Data

Legal equality index

See all data and research on:

What you should know about this indicator

  • The index combines 15 individual policies: the legality of same-sex relationships, marriage, gender marker changes, censorship of LGBT+ issues, gender-affirming care, legal recognition of non-binary gender, LGBT+ discrimination, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, same-sex adoption, serving openly in the military, blood donations by men who have sex with men, conversion therapies, and equal age of consent between same-sex and different-sex partners.
  • Each of these policies is weighted differently, with the most important policies receiving the highest weights. These weights are called total possible scores.
  • Each policy status has a factor associated to it, ranging from o to 1. Higher scores indicate more equality.
  • The index is calculated by summing the product of total possible scores and the factor for each policy, divided by the sum of total possible scores.
  • For more information about the methodology and the specific scores used, please refers to the Equaldex Equality index methodology.

The LGBT legal index measures the current legal status of 15 different issues ranging from the legal status of homosexuality, same-sex marriage, transgender rights, LGBT discrimination protections, LGBT censorship laws, and more. Each topic is weighted differently (for example, if same-sex marriage is illegal in a region, it would have a much bigger impact on the score than not allowing LGBT people to serve in the military). Each topic is assigned a "total possible score" and a "score" is assigned based the status of the law using a rating scale that ranges from 0% to 100% (for example, if homosexuality is legal, it would would receive a score of 100, but if it's illegal, it would receve a score of 0.)

If the status of an issue is unknown, not applicable, or no data has not been added to Equaldex, the issue's score is completely discarded and not included in the ranking. In cases where a law varies throughout a region (for example, a country where same-sex marriage is legal in some states or provinces but not others), the score is averaged among all states or provinces, weighted equally.

Past laws that are no longer in effect do not impact the region's current score. New laws that have not gone into effect yet will not impact the region's score until the day it goes into effect.

Legal Index = (Total Possible Score for each issue × Factor of Status of Issue) / Sum of all Total Possible Scores

More details about the scores and factors are available in the Equaldex Equality Index methodology.

Legal equality index
The index captures to which extent lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender and other people outside traditional sexuality and gender categories have the same rights as straight and cisgender people. It ranges from 0 to 100 (most equal).
Source
Equaldex (2024); Population based on various sources (2023) – with major processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
June 3, 2024
Next expected update
June 2025
Date range
2024–2024

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

Equaldex is a collaborative knowledge base for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) movement. The site aims to crowdsource every law related to LGBT rights to provide a comprehensive and global view of the LGBT rights movement.

Retrieved on
June 24, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
LGBT Rights by Country & Travel Guide | Equaldex. (2024). https://www.equaldex.com/

Our World in Data builds and maintains a long-run dataset on population by country, region, and for the world, based on various sources.

You can find more information on these sources and how our time series is constructed on this page: https://ourworldindata.org/population-sources

Retrieved on
March 31, 2023
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
The long-run data on population is based on various sources, described on this page: https://ourworldindata.org/population-sources

How we process data at Our World in Data

All data and visualizations on Our World in Data rely on data sourced from one or several original data providers. Preparing this original data involves several processing steps. Depending on the data, this can include standardizing country names and world region definitions, converting units, calculating derived indicators such as per capita measures, as well as adding or adapting metadata such as the name or the description given to an indicator.

At the link below you can find a detailed description of the structure of our data pipeline, including links to all the code used to prepare data across Our World in Data.

Read about our data pipeline
Notes on our processing step for this indicator
  • We have extracted the data from the official Equaldex JSON API.
  • We combine the historical and current data extracted from the API to create a time series.
  • Whenever policy implementation dates for a status are not provided in the data, and this status is the only available for the country, we consider that this status has not changed during the entire period of the dataset.
  • We group some of the categories the source has defined for each issue, for further clarity in our visualizations.
  • We present this data only for sovereign states, defined by Butcher and Griffiths (2020). We use the definitions of the latest year available.

Reuse this work

  • All data produced by third-party providers and made available by Our World in Data are subject to the license terms from the original providers. Our work would not be possible without the data providers we rely on, so we ask you to always cite them appropriately (see below). This is crucial to allow data providers to continue doing their work, enhancing, maintaining and updating valuable data.
  • All data, visualizations, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.

Citations

How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Legal equality index”, part of the following publication: Bastian Herre, Pablo Arriagada and Max Roser (2023) - “LGBT+ Rights”. Data adapted from Equaldex, Various sources. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/lgbt-legal-equality-index [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Equaldex (2024); Population based on various sources (2023) – with major processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

Equaldex (2024); Population based on various sources (2023) – with major processing by Our World in Data. “Legal equality index” [dataset]. Equaldex, “Equaldex”; Various sources, “Population” [original data]. Retrieved July 15, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/lgbt-legal-equality-index