Good Morning Roots11,
As Missy points out, your question presents a dilemma. Depending on
who is doing the counting, between 2 and 6% of the US population is
gay. Since being gay is a genetic trait, not a chosen lifestyle, it
crosses the boundaries of every demographic. Sex. Race. Income.
Occupation. Language. Education. Age. Religion.
[note: For purposes of my description here I will use he as a
generic pronoun with the understanding that this all applies to gay
women as well.]
The typical homosexual is your brother, your boss, your coworker,
the first-baseman on your softball team, your doctor, your child's
first-grade teacher, your rabbi, your police chief, your beer buddy,
your uncle, your favorite rock star, your congressman, the guy who
mows your lawn, your investment advisor, your golf partner, your
tennis coach, your favorite author, your waiter, your attorney, and/or
So, you are asking, if we look at these people as A SINGLE GROUP, what
are their typical customs, leisure activities, vacation destinations?
Thats impossible to say. Whether gay or straight, a construction
worker is going to spend his leisure time differently than a
high-rolling Wall Street stock broker. A 20 year old gay college
student is going to vacation in a different place than his 67 year old
gay professor. A pair of lesbian school teachers with a child might
prefer to tour Yellowstone, while a pair of successful gay male
artists might prefer to tour the Louvre. The customs of a gay rabbi
are going to be very different from the customs of a gay biker. None
of these things are dictated by sexual preference.
Now, all that said, we do know something about the demographics of
SOME homosexuals in the US. One section of the 2000 US Census gathered
information in the following way: First it asked about people living
in the home with the primary resident (that is, the person filling out
the census form). One choice was unmarried partner. Then it asked
for the sex of that person. From this one could count:
-Male householder and male partner.
-Male householder and female partner
-Female householder and female partner
-Female householder and male partner
So, what we get from this is demographic data on homosexuals who share
a household with a partner.
This does not however, take into account underage homosexuals, single
homosexuals, couples not living together, or those who are homosexual
but who live a straight lifestyle with an opposite sex partner.
And, most importantly, it tells us nothing about gays who choose not
to reveal their sexual preference on census forms. But still, it gives
us some idea of the demographics.
As it turns out, rather than wade through the census data, someone has
done that work for us. The folks at Gay Demographics.org have
presented all of the Census data as it relates to same sex couples and
have broken it down into easily read specific demographic categories.
Ill give you the links at the end, but now lets take a quick look at
a sampling of those results.
*Please remember that this data only applies to the census count of
same-sex couples, not necessarily to all homosexuals.
Also remember that to be meaningful, the data should be compared to
the population at large. In a few cases Ive presented the overall
population for comparisons. The rest you can find on the US census
There are 601,209 same-sex couples living in the US and Puerto Rico.
3 leading states by same-sex-couple population: CA, NY, TX
3 leading states by percentage of couples being same-sex: DC, CA, VT
Urban vs Rural: A comparable proportion of same-sex couples live in
rural areas. This population of same-sex couples is usually more
female than male.
Counties: 50% of all same-sex couples live in just 91 counties.
Conversely, 50% of the total U.S. population lives in 153 counties. 21
counties (out of 3,140), reported no same-sex couples.
The average age for lesbians is 42.8 years; for gay men 44.5 years
The average age for all females 36.5* years; for all males; 34.0 *
*lower because children are included.
Percentage of same-sex couples with their own children in the
Percentage of all households in US with own children: 48.2%
78.8% of respondents are white. 89% of same-sex couples have partners
of the same race. Racial diversity is 4x more likely in same-sex
couples as in the general population. All racial categories are
79.1% of the US householder respondents are white.
EDUCATION & OCCUPATION
24.7% of same-sex couples have a college degree. 23.2% are high school
15.29% of members of same-sex couples are unemployed or in school.
Average household income: $76,460 for same-sex couples who live with
Average household income for total adult population: $41,994
Top 5 jobs (by percentage) held by members of same sex couples:
First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers
Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
Elementary and Middle School Teachers
15% of members of same sex couples report military service, either
currently or in the past.
THE CENSUS DATA
Everything Ive given you above is available, either as raw data from
the US census Bureau or filtered from GayDemographics.org.
US CENSUS DATA*
*For same-sex couple data, choose the geographic data type you want
(eg: State) and click ADD, then NEXT. On the next page, choose table
PCT014 [its there, scroll way down] then ADD then SHOW RESULTS
In summary Roots11, if you are looking for something like the top-10
gay vacation spots in the world, you may find lists and rankings (or
at least claims to membership), but these are only going to apply to a
certain percentage of the gay population. What may be considered a
hot-spot for young single gay men may be of no interest to a married
lesbian couple with children. And both of those are represented in the
I do hope this has been a help to you. Its been an interesting search
and I was surprised to find as much information as I did. I put a lot
of time and detail into your answer and have given you more than your
$2 worth just to make sure that its clear that the demographics and
preferences of gays is largely the demographics and preferences of the
Thank you for your question!