Most LGBTQ+ friendly country

Denmark ranks second most LGBTQ+ friendly country

As more and more employees seek new work opportunities abroad, the safety and comfort of LGBTQ+ people living and working overseas is more important than ever.

Using data from Rainbow Europe, the legal experts at UpCounsel analysed 49 European nations to determine which European country you should move to, based on its LGBTQ+ rights.

  • Malta is the most LGBTQ+ friendly country, with an LGBT rights score of 92 out of 100 thanks to its progressive government policies and strong focus on LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Denmark is a close second, with a score of 74, followed by Belgium with 72.
  • Nordic countries lead the pack when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, with Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland also making it into the top 10.
  • The UK is a notable omission from the top 10, finishing 11th, with a score of 53. This a significant drop from the UK’s first-place ranking in 2015.

More information including the full list of the top 10 most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in Europe, as well as the 5 lowest ranking countries can be found in the press release below.

The full data set can be found HERE.

June 2022 marked another year of pride with the LGBTQ+ community and its supporters around the world are celebrating the importance of freedom of sexuality and gender expression. But as many look for work and living opportunities abroad, the question is inevitably raised: which country provides the most rights for LGBT people?

With this in mind, UpCounsel extracted data from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)’s index website Rainbow Europe to analyse 49 European nations and determine which country European country you should move to, based on its LGBTQ+ rights.

ILGA analyses the amount of legislation, reforms and achievements which each European country has seen for LGBTQ+ people under seven criteria, which include Legal Gender Recognition and protection from Hate Crime & Hate Speech.

UpCounsel can reveal that Malta is by far the country with the most LGBT rights in Europe, with an LGBT rights score of 92. The small island has seen numerous progressive reforms introduced in the past decade, particularly after Marie Louise Coleiro Preca became president in 2014.

Famously progressive Denmark comes in second, with a score of 74.  Belgium follows in third with 72. Aside from Denmark, two other Nordic countries make it onto the top 10: Norway and Sweden in fourth, both with a score of 68.

The United Kingdom is a notable omission from the top 10. It finishes in 14th, with a score of 53. This a significant and concerning drop from the UK’s first-place ranking in 2015.

UpCounsel can also reveal that the European country you’d least want to move to based on LGBTQ+ rights is Azerbaijan. The country finishes with an overall score of just two out of 100. It is followed closely by Turkey, the second-worst country, with a score of four.

Other notable findings:

  • Malta ranks first for six out of the seven LGBTQ+ rights criteria in the data. The only criteria where Malta doesn’t finish first is in Equality & Non-Discrimination achievements, in which its placed fourthFirst place in this category is given to Montenegro.
  • 44 out of 49 European nations earned a score of 0 in relation to Intersex Bodily Integrity (the principle that all people, including children, have the right to autonomy and self-determination over their own bodies), apart from MaltaPortugalIcelandGermany, and Spain.
  • The majority of European nations (36 out of 49) earned a score of 100 for Civil Society Space for LGBT people. However, 13 countries didn’t. Only one country earned a score of 0 for this criteria - Russia.

For the full data, please click HERE.


  1. In order to establish which European country you should move to based on its LGBT rights, utilised the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)’s index website Rainbow Europe to collate a total ranking for 49 European countries in 2022.
  2. The countries’ data was ranked, both on their overall score and on seven individual criteria (as determined by ILGA): Equality & Non-Discrimination, Family, Hate Crime & Hate Speech, Legal Gender Recognition, Intersex Bodily Integrity, Civil Society Space, and Asylum.
  3. Results were rounded up to the nearest whole number. Those with the same resulting number were considered ‘ties’, and are marked with a ‘=’ in the tables above.
  4. All data was sourced on 14-06-2022 and is accurate as of then.

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