Nearly one million gay couples live in almost every county in the United States, according to groundbreaking data released Thursday by UCLA's same-sex advocacy think tank, The Williams Institute.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)
The census research discovered that 901,997 same-sex couples live in 99 percent of American counties, in cities from West Hollywood, Calif. to New Hope, Pa. Sixty percent of the couples are female, and 22 percent currently raise children.
Researchers ranked large, mid-size and small cities by concentration of gay households (adjusted for population size). Not surprisingly, San Francisco topped the list of large cities, with 11,555 couples. But the data revealed some unexpected discoveries as well: Salt Lake City, for example, ranked among the highest mid-sized cities, while New York City was nowhere to be found on any list. North and South Dakota showed the lowest numbers.
Williams Institute Demographer Gary Gates said the research reflects a significant societal shift. "The LGBT community has dispersed beyond traditional enclaves as social stigma eases, couples are more comfortable coming out, and a generation of aging and out same-sex couples begin to retire," he said.
SFGate noted that he findings will undoubtedly be cited in upcoming debates concerning issues important to the gay community, like the Defense of Marriage Act and state marriage laws.
Take a look at which cities ranked the highest below, and read the full Williams Institute report here.
All images by Thinkstock.