 18,599
42 Seaside 0.73% 74 10,128
43 Hayward 0.73% 339 46,672
44 San Diego 0.72% 3,546 490,219
45 Menifee 0.72% 202 27,973
46 Pasadena 0.72% 395 54,864
47 Lompoc 0.72% 98 13,652
48 San Rafael 0.7% 160 22,929
49 Corning 0.69% 18 2,624
50 Hermosa Beach 0.69% 63 9,197
51 Citrus Heights 0.68% 230 33,672
52 Scotts Valley 0.67% 28 4,186
53 South Lake Tahoe 0.67% 56 8,400
54 Yreka 0.66% 22 3,329
55 Rohnert Park 0.65% 104 15,885
56 Clayton 0.65% 27 4,144
57 Santa Barbara 0.64% 229 35,518
58 Manhattan Beach 0.64% 88 13,808
59 San Bruno 0.63% 94 14,840
60 Goleta 0.63% 69 11,006
61 Los Angeles 0.62% 8,461 1,356,311
62 Cotati 0.62% 18 2,893
63 Fowler 0.62% 11 1,772
64 Claremont 0.61% 71 11,703
65 Alameda 0.61% 186 30,678
66 Vallejo 0.6% 251 41,607
67 Grover Beach 0.6% 33 5,543
68 La Mirada 0.6% 86 14,450
69 Hemet 0.59% 175 29,434
70 San Marcos 0.59% 173 29,125
71 Victorville 0.59% 191 32,257
72 Montebello 0.59% 117 19,801
73 Emeryville 0.59% 37 6,263
74 Pacifica 0.59% 82 13,898
75 Santa Monica 0.59% 274 46,453
76 El Segundo 0.58% 39 6,673
77 Santa Rosa 0.58% 374 64,360
78 Fairfax 0.58% 19 3,294
79 Del Mar 0.58% 13 2,258
80 Norco 0.57% 41 7,133
81 Indio 0.57% 156 27,290
82 South Pasadena 0.57% 58 10,166
83 Fresno 0.57% 936 164,077
84 Anderson 0.57% 23 4,057
85 Mill Valley 0.56% 34 6,022
86 Arcata 0.56% 40 7,111
87 La Mesa 0.56% 133 23,767
88 Commerce 0.56% 20 3,599
89 Oroville 0.55% 35 6,307
90 Murrieta 0.55% 181 32,660
91 San Jacinto 0.54% 70 12,957
92 Sonoma 0.54% 27 5,046
93 Pomona 0.53% 207 38,925
94 Burbank 0.53% 219 41,585
95 Pittsburg 0.53% 109 20,709
96 Adelanto 0.52% 42 8,031
97 San Mateo 0.52% 198 37,861
98 Truckee 0.52% 32 6,146
99 Port Hueneme 0.52% 35 6,726
100 Fontana 0.52% 266 51,361

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