The San Francisco and Portland, Ore., metropolitan areas have the greatest percentage of residents who are gay, as we wrote last week. But those regions do not have the largest gay populations in terms of sheer size. That distinction instead goes to New York and Los Angeles.
Those two metro areas are so large — the only two in the country with more than 10 million residents — that they lead the way on many population counts, including the number of people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. About 756,000 people in the New York region fall into that category, according to an analysis of survey data by Gallup, and about 590,000 people in the Los Angeles region do.
You can see a scatterplot comparing the percentage of gay residents in each of the country’s 50 largest metro areas with the number of gay residents. San Francisco has the highest dot, because it has the greatest share of gay residents. New York has the dot farthest to the right, because it has the greatest number of gay residents — though you can also see New York’s share is roughly average for a top-50 metro area.
There is a positive correlation between metro-area size and the share of residents who are gay: Larger regions tend to have a higher percentage of gay residents. That’s why you see more dots in the upper-right portion of the chart than in the lower-right portion.
But the correlation is only modest (8 percent, to be precise). Some large metro areas, like Chicago and Houston, have relatively small gay populations, and some smaller areas, like Portland, have relatively large gay populations.