How many people are gay in any given country or area?

It is generally held that approximately 4 to 10% of any population is reportedly gay. The number given varies based on different study methods and the fact not everyone will admit to being gay or bisexual when asked even in completely confidential surveys. This percentage is extremely difficult to pinpoint accurately because there is often much social pressure to hide the fact people are gay by both some survey takers and the people themselves.
Added to that is the "soft" nature of defining "gay" - are we discussing purely 100% gay or lesbian people who have never had a heterosexual experience or including bisexuals across the whole spectrum (a single event, mostly straight, mostly gay)? Are gay people who've never had any sexual experience at all included? Are gay teens included or are they assumed "too immature to be counted"? How are closeted gays included, even if they refuse to say it to anyone? Their refusal to say it doesn't make them not gay.

Depending on how an organization wants the numbers to come out they could fudge the calculations to give you a very low or high result.

Here are some quick calculations on the 40 or so most populous areas. Remember these are just estimates: we're using 7% as an average (halfway between 4 and 10%). This same percentage would apply equally to any city, state, province and even across time. Some places, like bigger metropolitan cities, may have larger numbers of gay people due to migration to a more open locale but the innate population (how many people are born in any place) will generally stay pretty even at about 7% gay.
How many gay men or lesbians?
Figuring a specific "gay men" or "lesbians" percentage would basically just require splitting that 7% in half to 3.5% for each. Some might argue there are fewer lesbians than gay men but that's possibly due to a more difficult social situation for women to come out than an actual lower percentage.

Country Pop Estimate 7%
World 6,706,993,152 469,489,521
China 1,330,044,544 93,103,118
India 1,147,995,904 80,359,713
European Union 491,018,683 34,371,308
United States 303,824,640 21,267,725
Indonesia 237,512,352 16,625,865
Brazil 196,342,592 13,743,981
Pakistan 172,800,048 12,096,003
Bangladesh 153,546,896 10,748,283
Nigeria 146,255,312 10,237,872
Russia 140,702,096 9,849,147
Japan 127,288,416 8,910,189
Mexico 109,955,400 7,696,878
Philippines 96,061,680 6,724,318
Vietnam 86,116,560 6,028,159
Ethiopia 82,544,840 5,778,139
Germany 82,369,552 5,765,869
Egypt 81,713,520 5,719,946
Turkey 71,892,808 5,032,497
Congo 66,514,504 4,656,015
Iran 65,875,224 4,611,266
Thailand 65,493,296 4,584,531
United Kingdom 60,943,912 4,266,074
Italy 58,145,320 4,070,172
South Africa 48,782,756 3,414,793
Korea, South 48,379,392 3,386,557
Burma 47,758,180 3,343,073
Ukraine 45,994,288 3,219,600
Colombia 45,013,672 3,150,957
Spain 40,491,052 2,834,374
Argentina 40,482,000 2,833,740
Sudan 40,218,456 2,815,292
Tanzania 40,213,160 2,814,921
Poland 38,500,696 2,695,049
Kenya 37,953,840 2,656,769
Morocco 34,343,220 2,404,025
Algeria 33,769,668 2,363,877
Canada 33,212,696 2,324,889
Afghanistan 32,738,376 2,291,686
Uganda 31,367,972 2,195,758
Nepal 29,519,114 2,066,338
Peru 29,180,900 2,042,663
Switzerland 7,581,520 530,706

(Country populations taken from the CIA World Fact Book based on the 2008 edition. See links list below for source and to look up other countries)
Approximately one tenth of the human population is reportedly gay, which means about one out of every ten people is gay. To get a more accurate answer you'll need to find out what the population of the the country you're interested in is and do the math.

An easier way is to see if there is a local GLBTQ center in your area and ask them if they have any statistics.

Whatever the answer though, you should know that the number you are given will probably be lower than the actual amount of gay people. If you take in to account all of the homosexuals who are secret about it, and especially if you are including bisexuals, there may be a rather significant increase to the amount.

You just have to ignore that being gay isn't against the rules of god and the below paragraph will make sense! Well, no, no one could make a paragraph that dumb logical.

The other could be correct (may be i don't know). But, I can talk confidently of Ethiopia. Let alone 5million, there are not even 5000 gay people in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a very humble, orthodox country whose people's obey the rule of God.

Don't make fun of gays because they are very nice people until you make fun of them
july 11th, 2013
all of the above is complete bullsht. there's no way 10% of people are gay. what was suggested is that up to 10% of human population is genetically and epigenetically suitable to develop same-sex attraction. this number includes bisexuals, transgenders and all the other variants. think about it! where would we all end up if there was 10% of gays, 10% of bisexuals, 10% of transgenders, 10% of zoophiliacs, 10% of impotent people, 10% of this and that... the numbers are clearly blown way outside of any proportion in order to get things done. a majority of people with the genetic suitability mentioned above don't end up being gay. this is why one of the identical twins may be gay and the other not. studies are VERY unreliable and there's no science behind them. if it wasn't so the numbers wouldn't vary from 0,5% to 18%!!! if we say that anyone that had any same-sex encounter is gay than the number might be as high as 3%. if not, if only those that are having same-sex relationships than the number is 1%-2% at most.


Aug 18 2013

The previous reply seems rather aggressive and angry. Also throwing out the ludicrous "10% of all possible groups" thing is illogical and besides, no one has made such a goofy claim. The 1 - 2% range is almost always pushed out by right wing groups intent on diminishing the validity of gays so please take that as offered. Also, keep in mind that one can be utterly celibate or even 100% straight in the "active sex department" (ask all those gay fathers and mothers) and still be gay.

Bottom line is NO ONE KNOWS FOR CERTAIN, not even angry 1-2% man, and its unlikely to ever be know as there are still lots of people who will NEVER admit (publicly or even to themselves) that they are gay. I would suggest a good ballpark is ~5%, middlish between the minuscule 1% and 10% commonly given out.