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.
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Equality Index ?
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
63 / 100
76 / 100
49 / 100
Europe 50 countries
59
72
46
Oceania 14 countries
49
53
45
North America 23 countries
46
56
36
Asia 44 countries
31
34
30
Africa 54 countries
27
33
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 / 100
92 / 100
78 / 100
North America 2 countries
79
94
64
Australia and New Zealand 2 countries
78
92
64
British Islands 2 countries
74
86
61
Western Europe 9 countries
73
82
64
South America 12 countries
63
76
49
Southern Europe 16 countries
58
75
42
Baltic Countries 3 countries
54
72
35
Central America 8 countries
53
58
47
Micronesia 5 countries
50
54
16
Southern Africa 5 countries
47
58
36
Eastern Europe 10 countries
44
56
32
Eastern Asia 6 countries
43
50
41
Melanesia 4 countries
42
45
34
Southeast Asia 11 countries
38
42
38
Caribbean 13 countries
37
49
25
Polynesia 3 countries
35
35
Not enough data
Central Africa 9 countries
35
43
23
Southern and Central Asia 14 countries
31
36
26
Western Africa 16 countries
26
34
15
Eastern Africa 17 countries
25
29
19
Middle East 18 countries
24
29
21
Northern Africa 7 countries
14
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. United Arab Emirates0 / 10029 / 100+29
2. Cape Verde5277+25
3. Uganda226+24
4. Saudi Arabia325+22
5. Belize4668+22
6. Algeria525+21
7. Yemen017+17
8. Mauritania016+16
9. Syria1127+16
10. Libya319+16

Legal Progress Ahead of Public Opinion

CountryLegal IndexPublic Opinion IndexDifference
1. Montenegro75 / 10017 / 100-58
2. Moldova648-55
3. Burkina Faso627-55
4. Kazakhstan6812-55
5. Antigua and Barbuda7017-53
6. Georgia6512-52
7. Bosnia and Herzegovina6716-51
8. Albania6212-50
9. Greece9343-50
10. Bolivia8637-49
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. Iceland92 / 10097 / 10087 / 100
2. Norway899385
3. Denmark879679
4. Malta8610072
5. Uruguay839374
6. Canada8310066
7. Netherlands829570
8. Andorra828974
9. Spain809368
10. Chile8010061
11. Brazil809961
12. Finland809069
13. Germany799564
14. Australia799464
15. Luxembourg798573
16. Cuba788473
17. New Zealand779164
18. Sweden778569
19. Belgium779163
20. France779361
21. Portugal769161
22. Colombia759853
23. Argentina758961
24. Mexico759257
25. Austria758762
26. United States748761
27. United Kingdom748761
28. Ireland738561
29. Costa Rica728658
30. South Africa728658
31. Nepal707961
32. Switzerland697860
33. Slovenia688651
34. San Marino686571
35. Fiji6868
36. Greece689343
37. Marshall Islands6767
38. Italy677360
39. Liechtenstein666369
40. India667755
41. Estonia658842
42. Czech Republic656763
43. Cape Verde655277
44. Ecuador638740
45. Barbados635967
46. Suriname6363
47. Thailand626262
48. Taiwan627548
49. Peru627548
50. Bolivia618637
51. Angola606951
52. Cyprus598336
53. Israel597543
54. Japan596157
55. Croatia588234
56. Mauritius586749
57. Philippines575658
58. Guinea-Bissau5757
59. Belize574668
60. Singapore576152
61. Cambodia567042
62. Poland556545
63. Federated States of Micronesia5454
64. Hungary546543
65. Botswana527035
66. Seychelles5252
67. Mozambique526242
68. Monaco525351
69. Latvia516538
70. Venezuela515448
71. Sao Tome and Principe505843
72. Nauru5050
73. Vietnam505544
74. Bhutan495940
75. Laos495147
76. Romania486037
77. Honduras485838
78. Vanuatu486234
79. Equatorial Guinea4747
80. Slovakia475836
81. Montenegro467517
82. Lithuania456427
83. El Salvador454841
84. Lesotho445930
85. Ukraine446128
86. Kiribati4444
87. Nicaragua444939
88. Antigua and Barbuda437017
89. Mongolia436521
90. Bulgaria436124
91. Panama424441
92. Serbia426421
93. Bosnia and Herzegovina426716
94. Dominican Republic424835
95. China414636
96. Kosovo416419
97. South Korea414141
98. Bahrain403842
99. Guatemala404634
100. Kazakhstan406812
101. Namibia404534
102. Turkey384334
103. Georgia386512
104. Samoa3838
105. Djibouti3838
106. Trinidad and Tobago384827
107. Republic of the Congo385620
108. Benin375619
109. Pakistan374431
110. Tajikistan3737
111. Albania376212
112. Tuvalu3737
113. Paraguay374034
114. North Macedonia366013
115. Moldova36648
116. Saint Kitts and Nevis365715
117. Palau355416
118. Madagascar354723
119. Central African Republic3535
120. Mali355712
121. Haiti345811
122. Burkina Faso34627
123. Sri Lanka342741
124. Timor-Leste335314
125. Vatican City3333
126. Gabon325114
127. Papua New Guinea3232
128. Bahamas325211
129. Tonga3131
130. Grenada304118
131. Belarus294316
132. Côte d’Ivoire294414
133. Rwanda29508
134. Bangladesh282531
135. Armenia27496
136. Niger274113
137. Azerbaijan27486
138. Kyrgyzstan264112
139. Jamaica263120
140. Eswatini262922
141. Jordan24435
142. Guyana242523
143. Myanmar242127
144. Liberia233512
145. Democratic Republic of the Congo233610
146. Saint Lucia232917
147. Dominica222914
148. Zimbabwe21348
149. Solomon Islands2020
150. Sierra Leone20337
151. Syria191127
152. South Sudan1919
153. Indonesia192512
154. Burundi182710
155. Chad182412
156. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines18298
157. Togo182214
158. Kenya171817
159. Lebanon171619
160. Guinea172113
161. Iraq171222
162. Russia171420
163. Comoros171816
164. Maldives16248
165. Ghana16248
166. Zambia16256
167. Uzbekistan151218
168. Algeria15525
169. Tunisia151317
170. Malawi15254
171. United Arab Emirates15029
172. Uganda14226
173. Saudi Arabia14325
174. North Korea1414
175. Malaysia14819
176. Kuwait1313
177. Sudan13818
178. Senegal13224
179. Tanzania12718
180. Turkmenistan1212
181. Egypt12816
182. Morocco11616
183. Libya11319
184. Ethiopia10614
185. Cameroon10811
186. Eritrea99
187. Gambia9154
188. Yemen8017
189. Mauritania8016
190. Qatar769
191. Palestine796
192. Somalia77
193. Oman66
194. Nigeria666
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 uncertain×0.20
Male illegal, female legal×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×0.70
Other type of partnership×0.50
Foreign same-sex marriages recognized only×0.40
Unregistered cohabitation×0.30
Unrecognized×0.10
Unrecognized, same-sex marriage and civil unions banned×0.05
Not legal×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
Sexual orientation only×0.50
No protections×0.00
LGBT housing discrimination20Sexual orientation and gender identity×1.00
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 (3-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
Not banned×0.00
Equal age of consent10Equal×1.00
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.