Best & Worst Cities For Newlyweds

Amy Pritchett • May 2021

newlyweds best cities

If you’ve recently tied the knot and are looking for a fresh start in a new city, some cities might be better than others for newlyweds. US cities vary in cost of living and quality of life which can make deciding where to settle down extremely challenging.

We have scientifically proven that Lincoln, Nebraska is the best city for newlyweds in the United States, beating out other great cities across the US.

In our groundbreaking new study, the affordability, romance, and quality of life were taken into account from the most populous metro areas in the US.

Table of Contents

Map

Main Findings

Overall Rank (1 = Best) City State Total Score 'Affordability' Rank 'Quality of Life' Rank 'Romance' Rank
1 Lincoln Nebraska 94.44 10 2 13
2 Oklahoma City Oklahoma 90.00 41.0 3.0 1.0
3 Jacksonville Florida 87.78 23 21 11
4 Buffalo New York 84.22 61.0 8.0 2.0
5 Green Bay Wisconsin 80.89 7.0 73.0 6.0
6 Little Rock Arkansas 78.44 24 63 10
7 Winston-Salem North Carolina 78.44 16 1 80
8 St. Louis Missouri 77.33 55.0 43.0 4.0
9 Davenport Iowa 75.33 31 11 69
10 Huntsville Alabama 74.89 1 5 107
11 Lexington Kentucky 74.00 45 22 50
12 Eugene Oregon 72.89 56 17 49
13 Minneapolis Maine 72.67 22 20 81
14 Melbourne Florida 72.22 59 57 9
15 Madison Wisconsin 72.00 5 79 42
16 South Bend Indiana 71.78 100 7 20
17 Springfield Missouri 71.78 69 25 33
18 New Haven Connecticut 71.56 89 23 16
19 Des Moines Iowa 71.33 27 35 67
20 Columbia South Carolina 71.11 35 55 40
21 Huntington West Virginia 70.67 39 9 84
22 Charlotte North Carolina 70.44 36 58 39
23 Fort Myers Florida 67.78 54 77 14
24 Birmingham Alabama 66.44 88 40 23
25 Lansing Michigan 66.44 9 34 108
26 Albany New York 65.56 14 66 75
27 Salt Lake City Utah 65.33 37 90 29
28 Fort Wayne Indiana 65.11 127 15 15
29 Greenville South Carolina 65.11 8 50 99
30 Kalamazoo Michigan 64.89 11 16 131
31 Boulder Colorado 64.67 70 26 63
32 Lakeland Florida 64.44 30 33 97
33 Virginia Beach Virginia 64.22 97.0 59.0 5.0
34 Detroit Michigan 64.00 19.0 136.0 7.0
35 Wichita Kansas 63.33 51 4 110
36 Reno Nevada 63.11 66 44 56
37 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 62.44 15 118 36
38 Dayton Ohio 62.22 2 62 106
39 Spartanburg South Carolina 61.78 76 6 90
40 Grand Rapids Michigan 61.78 29 18 125
41 Cincinnati Ohio 61.56 3 139 31
42 Hickory North Carolina 61.11 13 125 37
43 Ocala Florida 61.11 68 13 94
44 Richmond Virginia 60.22 28 103 48
45 Colorado Springs Colorado 60.00 50 113 17
46 Austin Texas 59.56 47 116 19
47 Harrisburg Pennsylvania 59.56 74 67 41
48 Miami Florida 58.89 107 60 18
49 Peoria Illinois 58.44 6 41 140
50 York Pennsylvania 58.00 21 143 25
51 Savannah Georgia 57.78 60 122 8
52 Syracuse New York 57.33 4 112 76
53 Albuquerque New Mexico 57.33 79 30 83
54 Indianapolis Indiana 56.89 72 87 35
55 Killeen Texas 56.89 92 29 73
56 Cleveland Ohio 56.67 38 68 89
57 San Diego California 56.22 52 100 45
58 Springfield Massachusetts 56.22 85 52 60
59 Baltimore Maryland 56.22 33 86 78
60 Ann Arbor Michigan 56.22 18 38 141
61 Raleigh North Carolina 54.89 12 80 111
62 Daytona Beach Florida 54.44 71 102 32
63 Fayetteville North Carolina 54.44 32 72 101
64 Fort Collins Colorado 54.00 90 65 52
65 Manchester New Hampshire 53.78 58 48 102
66 Augusta Georgia 53.56 94 64 51
67 Tulsa Oklahoma 53.56 129 27 53
68 Tampa Florida 51.56 77 129 12
69 Naples Florida 51.56 42 42 134
70 Fayetteville Arkansas 51.33 62 28 129
71 Lancaster Pennsylvania 50.67 83 12 127
72 Pensacola Florida 49.78 124 37 65
73 Kansas City Missouri 49.78 120 36 70
74 Spokane Washington 49.56 49 32 146
75 Youngstown Ohio 49.33 84 56 88
76 Knoxville Tennessee 49.33 26 109 93
77 Boise Idaho 49.33 63 39 126
78 El Paso Texas 49.11 137.0 89.0 3.0
79 Flint Michigan 49.11 20 141 68
80 Houston Texas 48.89 73 123 34
81 Trenton New Jersey 48.67 40 147 44
82 Reading Pennsylvania 48.67 43 111 77
83 Columbus Ohio 48.67 119 14 98
84 Chattanooga Tennessee 48.44 91 24 117
85 Gulfport Mississippi 47.56 57 51 128
86 Chicago Illinois 47.33 67 132 38
87 Rochester New York 47.33 53 92 92
88 Santa Barbara California 46.67 101 53 86
89 Fresno California 46.22 146 70 26
90 Tallahassee Florida 45.78 75 19 150
91 Greensboro North Carolina 45.56 25 81 139
92 Portland Maine 45.11 34 108 105
93 Atlanta Georgia 44.67 48 142 59
94 Omaha Nebraska 44.67 114 61 74
95 Denver Colorado 44.44 78 106 66
96 San Jose California 44.00 44 146 62
97 Phoenix Arizona 43.78 65 145 43
98 Jackson Mississippi 43.78 142 54 57
99 Myrtle Beach South Carolina 43.33 105 71 79
100 Santa Rosa California 43.33 95 47 113
101 Sarasota Florida 42.67 64 46 148
102 Mobile Alabama 42.00 117 117 27
103 Anchorage Alaska 41.78 108 10 144
104 Beaumont Texas 41.11 122 97 46
105 Sacramento California 40.67 118 127 22
106 Montgomery Alabama 40.22 138 110 21
107 Charleston South Carolina 40.22 106 76 87
108 Milwaukee Wisconsin 39.78 46 121 104
109 Scranton Pennsylvania 39.78 125 31 115
110 Orlando Florida 39.33 136 107 30
111 McAllen Texas 39.11 126 101 47
112 Hartford Connecticut 39.11 17 133 124
113 San Francisco California 38.89 80 131 64
114 San Antonio Texas 38.67 110 94 72
115 Corpus Christi Texas 38.67 116 69 91
116 Toledo Ohio 38.22 87 88 103
117 Memphis Tennessee 37.78 112 144 24
118 Washington DC 37.56 86 140 55
119 Dallas-Fort Worth Texas 37.11 121 134 28
120 Salinas California 36.22 133 45 109
121 Port St. Lucie Florida 36.00 99 75 114
122 Seattle Washington 34.89 113 95 85
123 Shreveport Louisiana 33.78 82 96 120
124 Portland Oregon 33.33 102 98 100
125 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 32.22 81 128 96
126 Salem Oregon 30.89 134 82 95
127 Lafayette Louisiana 29.78 109 74 133
128 Los Angeles California 29.11 131 130 58
129 New York City New York 29.11 111 137 71
130 Boston Massachusetts 28.67 103 99 119
131 Louisville Kentucky 27.11 96 120 112
132 Tuscon Arizona 26.22 130 84 118
133 Baton Rouge Louisiana 25.78 98 104 132
134 Asheville North Carolina 25.78 140 49 145
135 Las Vegas Nevada 25.11 145 138 54
136 Rockford Illinois 24.44 104 93 143
137 Worcester Maine 24.22 93 126 122
138 New Orleans Louisiana 22.67 139 148 61
139 Providence Rhode Island 22.22 128 85 137
140 Visalia California 22.00 123 105 123
141 Honolulu Hawaii 20.00 147 78 135
142 Stockton California 19.78 144 135 82
143 Salisbury Maryland 17.78 141 91 138
144 Nashville Tennessee 16.67 135 124 116
145 Modesto California 15.78 149 83 147
146 Brownsville Texas 12.22 150 115 130
147 Bakersfield California 11.33 143 114 142
148 Allentown Pennsylvania 11.11 115 149 136
149 Vallejo California 11.11 132 119 149
150 San Juan Puerto Rico 6.89 148 150 121

Best City vs Worst City

Most Flower Shops

  1. New York City, New York
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Los Angeles, California

Least Flower Shops

  1. Gulfport, Mississippi
  2. Spartanburg, South Carolina
  3. Visalia, California
  4. Killeen, Texas
  5. Ocala, Florida
flower arrangement

Most Chocolate Shops

  1. New York City, New York
  2. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  3. Los Angeles, California
  4. San Francisco, California
  5. Buffalo, New York

Least Chocolate Shops

  1. Gulfport, MIssissippi
  2. Visalia, California
  3. Shreveport, Louisiana
  4. Ocala, Florida
  5. Ann Arbor, Michigan
chocolate shops

Lowest bottle of wine cost

  1. Pensacola, Florida
  2. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  3. McAllen, Texas
  4. Fresno, California
  5. Lincoln, Nebraska

Highest bottle of wine cost

  1. Lafayette, Louisiana
  2. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  3. Salinas, California
  4. Salem, Oregon
  5. Port St. Lucie, Florida

Lowest meal for two cost

  1. McAllen, Texas
  2. El Paso, Texas
  3. Spartanburg, South Carolina
  4. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  5. Hickory, North Carolina

Highest meal for two cost

  1. Santa Barbara, California
  2. New York City, New York
  3. Peoria, Illinois
  4. Modesto, California
  5. Naples, Florida
dinner date

Best health care

  1. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  2. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  3. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  4. Lakeland, Florida
  5. Davenport, Iowa

Worst health care

  1. Montgomery, Alabama
  2. Memphis, Tennessee
  3. Trenton, New Jersey
  4. Corpus Christi, Texas
  5. McAllen,Texas
healthcare

Shortest commute time

  1. Lexington, Kentucky
  2. Wichita, Kansas
  3. Santa Barbara, California
  4. Providence, Rhode Island
  5. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Longest commute time

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana
  2. Washington, DC
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. Stockton, California
  5. Vallejo, California
commute time

Lowest crime rate

  1. Portland, Maine
  2. Denver, Colorado
  3. Allentown, Pennsylvania
  4. Lakeland, Florida
  5. Hartford, Connecticut

Highest crime rate

  1. Anchorage, Alaska
  2. Melbourne, Florida
  3. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  4. Wichita, Kansas
  5. Stockton, California
peace friendship

Lowest pollution levels

  1. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  2. Lafayette, Louisiana
  3. South Bend, Indiana
  4. Gulfport, Mississippi
  5. Greenville, South Carolina

Highest pollution levels

  1. Fresno, California
  2. Bakersfield, California
  3. Allentown, Pennsylvania
  4. Stockton, California
  5. Visalia, California
pollution levels

Lowest unemployment rate

  1. Lincoln, Nebraska
  2. Wichita, Kansas
  3. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  4. Greenville, South Carolina
  5. Springfield, Missouri

Highest unemployment rate

  1. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  2. Louisville, Kentucky
  3. Indianapolis, Indiana
  4. Allentown, Pennsylvania
  5. Nashville, Tennessee
business meeting

Lowest basic utilities cost

  1. Hartford, Connecticut
  2. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  3. Greenville, South Carolina
  4. Naples, Florida
  5. Fayetteville, North Carolina

Highest basic utilities cost

  1. Anchorage, Alaska
  2. Pensacola, Florida
  3. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  4. Youngstown, Ohio
  5. Honolulu, Hawaii

Lowest annual salary

  1. Brownsville, Texas
  2. McAllen, Texas
  3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  4. Ocala, Florida
  5. El Paso, Texas

Highest annual salary

  1. San Jose, California
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Boston, Massachusetts
  5. Seattle, Washington
salary money

Lowest median home price

  1. Youngstown, Ohio
  2. Scranton, Pennsylvania
  3. Peoria, Illinois
  4. Toledo, Ohio
  5. Rockford, Illinois

Highest median home price

  1. San Jose, California
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Santa Rosa, California
  4. Salinas, California
  5. Honolulu, Hawaii
house price

Methodology

In order to determine the best cities for newlyweds, MyDatingAdviser.com compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across three key dimensions: 1) Romance, 2) Quality of LIfe, and 3) Affordability.

We evaluated each of those dimensions using four relevant metrics. These are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each key dimension was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for singles.

We determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. In determining our sample, we considered only the city proper in each case, excluding cities in the surrounding metro area.

Romance – Total Points – 33.33

  • Florists per capita: Full Weight (~8.33 Points) Note: This metric measures the number of flower shops per capita. Data based on the number of Google search results for the search query ‘flower shops in ‘city name’’.
  • Chocolate shops per capita: Full Weight (~8.33 Points) Note: This metric measures the number of chocolate shops per capita. Data based on the number of Google search results for the search query ‘flower shops in ‘city name’’.
  • Bottle of wine: Full Weight (~8.33 Points) Note: This metric measures one bottle of mid-range wine.
  • Dining: Full Weight (~8.33 Points) Note: This metric measures a meal for 2 people, mid-range restaurant, three-course

Quality of Life – Total Points – 33.33

  • Commute: Full Weight (~8.33 Points) Note: The U.S. Census’ calculation of average commute time, which factors the time spent traveling door to door, whether by foot, public transit, car, or bicycle.
  • Safety: Full Weight (~8.33Points) Note: This metric measures the number of violent crimes committed per 100,000 people, as determined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.
  • Pollution: Full Weight (~8.33 Points) Note: The pollution index is an estimation of the overall pollution in the city based on surveys from Numbeo. The biggest weight is given to air pollution, than to water pollution/accessibility, two main pollution factors. Small weight is given to other pollution types.
  • Health Care: Full Weight (~8.33 Points) Note: Using data from the U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, this is a measure of the availability of quality health care by determining the number of ranked facilities within 50, 100, and 250 miles of each metro area.

Affordability – Total Points: 33.33

  • Utilities (Monthly): Full Weight (~8.33 Points) Note: This metric measures an estimate of monthly utilities per city looking at electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for an 85m2 apartment.
  • Unemployment rate (~8.33Points) Note: This value measures the 12-month moving unemployment rate using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This represents whether the job market is growing, struggling, or remaining stable.
  • Median home price (~8.33 Points)
    Note: To determine the annual cost of a mortgage in each metro area, we consulted the U.S. Census, which collects data on the amount homeowners pay for housing (including mortgage, utilities, and taxes).
  • Average salary (~8.33 Points) Note: The average salary, as calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the best indicator of earning potential in a metro area.

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census. American Community Survey, Gallup National Health, and Well-Being Index, Numbeo and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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