"The Queer Index shows just how fast LGBT rights and public opinion about that community are changing - and not just in big metro areas, but also increasingly in smaller cities throughout the country."
Vocativ (vocativ.com), the global media organization for the Digital Generation, has the answers in its first-ever big data survey of the LGBT community nationwide, the Queer Index.
The Queer Index is a rich analysis of dozens of quality-of-life factors for America's LGBT communities in 100 U.S. cities, based on Vocativ's proprietary technology that mines the deep web - the 80 percent of the Internet outside the scope of search engines. According to the Index, Los Angeles is the top city in the country for LGBTs, followed in order by New York, San Francisco, Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago.
The Index sources 32 publicly available data sets to analyze 16 key lifestyle metrics.
It weighs variables that reflect and influence how and where LGBT Americans live, work, play, party, fall in love and raise families. Specific factors explored include the size of cities' LGBT communities, number of out singles, queer-friendly businesses, hate-crime rates and even the ease of casual hookups.
"For Pride Month, we wanted to create a useful, fun guide to LGBT life across the country," said Scott Cohen, CEO of Vocativ. "We started off with a simple premise: What's life really like for the queer community. From there we homed in on the community's passions, concerns and daily realities - and then we started collecting the data. Diving into the numbers, we learned new things about known LGBT meccas. For example, New York City has the most hate groups in the country. We also found countless surprises. Who knew that Memphis has the most single lesbians per capita in the country?"
Said Mati Kochavi, founder of Vocativ: "To get a snapshot of LGBT life across the country, the traditional approach would be to collect the opinions of a few so-called experts. But big data and the deep web allow Vocativ to go infinitely broader, into a world free of spin and full of hidden truths, where stories reveal themselves. The Queer Index shows just how fast LGBT rights and public opinion about that community are changing - and not just in big metro areas, but also increasingly in smaller cities throughout the country.
Vocativ's deep web technology and analysts surveyed information from across the deep web, open databases, public sites and social networks, including Craigslist, Facebook, Yelp, Rentboy, the U.S. census and the FBI crimes database, among others.
A few interesting highlights unearthed by the Index include:
The top-ranked cities according to the Queer Index are, in descending order:
The 16 criteria Vocativ's deep web analysts used to rank each city:
(For a complete list, visit: http://www.vocativ.com/culture/lgbt/vocativ-queer-index/)
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The LGBT pride flag was designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. It was originally called the Freedom Flag and was comprised of 8 colored stripes, each denoting a different meaning.