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I searched gay and straight men by state of birth and state of current residence.
(This information is available only for a subset of Facebook users.) Some gay men do move out of less tolerant states, but this effect is small.
Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women.
It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently.
The evidence also suggests that a large number of gay men are married to women.
There are three sources that can give us estimates of the openly gay population broken down by state: the census, which asks about same-sex households; Gallup, which has fairly large-sample surveys for every state; and Facebook, which asks members what gender they are interested in.
Historical estimates range from about 2 percent to 10 percent.In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband...,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” “Gay” is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed.” Searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more common in the least tolerant states.The states with the highest percentage of women asking this question are South Carolina and Louisiana.But data from Match.com, one of the country’s largest dating sites, which has high rates of membership for both straight and gay men, reveals a similarly large number of missing gay men in less tolerant states.This suggests that these men are not only not telling Facebook they are gay but are also not looking for relationships online.