These are the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the world and States in the US, study shows.

Queer friendly cities around the world

Planning a trip and wondering where to find the most queer-friendly cities? Want to know the most LGBTQ+ welcoming states in the US? These two lists might help…



A recent study seeking to uncover the most accepting LGBTQ+ cities has revealed Reykjavik (Iceland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Rotterdam (Netherlands), San Francisco (USA) and Dublin (Ireland) are the top five destinations for queers in the world.


The research, carried out by comparison engine Money, sought to uncover what life is like for LGBTQ+ people in each city, ⁠⁠using three different factors to determine the top areas for LGBTQ+ inclusiveness.

The three factors used were:

1) LGBTQ+ acceptance level (an indicator sourced from Social Progress)⁠
2) Number of dedicated LGBTQ+ establishments per 100,000 people⁠
3) Average rating of these establishments⁠

Reykjavik, Iceland came out as number 1 in the top 20, with a high-score of 10/10 for LGBTQ+ acceptance and the most LGBTQ+ dedicated bars and clubs out of the top cities, with 2.5 establishments per 100,000 people collectively having an average rating of 4.0 on TripAdvisor.

Amsterdam and Rotterdam came in second and third place, respectively – both scoring a rating of 9.8/10.⁠


Fifth place Dublin scored 9.1/10 for its acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, but a shortage of venues compared to higher rankers, with only 0.2 per 100,000 people. However the ones that do exist scored a high average ranking of 4.3 on TripAdvisor. 


In terms of UK representation, four UK cities made the list, Edinburgh came in 7th, Cardiff 8th, Glasgow at 9th and London at 18th.

Meanwhile the US, with five entries, formed quarter of the total list bagging entries from San Francisco placing 4th, Boston 11th, Seattle at 12th, Los Angeles 16th and Chicago at 17th.

Check out the full list below:

Source: screen capture


1. Reykjavik, Iceland. 2. Amsterdam, Netherlands. 3. Rotterdam, Netherlands. 4. San Francisco, USA. 5. Dublin, Ireland. 6. Brussels, Belgium. 7. Edinburgh, UK. 8. Cardiff, UK. 9. Glasgow, UK. 10. Madrid, Spain. 11. Boston, USA. 12. Seattle, USA. 13. Lisbon, Portugal. 14. Helsinki, Finland. 15. Frankfurt, Germany. 16. Los Angeles, USA. 17. Chicago, USA. 18. London, UK. 19. Munich, Germany. 20. Copenhagen, Denmark

States in the USA.

In addition, the study sought to determine the top States in the US.

It did so using the following five criteria: 

1) How easy it is to change the gender marker on your birth certificate and driver’s licence
2)  The level of state support for the LGBTQ+ adults wanting to start a family
3) Work safety
4) Percentage of adults over 18 who identify as LGBTQ+
5) Percentage of LGBTQ+ adults aged over 25 raising children


The study showed that Hawaii was the number 1 state, with 4.6% of the population identifying as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a 5/5 scoring, the smoothest in the country, on work safety and for the process of changing a gender marker there. Incidents of verbal harassment, sexual assault and other mistreatment showed as being low in the state. 

The survey showed 30% of the LGBTQ+ community in Hawaii are raising children, the highest rate of the top five states, despite only scoring 2.5/5 when it comes to the level of support given to LGBTQ+ individuals who wish to start a family, or have started one already.


Maine placed second place according to data. Just like Hawaii, the process of changing the gender marker on both your birth certificate and driving licence came out among the easiest in the country, scoring 5/5. 

The level of support for LGBTQ+ people wanting to start a family, or already with a family, came out the highest of the top five states, scoring 3.67/5. However, only 21% of LGBTQ+ adults in Maine over 25 are raising children, a significant drop from Hawaii, despite the family support score being much higher. 

The level of safety at work scored an impressive 5/5, while the results showed that 4.9% of adults over 18 in Maine identify as LGBTQ+, one of the highest rates in the country.


Vermont came in third place! The ease of changing the gender marker on your birth certificate is high, scoring 5/5, although it is slightly more difficult to change this on your driving licence, with this data point only scoring 3/5. 

High rates for those wanting to start a family at 3.5/5, and the level of work safety is also high, scoring 4/5.  Meanwhile 5.2% of adults over 18 in the state identify as LGBTQ+.


At four, California scored 5/5 for the process of changing the gender marker on both your birth certificate and driving licence. The support for LGBTQ+ identifying individuals wanting to start, or having started, a family scored 3.5/5. 

California’s work safety fell short, with only 3/5, but the state showed one of the highest percentages of adults over 18 who identify as LGBTQ+ at 5.3%.


Minnesota came in fifth place, showing as very easy for you to change the gender marker on your birth certificate and driving licence – both achieving 5/5 for ease.

The rate of state support for LGBTQ+ families or hopeful families, however, showed as one of the lowest in the top five, scoring just  2.5/5. 

California’s work safety score is great, scoring 5/5.

The full Top 20:

1) Hawaii
2) Maine
3) Vermont
4) California
5) Minnesota
6) Oregon
7) New Mexico
8) Colorado
9) Massachusetts
10) New York
11) Washington
12) New Hampshire
13) Delaware
14) Connecticut
15) New Jersey
16) Illinois
17) Rhode Island
18) Nevada
19) Pennsylvania
20) Indiana

The state of Hawaii is the most accepting state in the USA according to data, followed by Vermont . Source: screen capture