Do gays and lesbians tend to live near one another in places where there are gay rights or are they everywhere in equal numbers? A 2012 Gallup polls shows the places where the smallest percentage of the LGBT population lives in the US.
North Dakota has the smallest LGBT population according to a Gallup poll in 2012 which asked "Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?" Only 1.7% of respondents in North Dakota answered the question with "yes." The highest percentage of LGBT people
live in Washington, DC with 10% of respondents saying they identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
What states have the least amount of LGBT people? Here are the bottom ten states from the Gallup poll with percentage of LGBT people.
Lowest LGBT Population in the United States
- North Dakota 1.7%
- Montana 2.6%
- Mississippi 2.6%
- Tennessee 2.6%
- Utah 2.7%
- Idaho 2.7%
- Nebraska 2.7%
- Pennsylvania 2.7%
- Alabama 2.8%
- Iowa 2.8%
- Wisconsin 2.8%
There are some interesting things to note about the poll. First of all, a poll is just a sampling of the population. In this case 206,186 were interviewed. In order for this poll to be accurate, people needed to be comfortable answering the question. In places where LGBT people are not accepted or where they might be fearful to come out, they might not have been truthful in their answers. Only 17 states
have protections for gays and lesbians, so in the other states, it is perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay. Only one of the above states, Wisconsin, protects gays and lesbians from being fired from their jobs for their sexual orientation, although some cities in the above states have protections.
And only one of the above states, Iowa, allows same-sex couples to marry.
It's not easy to say if the above numbers are truly accurate and if they are, why. It does fall into reasoning that LGBT people would want to live in places where there are rights, protections and other LGBT people to socialize with.
It is interesting to note that while North Dakota has the smallest percentage of LGBT people in this poll, South Dakota was on the Top 10 list of most populated LGBT states, with the same percentage of LGBT people as Massachusetts, a state where same-sex marriage is legal.
A poll like this can give us some information, but doesn't answer the questions like, "Why do gays live in these places and not others?" "Do gays tend to gravitate toward places where there are gay rights and other LGBT people around?" As the saying goes, "We are everywhere!" just not in the same numbers in all places.
See the full Gallup Poll here.