LGBT Equality Index

The most LGBT-Friendly Countries in the World.

The Equality Index measures the current status of LGBT rights, laws, and freedoms as well as public attitudes towards LGBT people.
0 (Less Equal)
100 (More Equal)

Public Opinion vs. Legal Rights

North America
South America
Europe
Africa
Asia
Oceania

Equality Index by Continent

Average LGBTQ+ Equality Index scores of each continent.

ContinentEquality IndexLegal IndexPublic Opinion Index
South America 12 countries
60
75
45
Europe 50 countries
60
72
47
North America 23 countries
45
55
35
Oceania 14 countries
44
48
45
Asia 44 countries
30
32
30
Africa 54 countries
25
29
20

Equality Index by Region

Australia and New Zealand, the Nordic countries, and parts of Europe rank highest in terms of the Equality Index while the Middle East and most of Africa (with the exception of South Africa) rank lowest — both in terms of legal protections and public opinion.

RegionEquality IndexLegal IndexPublic Opinion Index
Nordic Countries 5 countries
85
92
78
North America 2 countries
79
95
64
Australia and New Zealand 2 countries
78
92
64
British Islands 2 countries
74
87
61
Western Europe 9 countries
73
82
64
Southern Europe 16 countries
61
75
47
South America 12 countries
60
75
45
Baltic Countries 3 countries
52
69
35
Central America 8 countries
51
61
42
Eastern Asia 6 countries
46
54
43
Micronesia 5 countries
45
48
16
Southern Africa 5 countries
45
53
36
Eastern Europe 10 countries
44
55
33
Southeast Asia 11 countries
37
39
39
Melanesia 4 countries
36
40
34
Caribbean 13 countries
36
46
25
Central Africa 9 countries
33
39
23
Polynesia 3 countries
31
31
Not enough data
Southern and Central Asia 14 countries
29
32
26
Middle East 18 countries
24
29
21
Eastern Africa 17 countries
23
26
19
Western Africa 16 countries
22
28
15
Northern Africa 7 countries
13
8
18
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Largest Disparities

Regions where legal progress and public views don't align. Comparing the legal rights and the public opinion highlights regions where the public's support has advanced past (or fallen behind) legal progress. These may be potential areas for advocacy and change. (Countries without public opinion data are excluded.)

Public Opinion Ahead of Legal Progress

CountryLegal IndexPublic Opinion IndexDifference
1. Uganda025+25
2. United Arab Emirates025+25
3. Cape Verde5277+25
4. Saudi Arabia325+22
5. Algeria522+18
6. Sri Lanka2037+17
7. Yemen017+17
8. Iraq622+16
9. Mauritania016+16
10. Libya319+16

Legal Progress Ahead of Public Opinion

CountryLegal IndexPublic Opinion IndexDifference
1. Georgia6612-54
2. Moldova628-54
3. Bolivia8734-53
4. Antigua and Barbuda7017-53
5. Croatia8535-50
6. Greece9343-50
7. Estonia9042-48
8. Cyprus8436-48
9. Colombia9852-46
10. Ecuador8238-44
New for developers: The Equality Index is now available via Equaldex's API.

World Equality Index

Which countries are the most LGBT-friendly?

The Legal Index scores the legal rights and freedoms LGBTQ+ people have while the Public Opinion Index scores how the general public feels in each region.

CountryEquality IndexLegal IndexPublic Opinion Index
1. Iceland929787
2. Norway889085
3. Denmark879679
4. Malta8610072
5. Canada8310066
6. Uruguay839373
7. Netherlands829570
8. Andorra828974
9. Spain819369
10. Chile8010060
11. Finland809069
12. Germany799564
13. Luxembourg798573
14. Australia799364
15. Brazil799860
16. Cuba788473
17. New Zealand779164
18. Sweden778569
19. Belgium779163
20. France779361
21. Argentina769161
22. United States769061
23. Ireland769061
24. Colombia759852
25. Austria758762
26. Portugal758961
27. Mexico749257
28. Nepal738661
29. United Kingdom738561
30. South Africa728758
31. Italy697761
32. Switzerland697860
33. Slovenia698751
34. Czech Republic697463
35. Costa Rica688650
36. Greece689343
37. San Marino686471
38. Liechtenstein666369
39. Estonia669042
40. Taiwan668448
41. Cape Verde655277
42. Japan647256
43. Israel648444
44. Barbados635867
45. Thailand626262
46. Marshall Islands6262
47. Belize615468
48. Bolivia608734
49. Peru607545
50. Angola606951
51. Ecuador608238
52. India606654
53. Cyprus608436
54. Croatia608535
55. Philippines575558
56. Poland556545
57. Vietnam556049
58. Hungary546643
59. Federated States of Micronesia5454
60. Monaco535651
61. Montenegro537332
62. Mozambique526242
63. Seychelles5252
64. Cambodia525449
65. Singapore515251
66. Latvia516538
67. Mauritius515449
68. Fiji5151
69. Nauru5151
70. Venezuela505347
71. Botswana506535
72. Laos495147
73. Romania486037
74. Vanuatu486234
75. Bhutan485640
76. Serbia476530
77. Sao Tome and Principe475243
78. Guinea-Bissau4747
79. Equatorial Guinea4747
80. Ukraine475439
81. Bosnia and Herzegovina466528
82. China464645
83. Kosovo456427
84. Albania456229
85. North Macedonia456625
86. Slovakia455536
87. El Salvador445534
88. South Korea444445
89. Nicaragua434938
90. Honduras435829
91. Antigua and Barbuda437017
92. Mongolia436521
93. Bulgaria426124
94. Lesotho405030
95. Dominican Republic404831
96. Lithuania395227
97. Samoa3939
98. Georgia396612
99. Guatemala394830
100. Turkey394334
101. Suriname385423
102. Namibia384234
103. Trinidad and Tobago374728
104. Panama374431
105. Tajikistan3737
106. Bahrain363042
107. Moldova35628
108. Saint Kitts and Nevis355615
109. Madagascar354723
110. Djibouti3535
111. Paraguay344127
112. Vatican City3333
113. Republic of the Congo324520
114. Benin324519
115. Timor-Leste314814
116. Central African Republic3131
117. Kiribati3131
118. Bahamas304516
119. Gabon304714
120. Palau304416
121. Pakistan302831
122. Belarus294316
123. Tonga2929
124. Mali294612
125. Burkina Faso29517
126. Sri Lanka282037
127. Kazakhstan284412
128. Papua New Guinea2828
129. Haiti284411
130. Armenia27496
131. Niger274113
132. Rwanda27468
133. Bangladesh272331
134. Azerbaijan27486
135. Kyrgyzstan264112
136. Grenada253317
137. Jamaica243118
138. Côte d’Ivoire243414
139. Guyana242523
140. Tuvalu2424
141. Myanmar231927
142. Democratic Republic of the Congo233610
143. Eswatini232322
144. Saint Lucia222817
145. Jordan22386
146. Zimbabwe21339
147. Syria211427
148. Liberia202812
149. Dominica192314
150. Solomon Islands1818
151. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines18298
152. Kenya181817
153. Lebanon171619
154. South Sudan1717
155. Sierra Leone16267
156. Chad162012
157. Comoros161616
158. Togo161714
159. Indonesia161912
160. Guinea151713
161. Russia15921
162. Kuwait1515
163. Tunisia141217
164. Iraq14622
165. Uzbekistan141018
166. Maldives14208
167. Saudi Arabia14325
168. North Korea1414
169. Algeria13522
170. Malaysia13819
171. Malawi13224
172. Uganda13025
173. United Arab Emirates13025
174. Zambia13196
175. Tanzania12718
176. Sudan12718
177. Egypt11616
178. Morocco11616
179. Senegal11174
180. Libya11319
181. Turkmenistan1010
182. Ethiopia10614
183. Burundi10910
184. Gambia9144
185. Cameroon9611
186. Yemen8017
187. Mauritania8016
188. Eritrea88
189. Qatar769
190. Somalia77
191. Ghana759
192. Palestine676
193. Oman66
194. Nigeria427
195. Iran453
196. Brunei33
197. Afghanistan102

Equality Index Methodology

Equaldex's Equality Index is a rating from 0 to 100 (with 100 being the most equal) to help visualize the legal rights and public attitudes towards LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex...) people in each region. The Equality Index is an average of two indexes: the legal index and the public opinion Index.

Equality Index

Average of Legal Index and Public Opinion Index

Legal Index

The LGBT legal index measures the current legal status of 13 different issues ranging from the legal status of homosexuality, same-sex marriage, transgender rights, LGBT discrimination protections, LGBT censorship laws, and more. Each topic is weighted differently (for example, if same-sex marriage is illegal in a region, it would have a much bigger impact on the score than not allowing LGBT people to serve in the military). Each topic is assigned a "total possible score" and a "score" is assigned based the status of the law using a rating scale that ranges from 0% to 100% (for example, if homosexuality is legal, it would would receive a score of 100, but if it's illegal, it would receve a score of 0.)

If the status of an issue is unknown, not applicable, or no data has not been added to Equaldex, the issue's score is completely discarded and not included in the ranking. In cases where a law varies throughout a region (for example, a country where same-sex marriage is legal in some states or provinces but not others), the score is averaged among all states or provinces, weighted equally.

Past laws that are no longer in effect do not impact the region's current score. New laws that have not gone into effect yet will not impact the region's score until the day it goes into effect.

Legal Index

(Total Possible Score for each issue × Factor of Status of Issue) / Sum of all Total Possible Scores

IssueTotal Possible ScoreStatusFactor
Homosexual activity100Legal×1.00
Male illegal, female legal×0.20
Male illegal, female uncertain×0.20
Illegal (other penalty)×0.15
Illegal (imprisonment as punishment)×0.10
Illegal (up to life in prison as punishment)×0.05
Illegal (death penalty as punishment)×0.00
Same-sex marriage60Legal×1.00
Civil unions (marriage rights)×0.80
Civil unions (limited rights)×0.70
Other type of partnership×0.50
Foreign same-sex marriages recognized only×0.40
Unregistered cohabitation×0.30
Unrecognized×0.10
Banned×0.00
Censorship of LGBT Issues40No censorship×1.00
State-enforced×0.30
Fine as punishment×0.20
Other punishment×0.10
Imprisonment as punishment×0.00
Right to change legal gender40Legal, no restrictions×1.00
Legal, but requires medical diagnosis×0.70
Legal, but requires surgery×0.40
Illegal×0.00
Legal recognition of non-binary gender30Recognized×1.00
Intersex only×0.70
Not legally recognized×0.00
LGBT discrimination20Illegal×1.00
Illegal in some contexts×0.50
No protections×0.00
LGBT employment discrimination20Sexual orientation and gender identity×1.00
Gender identity only×0.50
Sexual orientation only×0.50
No protections×0.00
LGBT housing discrimination20Sexual orientation and gender identity×1.00
Gender identity only×0.50
Sexual orientation only×0.50
No protections×0.00
Same-sex adoption20Legal×1.00
Married couples only×0.50
Single only×0.40
Step-child adoption only×0.20
Illegal×0.00
Serving openly in military20Legal×1.00
Lesbians, gays, bisexuals permitted, transgender people banned×0.70
Don't Ask, Don't Tell×0.50
Illegal×0.00
Blood donations by MSMs10Legal×1.00
Legal with restrictions×0.80
Banned (less than 6-month deferral)×0.30
Banned (6-month deferral)×0.20
Banned (1-year deferral)×0.15
Banned (5-year deferral)×0.10
Banned (indefinite deferral)×0.00
Conversion therapy10Banned×1.00
Sexual orientation only×0.50
Not banned×0.00
Equal age of consent10Equal×1.00
Female equal, male N/A×0.75
Unequal×0.00

Public Opinion Index

The LGBT public opinion index measures the public attitudes towards LGBT people using surveys and polls from reputable organizations. This index is scored based on averaging the results of all surveys in a given region. Generally, the value averaged is usually the most “equal” response in the poll. For example, if a poll asked “Do you support same-sex marriage?” and 56% of people said “yes”, the value “56” would be used. In some cases, a survey may be weighted less if the survey is very specific or includes a specific group of people (such as Christians) and might not be a full representation of the overall attitudes of the region.

To better represent current attitudes, surveys are scored using a time-decay weighting method based on the date published. This means that the most recent surveys carry more weight in the public opinion index. Surveys from the current year and the previous year receive full weight. However, for surveys older than two years, an exponential decay of 75% applies each year. This weight decay ensures that the public opinion index is always most influenced by the most recent data, reflecting evolving public attitudes, while still taking into account older surveys to maintain a comprehensive overview. This change went into effect on July 21, 2023.

Note that public opinion data is not available in every region. In these cases, the Equality Index will only be a representation of the legal rights of LGBT people in the region. Additionally, some regions have no recent public opinion data available, so older data is used to score the region.

Public Opinion Index

(Survey Results Value × Survey Weight × Time Decay Factor) / (Survey Weight × Time Decay Factor)

Year Survey Published Time Decay Factor
2024 (current year)0.7501
20230.7501
20220.7510.75
20210.7520.5625
20200.7530.421875
20190.7540.31640625
20180.7550.2373046875
20170.7560.177978515625
20160.7570.13348388671875
20150.7580.10011291503906
20140.7590.075084686279297
(etc.)

Notes

  • Equaldex's Equality Index is constantly being improved and tracking it over time may not represent changes in equality over time. As more data is contributed to Equaldex, the index becomes more accurate. For example, adding survey results to a region will likely change the region's Equality Index — even more so if there is limited data on the region. In this case, the change in score could represent a change in attitudes in the region, but it may also just be an increase in the index's accuracy.
  • Global opinion surveys rarely include transgender topics. Especially in more conservative regions, surveys are usually limited to homosexuality or same-sex marriage. Equaldex continues to seek more international transgender public opinion data to make the Equality Index more inclusive.
  • The model for the Equality Index is evolving, and adjustments to weights and other parameters are likely as we continue to improve its accuracy and relevance.
  • The Equality Index is updated automatically as data is added to Equaldex and as new laws go into effect. When a new law or survey is added to Equaldex, the index will recalculate within a few hours.