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:
- Palm Springs (Photos | Jobs)
- West Hollywood (Photos | Jobs)
- Rancho Mirage (Jobs)
- Cathedral City (Jobs)
- San Francisco (Photos | Jobs)
- Laguna Beach (Photos | Jobs)
- Desert Hot Springs (Photos | Jobs)
- Signal Hill (Photos | Jobs)
- Tiburon (Photos | Jobs)
- 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:
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In California
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In California
1. Palm Springs
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, 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
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
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
6. Laguna Beach
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, 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 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.
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
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:
- Grand Terrace
For more California reading, check out:
- 10 Safest Places In California
- 10 Worst Places To Live In California
- 10 Best Places To Live In California
Detailed List Of The Gayest Cities In California
|Rank||City||% Gay Households|
|7||Desert Hot Springs||1.58%|
|39||Half Moon Bay||0.77%|
|53||South Lake Tahoe||0.67%|