How America's biggest metro areas stack up.

Yesterday, I wrote about the geography of tolerance, providing a map and top 20 ranking for U.S. metros on three variables that help us measure tolerance—the share of immigrants or foreign-born residents, the Gay Index (the concentration of gays and lesbians), and the Integration Index, which tracks the level of segregation between ethnic and racial groups.

My ranking included large metros as well as smaller ones like Ithaca and Ann Arbor. I noted that:

Many of these smaller metros are college towns that are home to large concentrations of professional, technical and knowledge workers from diverse backgrounds, which lead to higher levels of ethnic and racial integration than larger metros, where economic differences are often greater.

Some commenters wondered about rankings just among America's largest metros. The list below shows the top 20 U.S. metros with populations of one million people or more.

Top 20 Large Metros (over one million people) on the Tolerance Index:

Tolerance Rank Metro Tolerance Score Tolerance Rank (Overall) Gay/Lesbian Rank Foreign Born Rank Integration Index Rank
1 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA .75 1 20 16 1
2 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL .69 11 74 1 161
3 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV .69 15 83 23 1
4 Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA .68 16 7 63 189
5 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA .68 17 1 6 317
6 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH .68 20 13 44 227
7 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA .67 22 12 46 238
8 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ .67 23 60 42 160
9 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA .66 24 70 3 234
10 Orlando, FL .66 27 40 45 216
11 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV .65 30 35 28 283
12 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA .64 32 36 20 306
13 Austin-Round Rock, TX .64 34 17 50 295
14 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT .63 37 91 65 135
15 Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA .63 38 26 41 314
16 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA .62 42 30 57 298
17 Dallas -Fort Worth-Arlington, TX .61 47 80 35 260
18 Denver-Aurora, CO .61 48 24 59 328
19 Rochester, NY .60 50 44 138 140
20 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI .59 53 53 90 233

Six large metros made the original top 20 I posted yesterday: San Diego, Miami, Las Vegas, Portland, San Francisco, and Boston. In addition to these, Seattle, Phoenix, L.A., and Orlando round out the top 10 large metros on the Tolerance Index. Washington, D.C., is 11th and Minneapolis-St.Paul, which as a commenter noted has large Mexican, Hmong, Somali, and Native American populations as well as being gay-friendly, is 20th. New York is 22nd, Chicago 25th among large metros.

Photo credit: Mike Blake/Reuters

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Traffic-free Times Square in New York City

    Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space

    To help get essential workers around, cities are revising traffic patterns, suspending public transit fares, and making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

  2. photo: A lone tourist in Barcelona, one of several global cities that have seen a massive crash in Airbnb bookings.

    Can Airbnb Survive Coronavirus?

    The short-term rental market is reeling from the coronavirus-driven tourism collapse. Can the industry’s dominant player stage a comeback after lockdowns lift?

  3. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

  4. Maps

    Readers: Share Your Hand-Made Maps of Life Under Quarantine

    As coronavirus transforms our private and public spaces, how would you map what your neighborhood and community look like now?

  5. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.