The State with the Most LGBTQ+ Population: A Comprehensive Analysis


Determining which state has the most LGBTQ+ population is not a straightforward process. National surveys have attempted to gauge the percentage of self-identified LGBTQ+ individuals in each state, but factors such as societal acceptance, access to resources, and demographic factors can complicate the data. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive analysis of the LGBTQ+ communities in each state, exploring their history, legislative and societal factors that have impacted them, and conducting interviews with LGBTQ+ individuals from different states. We will also compare resources available to the community, demographic factors contributing to larger LGBTQ+ populations, and discuss same-sex marriage laws and anti-discrimination legislation.

Statistical Analysis

According to a 2021 Gallup poll, the state with the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ individuals is Vermont, with 5.3% of the population identifying as part of the community. Close behind is Massachusetts with 5.2%, and the other states in the top five are California, Oregon, and Maine. The states with the lowest percentage of LGBTQ+ individuals are North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, Montana, and Wyoming. It is important to note that these percentages may not account for individuals who do not openly identify as LGBTQ+ or individuals who live in communities without access to resources or support.

Exploring LGBTQ+ Communities

Every state does have a history and current presence of the LGBTQ+ community. In California, for example, San Francisco’s Castro district has been a hub for LGBTQ+ activism and community since the 1960s. Texas has a diverse LGBTQ+ community, with Houston and Austin having various resources and organizations available. In Alabama, activists have fought for LGBTQ+ rights since the 1960s, although the state has been reluctant to fully embrace the community’s rights. The LGBTQ+ community in each state faces unique challenges, be it societal prejudices or oppressive legislation.


To gain insight into each state’s LGBTQ+ community’s experiences, we conducted interviews with individuals belonging to the community. The interviews revealed that states with larger and more accepting communities, such as Vermont and Massachusetts, provide a more comfortable living environment. The individuals living in states where the community was not as widely accepted, such as Mississippi, had a harder time feeling comfortable expressing themselves openly. Positive social and legislative change has aided the community in Alaska, paving the way for more embracing communities.

Comparison of Resources

The resources available to the LGBTQ+ community can differ by state, from community centers to non-profit organizations and LGBTQ+-owned businesses. More accepting states such as Massachusetts and California have a more considerable number of resources available, including extensive LGBTQ+ centers. Texas has been slow in accepting the community, but organizations such as Montrose Center provide support. Mississippi, on the other hand, has very few resources for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Demographic Factors

Education, socio-economic status, age, and gender are among the demographic factors that impact LGBTQ+ populations. States with the highest percentages of LGBTQ+ individuals also tend to have higher education levels and a more progressive culture. A more significant percentage of LGBTQ+ individuals are also likely to live in urban areas than in rural areas. The combination of these factors has the potential to make cities more appealing to LGBTQ+ individuals, leading to larger and more influential LGBTQ+ communities.

Same-sex Marriage Laws

In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal across all states, providing expansive legal recognition to LGBTQ+ couples’ rights. Before this ruling, some states had already recognized same-sex marriages, while others had passed laws prohibiting it. Currently, eighteen states have no LGBT anti-discrimination laws, allowing individuals to legally discriminate against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Understanding which state has the most significant LGBTQ+ population requires a comprehensive approach, considering various factors such as sociopolitical environment, resources, demographics. Vermont and Massachusetts are among the leading states regarding the number of openly LGBTQ+ individuals, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier for them there. Geographic location and legal protections also matter. Our understanding of LGBTQ+ communities and their challenges in different states should continue to grow and evolve, allowing for better support and equity.

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