Social and Emotional Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Sexual Orientation and Rurality


Rural residents face distinct risks for social isolation and loneliness, as do lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults. This policy brief examines nationally representative data on social and emotional supports during the COVID-19 pandemic by rurality and sexual orientation.

Key Findings
  • Rural LGB adults reported the lowest levels of having their social and emotional needs met.
  • Approximately 32.7% of rural LGB adults said those needs were always met (versus 55.7% of rural heterosexual adults).
  • Rural LGB adults also reported the greatest decrease in social and emotional support during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 23.5% saying they had less support than they had a year ago.
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Carrie Henning-Smith, Gilbert Gonzales, Mariana Tuttle, Courtney Sarkin