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
61
73
49
Europe 50 countries
59
71
46
North America 23 countries
45
57
33
Oceania 14 countries
44
48
44
Asia 44 countries
32
35
30
Africa 53 countries
25
28
22

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
81
88
75
Australia and New Zealand 2 countries
76
88
63
North America 2 countries
75
91
59
British Isles 2 countries
72
83
61
Western Europe 9 countries
71
82
60
Southern Europe 16 countries
61
75
48
South America 12 countries
61
73
49
Eastern Asia 6 countries
51
61
42
Baltic Countries 3 countries
50
66
35
Central America 8 countries
50
60
39
Southern Africa 5 countries
48
55
41
Micronesia 5 countries
44
47
16
Eastern Europe 10 countries
43
55
32
Melanesia 4 countries
38
41
34
Southeast Asia 11 countries
38
38
40
Caribbean 13 countries
38
50
25
Central Africa 9 countries
33
39
23
Southern and Central Asia 14 countries
32
36
26
Polynesia 3 countries
30
30
Not enough data
Middle East 18 countries
25
30
20
Eastern Africa 17 countries
23
25
21
Western Africa 15 countries
21
25
17
Northern Africa 7 countries
13
9
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. Cape Verde5181+30
2. Guyana2753+27
3. United Arab Emirates525+20
4. Algeria322+19
5. Iraq422+18
6. Saudi Arabia725+18
7. Mauritania219+17
8. Yemen017+17
9. Malaysia824+16
10. Libya419+15

Legal Progress Ahead of Public Opinion

CountryLegal IndexPublic Opinion IndexDifference
1. Antigua and Barbuda8517-68
2. Moldova638-54
3. Greece9339-54
4. Georgia6412-52
5. Bolivia8433-50
6. Croatia8134-48
7. Malta10053-47
8. Kazakhstan5912-47
9. Cyprus8036-44
10. Mongolia6522-44
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. Iceland939590
2. Norway868587
3. Spain8310067
4. Uruguay839373
5. Chile8110061
6. Andorra808674
7. Denmark799267
8. Germany789562
9. Canada789561
10. Netherlands789066
11. Brazil789858
12. Malta7710053
13. Portugal769360
14. Australia769062
15. Cuba758170
16. New Zealand758764
17. France759059
18. Austria759159
19. Argentina748762
20. Belgium748761
21. Finland748563
22. Colombia739552
23. Mexico739056
24. Sweden738066
25. Ireland728559
26. United States728657
27. South Africa718459
28. United Kingdom718062
29. Italy707960
30. Switzerland697564
31. Nepal687561
32. Luxembourg688253
33. San Marino676471
34. Liechtenstein676668
35. Greece669339
36. Cape Verde665181
37. Costa Rica668349
38. Slovenia668448
39. Taiwan648148
40. Estonia648443
41. Czech Republic637353
42. Thailand625768
43. Japan627053
44. India616558
45. Barbados615567
46. Ecuador618041
47. Seychelles605366
48. Peru597246
49. Israel597147
50. Marshall Islands5959
51. Bolivia588433
52. Cyprus588036
53. Croatia588134
54. Philippines575658
55. Monaco555951
56. Namibia556446
57. Mauritius555555
58. Montenegro547138
59. Belize545553
60. Vietnam545849
61. Fiji5454
62. Mozambique546047
63. Poland536244
64. Federated States of Micronesia5353
65. Venezuela535254
66. South Korea536441
67. Angola526638
68. Bosnia and Herzegovina526341
69. Hungary526241
70. Singapore525351
71. Cambodia525449
72. Antigua and Barbuda518517
73. Slovakia516933
74. Ukraine506041
75. Botswana505941
76. North Macedonia496435
77. China495147
78. Serbia496235
79. Latvia496335
80. Albania496434
81. Equatorial Guinea4949
82. Sao Tome and Principe485245
83. Laos484947
84. Kosovo486035
85. Vanuatu476134
86. Nauru4747
87. Bhutan475340
88. Tajikistan4747
89. Romania465834
90. Mongolia436522
91. Nicaragua434937
92. Honduras435927
93. El Salvador414933
94. Dominican Republic405031
95. Guyana402753
96. Bulgaria405524
97. Guatemala395029
98. Turkey394336
99. Panama394830
100. Lesotho394928
101. Lithuania385126
102. Bahrain383442
103. Trinidad and Tobago384828
104. Samoa3838
105. Georgia386412
106. North Korea3838
107. Suriname375123
108. Central African Republic3737
109. Kazakhstan365912
110. Saint Kitts and Nevis365715
111. Moldova35638
112. Guinea-Bissau344424
113. Republic of the Congo344423
114. Kiribati3333
115. Djibouti3333
116. Paraguay323926
117. Dominica325014
118. Bahamas314616
119. Gabon314617
120. Vatican City3131
121. Pakistan313031
122. Sri Lanka302437
123. Madagascar304417
124. Timor-Leste304614
125. Benin304217
126. Turkmenistan3030
127. Palau304316
128. Burkina Faso29499
129. Tonga2929
130. Papua New Guinea2929
131. Haiti294611
132. Belarus284016
133. Kyrgyzstan284512
134. Rwanda28488
135. Eswatini272133
136. Bangladesh272331
137. Armenia27486
138. Grenada263517
139. Azerbaijan26466
140. Jamaica263418
141. Côte d’Ivoire253515
142. Saint Lucia243217
143. Niger24399
144. Jordan23416
145. Tuvalu2323
146. Syria221827
147. Palestine22396
148. Myanmar221627
149. Solomon Islands2222
150. Democratic Republic of the Congo213310
151. Kenya212517
152. Lebanon202119
153. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines20328
154. Uzbekistan192118
155. Liberia192711
156. Ghana171619
157. Zimbabwe162111
158. South Sudan1616
159. Saudi Arabia16725
160. Malaysia16824
161. Comoros161516
162. Tunisia151615
163. Maldives15238
164. Sierra Leone15247
165. United Arab Emirates15525
166. Chad151712
167. Russia15722
168. Indonesia151712
169. Togo141613
170. Guinea141712
171. Morocco131116
172. Iraq13422
173. Eritrea1313
174. Algeria13322
175. Sudan13619
176. Egypt11716
177. Libya11419
178. Mauritania11219
179. Tanzania10813
180. Malawi10156
181. Burundi101010
182. Qatar10109
183. Ethiopia9712
184. Cameroon9513
185. Uganda9315
186. Gambia9125
187. Yemen8017
188. Brunei77
189. Kuwait776
190. Zambia666
191. Nigeria529
192. Iran563
193. Senegal434
194. Oman22
195. Somalia22
196. 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
Gender-affirming care20Legal×1.00
Legal, but restricted for minors×0.70
Legal, but banned for minors×0.50
Restricted×0.30
Banned×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
Second parent adoption only×0.40
Single only×0.20
Illegal×0.00
Intersex infant surgery20Full ban×1.00
Parental approval required×0.30
Not banned×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
Female equal, male unequal×0.50
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.