This Map Illustrates the World’s Most Queer-Friendly Countries, and Some Might Surprise You

Traveling while queer can sometimes feel like a risky business. We’ve all heard the horror stories about what’s going on in Chechnya, Indonesia and Egypt, but is it really as bad as all that worldwide? Luckily not, at least according to a map of the most queer-friendly countries published by the Economist. In fact, you might be surprised at some of the most queer-friendly places on the globe.

The map is based on the answer to a simple question: How much people agree with the statement, “Equal rights and protections should be applied to everyone, including people who are romantically or sexually attracted to people of the same sex”? They mapped the percentage of people who said they “strongly agree” with that statement — and didn’t factor in respondents who just said that they merely “agree” or “somewhat agree.”

Of course, many of the most queer-friendly countries aren’t surprising. We knew, for example, that Sweden would likely have a majority of people who strongly agreed. And Australia (which just legalized same-sex marriage) also mostly strongly agreed.

But there are some that might raise a few eyebrows. Though Russia didn’t have a majority in favor of equal rights for homosexual people, they had a relatively solid 35 to 45%, far better than Egypt’s 15 to 25%. On the other hand, sub-Saharan African countries scored higher than you might expect, outdoing many Asian countries.

The survey was conducted by a method called “random domain intercept.” That means that if someone incorrectly types a common URL, they may be redirected to a survey page. While that does ensure a random sampling, it also introduces its own biases, mostly by ignoring people who lack internet access. Still, as a metric of how attitudes are changing, it provides some interesting data.


See the Economist map of queer-friendly countries below:

queer-friendly countries map

What are the most queer-friendly countries you’ve visited? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image by DME Photography via iStock