Poll: Gay Atlanta not tops, but ‘above average’

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When it comes to national LGBT rankings, Atlanta has made a cottage industry of landing at the top. This time, polling juggernaut Gallup puts us in our place while counting gay people in every U.S. metropolitan area.

Beyond the study that cuts down a popular estimate that 10 percent of people are gay to a more manageable 3.5 percent, the latest look at the numbers goes a step further. It’s not just that Georgia is smack-dab in the middle. Atlanta itself lands just above average at No. 19 for gay people in the 50 largest major U.S. cities when it comes to gay percentage of population, according to a New York Times analysis. Top 20 is good, but not the best. Oh well.

Gallup’s numbers are based on surveys of 374,325 adults across the 50 largest metropolitan areas, conducted between June 2012 and December 2014. The margin of sampling error for each of the metropolitan areas is no more than plus or minus 1 percentage point. The margin of error is one reason we’ve focused here on the areas at the top and bottom of the list. You shouldn’t make much of tiny differences between areas.

Those tiny differences mean that among the Top 20, only 2 percent separate No. 1 San Francisco (6.2 percent) and No. 19 Atlanta (4.2 percent). With the margin of error, there’s more statistical significance in that the numbers are self-reported, and that may reflect respondents’ comfort with revealing their sexual orientation in places like Birmingham, Ala., which self-reports the lowest number of gay people at 2.6 percent of its population.

Meanwhile, cracking the top 20 is nothing new for the ATL. This year, we’ve already been named No. 2 Queerest City. Last year, we were No. 1 Gayest and ranked tops in gay sugar daddies. Basically, pollsters love gay Atlanta.

Here are Gallup's percentage of gay population estimates in the 50 largest U.S. cities.

San Francisco, 6.2 percent

Portland, Ore., 5.4

Austin, Tex., 5.3

New Orleans, 5.1

Seattle, 4.8

Boston, 4.8

Salt Lake City, 4.7

Los Angeles, 4.6

Denver, 4.6

Hartford, 4.6

Louisville, Ky., 4.5

Virginia Beach, 4.4

Providence, R.I., 4.4

Las Vegas, 4.3

Columbus, Ohio, 4.3

Jacksonville, Fla., 4.3

Miami, 4.2

Indianapolis, 4.2

Atlanta, 4.2

Orlando, Fla., 4.1

Tampa, Fla. 4.1

Phoenix, 4.1

New York, 4

San Antonio, 4

Washington, 4

Riverside, Calif., 4

Philadelphia, 3.9

Baltimore, 3.9

Buffalo, 3.9

Detroit, 3.9

Sacramento, 3.9

San Diego, 3.9

Charlotte, N.C., 3.8

Chicago, 3.8

Dallas, 3.8

Cleveland, 3.7

Kansas City (Mo. and Kan.), 3.6

Minneapolis-St. Paul, 3.6

St. Louis, 3.6

Oklahoma City, 3.5

Richmond, Va., 3.5

Nashville., 3.5

Milwaukee, 3.5

Houston, 3.3

San Jose, Calif., 3.2

Raleigh, N.C., 3.2

Cincinnati, 3.2

Memphis, 3.1

Pittsburgh, 3

Birmingham, Ala., 2.6

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