Oh Canada, Ew Nigeria: Which Countries Are Most Accepting Of The Gays?

The Pew Research Center just released the results of a new survey detailing the acceptance of homosexuality around the globe. The numbers you see above represent the percent of people who believe in acceptance — as polled in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1, 2013.

As seen on the map, the countries found most accepting of homosexuality include Spain (88%), Germany (87%), Canada (80%) and Australia (79%).

Among the least accepting? Nigeria (1%), Pakistan (2%), Egypt (3%), and Indonesia (3%).

Unsurprisingly, religion comes into play:

There is a strong relationship between a country’s religiosity and opinions about homosexuality. There is far less acceptance of homosexuality in countries where religion is central to people’s lives – measured by whether they consider religion to be very important, whether they believe it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral, and whether they pray at least once a day.

There are some notable exceptions, however. For example, Russia and China receive low scores on the religiosity scale, which would suggest higher levels of tolerance for homosexuality. Yet, just 16% of Russians and 21% of Chinese say homosexuality should be accepted by society. Conversely, Brazilians and Filipinos are considerably more tolerant of homosexuality than their countries’ relatively high levels of religiosity would suggest.

In addition, though many Latin American countries are considered religious, Argentina was the first country in the region to legalize gay marriage in 2010 and about three-quarters of those polled believe homosexuality should be accepted.

Oh Canada, Ew Nigeria: Which Countries Are Most Accepting Of The Gays?

The study also finds that in countries with a gender gap, "women are considerably more likely than men to say homosexuality should be accepted by society."

Age can make a difference as well; in most countries, younger people are more accepting than older folks, and in countries like South Korea, Japan, Russia and Brazil, the percentage of 18-29 year olds who are cool with gay people is double the number of over-50-year-olds who feel the same way.

The good news is that in a lot of places — like the United States, South Korea and Italy — the percentage of acceptance is up since the previous poll in 2007, and one can assume people are more tolerant than they were five years ago. And hopefully, as the older generation dies off, and younger generations see gay people as totally normal, the percentages of acceptance will rise exponentially.

Unfortunately, in France, the percentage of people who think homosexuality should be accepted actually dropped from 83% in 2007 to 77% this year. And honestly, if we want this planet to be a tolerant place for queers, there's A TON of work to do, worldwide.

The Global Divide on Homosexuality / Global Acceptance of Homosexuality [Pew Research Center]