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
48
Europe 50 countries
58
71
46
North America 23 countries
46
57
34
Oceania 14 countries
44
48
44
Asia 44 countries
32
35
31
Africa 53 countries
25
29
21

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
87
75
North America 2 countries
77
91
63
Australia and New Zealand 2 countries
76
88
64
British Islands 2 countries
72
83
62
Western Europe 9 countries
71
81
61
South America 12 countries
61
73
48
Southern Europe 16 countries
60
74
46
Central America 8 countries
51
60
41
Eastern Asia 6 countries
50
59
43
Baltic Countries 3 countries
50
66
35
Southern Africa 5 countries
47
55
40
Micronesia 5 countries
45
48
16
Eastern Europe 10 countries
43
54
32
Melanesia 4 countries
38
41
34
Caribbean 13 countries
38
50
25
Southeast Asia 11 countries
37
38
39
Central Africa 9 countries
32
38
22
Southern and Central Asia 14 countries
32
36
26
Polynesia 3 countries
30
30
Not enough data
Middle East 18 countries
26
31
21
Eastern Africa 17 countries
23
26
21
Western Africa 15 countries
22
26
16
Northern Africa 7 countries
14
10
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+29
2. Guyana2755+29
3. United Arab Emirates525+20
4. Mauritania019+19
5. Algeria322+19
6. Iraq422+18
7. Saudi Arabia725+18
8. Yemen017+17
9. Malaysia824+16
10. Russia722+15

Legal Progress Ahead of Public Opinion

CountryLegal IndexPublic Opinion IndexDifference
1. Antigua and Barbuda8417-68
2. Greece9339-55
3. Moldova638-54
4. Georgia6412-52
5. Bolivia8433-50
6. Malta10051-49
7. Croatia8133-48
8. Kazakhstan5912-47
9. Cyprus8035-45
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. Iceland909090
2. Norway868586
3. Spain8310067
4. Uruguay839373
5. Canada819566
6. Chile8110061
7. Andorra808674
8. Netherlands799068
9. Germany799562
10. Brazil799860
11. Denmark799266
12. Australia779064
13. Cuba778172
14. Austria769359
15. Portugal769260
16. France759061
17. New Zealand758764
18. Malta7510051
19. Belgium758763
20. Finland748564
21. Argentina748762
22. Sweden748067
23. Mexico749057
24. United States738760
25. Colombia739552
26. Ireland738560
27. Nepal728361
28. United Kingdom728063
29. South Africa718458
30. Switzerland697564
31. Italy697959
32. Liechtenstein686669
33. San Marino676471
34. Luxembourg678251
35. Costa Rica668349
36. Cape Verde665181
37. Greece669339
38. Slovenia668448
39. Taiwan648148
40. Estonia648444
41. Japan637056
42. Czech Republic627153
43. Belize625568
44. India616557
45. Barbados615567
46. Marshall Islands6161
47. Seychelles605366
48. Ecuador607841
49. Thailand595762
50. Israel597147
51. Peru597245
52. Bolivia588433
53. Cyprus588035
54. Croatia578133
55. Montenegro577143
56. Philippines575658
57. Mozambique556346
58. Mauritius545554
59. Vietnam545849
60. Fiji5454
61. Federated States of Micronesia5353
62. Poland536244
63. Monaco525451
64. Angola526639
65. Singapore525351
66. Hungary526241
67. Cambodia525449
68. Ukraine516043
69. Antigua and Barbuda508417
70. Botswana506239
71. Namibia505742
72. Slovakia496533
73. Venezuela495246
74. Latvia496335
75. China495147
76. Nauru4949
77. Equatorial Guinea4949
78. Sao Tome and Principe485245
79. Laos484947
80. Vanuatu476134
81. Bhutan475340
82. Bosnia and Herzegovina476330
83. Romania465835
84. Guinea-Bissau4646
85. Serbia466230
86. Albania456227
87. South Korea454841
88. Kosovo456029
89. North Macedonia446424
90. Mongolia436522
91. Honduras435928
92. Nicaragua434937
93. Guyana412755
94. El Salvador414933
95. Dominican Republic405031
96. Tajikistan4040
97. Bulgaria405524
98. Guatemala405029
99. Lesotho394929
100. Panama394830
101. Turkey394335
102. North Korea3838
103. Lithuania385125
104. Trinidad and Tobago384828
105. Samoa3838
106. Georgia386412
107. Suriname375123
108. Bahrain363142
109. Kazakhstan365912
110. Saint Kitts and Nevis365715
111. Moldova36638
112. Paraguay344126
113. Republic of the Congo344423
114. Kiribati3333
115. Djibouti3333
116. Dominica325014
117. Bahamas314616
118. Vatican City3131
119. Gabon314616
120. Benin314418
121. Burkina Faso31529
122. Pakistan313031
123. Sri Lanka302437
124. Madagascar304417
125. Timor-Leste304614
126. Turkmenistan3030
127. Palau304316
128. Tonga2929
129. Papua New Guinea2929
130. Haiti294611
131. Central African Republic2929
132. Belarus284016
133. Kyrgyzstan284512
134. Bangladesh272331
135. Armenia27486
136. Azerbaijan27486
137. Rwanda27458
138. Grenada263517
139. Jamaica263418
140. Eswatini262130
141. Niger25419
142. Saint Lucia243217
143. Côte d’Ivoire243315
144. Jordan23416
145. Tuvalu2323
146. Syria221827
147. Palestine22396
148. Democratic Republic of the Congo223410
149. Zimbabwe223311
150. Myanmar221627
151. Solomon Islands2222
152. Kenya212517
153. Lebanon202119
154. Liberia202812
155. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines20328
156. Uzbekistan192118
157. South Sudan1717
158. Guinea162012
159. Tunisia161715
160. Saudi Arabia16725
161. Kuwait1616
162. Malaysia16824
163. Comoros161516
164. Sierra Leone16257
165. Maldives15238
166. Chad151812
167. United Arab Emirates15525
168. Indonesia151812
169. Togo151614
170. Russia15722
171. Morocco141215
172. Iraq13422
173. Ghana13179
174. Algeria13322
175. Sudan13719
176. Zambia12186
177. Egypt12716
178. Oman1111
179. Libya11419
180. Tanzania11813
181. Ethiopia10714
182. Burundi101010
183. Malawi10156
184. Mauritania10019
185. Qatar10109
186. Uganda10316
187. Gambia9135
188. Cameroon9612
189. Yemen8017
190. Brunei77
191. Eritrea66
192. Senegal565
193. Nigeria538
194. Iran453
195. Afghanistan102
196. Somalia11

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.