Australian ‘gayborhoods’ and ‘lesborhoods’: a new method for estimating the number and prevalence of adult gay men and lesbian women living in each Australian postcode

Denton Callander*, Julie Mooney-Somers, Phillip Keen, Rebecca Guy, Tim Duck, Benjamin R. Bavinton, Andrew E. Grulich, Martin Holt, Garrett Prestage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gay men and lesbian women often demonstrate unique settlement patterns, forming what have been referred to as ‘gayborhoods’. This study sought to provide the first postcode-level estimates of population size and prevalence of gay and lesbian people in Australia. Data on same-gender-partnered households from the Australian Census were combined with information from six different surveys conducted from 2011 to 2017. We estimated that in 2016 there were 132,203 gay men (1.5% of adult males; 95% CI: 1.4–1.6) and 79,931 lesbian women (0.9% of adult females; 95% CI: 0.8–1.0) in Australia. While many postcodes were sparsely populated by gay and lesbian people (40.1% had prevalences of <0.1%), 24.6% were moderately populated (prevalences in the 50-95th percentile) and 2.7% were highly populated (95th percentile). By jurisdiction, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest prevalences of gay men (2.1%; 95% CI: 2.0–2.2) and lesbian women (1.5%; 95% CI: 1.4–1.6). Although the majority of highly populated postcodes were found in major cities (83.7%), some were also found in regional and remote area (16.3%). This method can be applied in other countries to enhance populate estimates. The accompanying dataset can be used to guide service delivery, conduct geographically contextualised research and develop policies relevant to gay men and lesbian women in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2160-2176
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Volume34
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the contributions from study investigators, data managers and participants who contributed to the survey information used for this analysis, specifically those involved with the New South Wales Population Health Survey (Sarah Thackway, Timothy Harrold, and Maria Alfaro-Ramirez), the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (Cathy Claydon), Following Lives Undergoing Change (Mo Hammoud), and the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (Jayne Lucke). The Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health is conducted by the University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health. This project was partially supported by a grant from Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (1092852) in partnership with the New South Wales Ministry of Health and the University of New South Wales. The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to report.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the NSW Ministry of Health; National Health and Medical Research Council [1092852]; University of New South Wales. The authors acknowledge the contributions from study investigators, data managers and participants who contributed to the survey information used for this analysis, specifically those involved with the New South Wales Population Health Survey (Sarah Thackway, Timothy Harrold, and Maria Alfaro-Ramirez), the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (Cathy Claydon), Following Lives Undergoing Change (Mo Hammoud), and the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women?s Health (Jayne Lucke). The Australian Longitudinal Study of Women?s Health is conducted by the University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health. This project was partially supported by a grant from Australia?s National Health and Medical Research Council (1092852) in partnership with the New South Wales Ministry of Health and the University of New South Wales. The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to report.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • LGBTQ
  • population mapping
  • social demography

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