UK DATING REPORT 2020

Best and worst cities to be single

Finding love can be tough no matter where you live. The town you're living in could make all the difference. Whether it's a lack of affordable places to go out for a date or there simply aren't good people to date.

That's why we've looked at nine factors to try and determine the best and worst cities to find love in the UK.

This includes qualities of the population such as how happy, sexy and intelligent people living there are. Also, how much a date costs - cinema ticket, pint and meal for two. Finally, we looked at the cost of living on your own in the city.

The Ultimate Single City Chart

Top 5 Bottom 5

KEY: All scores and ranking values go from (1) best/most to (69) worst/least. Rank Town/City  Sexy Score  Happy Score  Smart Score  Cost of One Cinema Ticket Cost of Meal for Two  Cost of Pint of Beer Average Salary  Average Rent for One Bedroom Flat  Rent as a Perentage of Earnings Overall Score

Rank City Smart Score Sexy Score Happy Score Pint Cost Meal Cost Cinema Cost Average Salary Average Rent Rent as % of Salary Overall Score
65 London 1 69 43 £5.00 £60.00 £13.00 £31,114.00 £1,654.00 5.32% 57.53
66 Brighton 6 43 55 £4.50 £60.00 £10.00 £25,740.00 £915.00 3.56% 57.94
58 Edinburgh 9 47 46 £4.00 £60.00 £9.00 £26,187.00 £839.00 3.20% 53
67 Manchester 69 10 32 £4.00 £50.00 £8.00 £22,306.00 £697.00 3.12% 58.2
64 Slough 28 62 42 £4.00 £40.00 £10.50 £28,125.00 £867.00 3.08% 57.4
36 Woking 8 49 15 £4.00 £45.00 £10.00 £29,831.00 £910.00 3.05% 45.1
69 Worthing 58 37 33 £3.25 £47.00 £13.50 £23,491.00 £712.00 3.03% 61.44
45 Leeds 24 33 35 £3.65 £45.00 £8.00 £24,100.00 £728.00 3.02% 49.34
48 Oxford 4 39 40 £4.00 £50.00 £10.00 £25,886.00 £758.00 2.93% 50.24
52 Watford 21 63 4 £3.90 £60.00 £11.50 £27,729.00 £800.00 2.89% 50.61
59 Colchester 33 5 50 £3.70 £49.00 £14.50 £24,460.00 £693.00 2.83% 53.07
62 Nottingham 32 1 69 £3.50 £45.00 £10.00 £20,302.00 £569.00 2.80% 56.1
49 Crawley 36 36 1 £4.00 £48.00 £12.00 £23,856.00 £664.00 2.78% 50.37
60 Basildon 65 35 27 £3.87 £50.00 £10.00 £27,369.00 £751.00 2.74% 53.97
35 York 15 6 22 £4.00 £50.00 £10.00 £22,973.00 £625.00 2.72% 44.37
56 Glasgow 20 16 63 £3.50 £50.00 £10.47 £23,541.00 £636.00 2.72% 52
63 Birmingham 41 61 26 £3.50 £50.00 £9.50 £22,519.00 £613.00 2.72% 56.54
57 Leicester 39 51 19 £3.50 £45.00 £8.80 £20,753.00 £561.00 2.70% 52.37
42 Milton Keynes 23 20 52 £3.25 £50.00 £12.00 £28,702.00 £766.00 2.67% 48.03
22 Exeter 17 15 2 £4.00 £35.00 £10.00 £23,371.00 £621.00 2.66% 39.07
53 Portsmouth 40 66 17 £3.50 £51.00 £5.00 £23,241.00 £617.00 2.65% 51.2
33 Chelmsford 37 13 7 £4.25 £70.00 £12.00 £26,497.00 £664.00 2.50% 43.3
54 Luton 46 67 8 £3.75 £40.00 £11.50 £24,565.00 £605.00 2.46% 51.67
34 Bristol 11 9 57 £4.50 £50.00 £10.00 £25,958.00 £637.00 2.45.% 44.03
68 Eastbourne 55 55 41 £5.00 £49.37 £12.00 £23,368.00 £572.00 2.45% 60.27
20 Cardiff 14 44 29 £3.50 £40.00 £6.00 £24,958.00 £598.00 2.40% 39
61 Lincoln 57 3 56 £3.50 £57.50 £12.00 £21,223.00 £508.00 2.39% 54.73
25 Basingstoke 5 22 44 £4.00 £50.00 £10.00 £30,368.00 £723.00 2.38% 40.32
40 Swansea 34 27 53 £3.65 £50.00 £7.00 £23,019.00 £546.00 2.37% 46
28 Newcastle upon Tyne 2 32 67 £3.50 £40.00 £8.00 £23,502.00 £545.00 2.34% 41.24
30 Blackburn 31 64 6 £2.10 £45.50 £5.50 £21,152.00 £492.00 2.32.% 42.13
18 Maidstone 43 30 16 £2.50 £49.37 £9.80 £26,645.00 £614.00 2.30.% 38.94
4 Reading 13 18 10 £3.00 £45.00 £10.00 £28,039.00 £641.00 2.29% 30.24
24 Bournemouth 19 40 5 £3.98 £55.00 £11.00 £25,101.00 £576.00 2.29% 39.97
32 Southampton 25 12 49 £4.00 £50.00 £11.25 £24,298.00 £555.00 2.28.% 43.24
27 Cambridge 3 7 64 £4.00 £55.00 £12.00 £28,600.00 £648.00 2.27% 40.94
50 Ipswich 49 17 61 £3.85 £40.00 £10.20 £22,257.00 £503.00 2.26% 50.37
26 Norwich 44 2 38 £4.28 £60.00 £8.50 £23,364.00 £525.00 2.25% 40.4
13 High Wycombe 7 52 3 £3.50 £50.00 £11.00 £29,407.00 £656.00 2.23% 35.64
39 Liverpool 26 45 54 £3.23 £55.00 £9.00 £23,314.00 £521.00 2.23% 45.94
37 Poole 38 53 37 £3.98 £55.00 £9.00 £25,101.00 £557.00 2.21% 45.13
31 Sheffield 16 48 39 £3.50 £40.00 £10.00 £23,295.00 £507.00 2.18.% 42.47
38 Southend-on-Sea 52 59 25 £3.65 £50.00 £10.00 £27,087.00 £592.00 2.18.% 45.37
15 Worcester 42 24 11 £3.25 £40.00 £10.15 £23,633.00 £504.00 2.13% 36.04
9 Cheltenham 12 23 24 £4.00 £55.00 £11.45 £26,845.00 £567.00 2.11% 34.34
44 Telford 56 50 58 £3.08 £40.00 £8.00 £22,490.00 £468.00 2.08% 48.44
51 Kingston upon Hull 62 46 66 £3.00 £48.00 £5.00 £20,682.00 £430.00 2.08% 50.5
47 Blackpool 67 58 48 £3.25 £50.00 £7.00 £19,460.00 £403.00 2.07% 50.23
5 Stockport 18 8 51 £3.00 £40.00 £9.00 £25,829.00 £534.00 2.06% 30.24
17 Coventry 30 54 30 £3.50 £45.00 £9.75 £24,214.00 £499.00 2.06% 38.4
14 Swindon 51 14 20 £3.50 £55.00 £12.00 £26,917.00 £549.00 2.04% 35.77
21 Peterborough 53 19 23 £3.25 £50.00 £10.00 £22,847.00 £466.00 2.04% 39.04
7 Solihull 22 56 14 £3.50 £30.00 £8.80 £27,551.00 £554.00 2.01.% 30.46
8 Northampton 35 29 12 £3.20 £65.00 £10.00 £25,575.00 £504.00 1.97% 31.27
55 Bradford 63 68 31 £3.00 £40.00 £9.00 £21,900.00 £427.00 1.95% 51.8
11 Newport 48 26 34 £3.38 £40.00 £8.50 £23,470.00 £453.00 1.93% 34.8
12 Plymouth 50 21 13 £4.00 £60.00 £7.50 £21,662.00 £419.00 1.93% 35
23 Bolton 45 41 45 £2.50 £50.00 £6.25 £22,148.00 £427.00 1.93% 39.64
46 Middlesbrough 61 57 62 £3.00 £40.00 £9.00 £21,080.00 £407.00 1.93% 49.4
6 Wigan 59 11 9 £3.15 £45.00 £8.25 £22,888.00 £440.00 1.92% 30.37
10 Gloucester 54 25 28 £3.10 £50.00 £10.00 £24,492.00 £454.00 1.85% 34.74
19 Doncaster 68 4 65 £3.25 £45.00 £8.00 £22,639.00 £418.00 1.85% 38.94
41 Sunderland 64 60 60 £3.25 £45.00 £8.00 £21,665.00 £401.00 1.85% 47.27
43 Wolverhampton 66 65 59 £3.08 £40.00 £9.25 £22,212.00 £401.00 1.80% 48.07
16 Dundee 29 34 68 £3.50 £47.50 £9.25 £23,413.00 £417.00 1.78% 36.94
29 Stoke-on-Trent 60 31 36 £3.00 £60.00 £7.50 £22,143.00 £389.00 1.76% 41.57
1 Aberdeen 10 28 47 £3.40 £47.50 £9.00 £25,920.00 £450.00 1.74% 25.87
2 Warrington 27 38 18 £3.40 £50.00 £10.00 £25,177.00 £438.00 1.74% 27.83
3 Derby 47 42 21 £3.50 £47.50 £9.00 £25,808.00 £418.00 1.62% 28.33

Methodology

To begin with, we looked at UK towns and cities with a population of over 1,000. We then determined a normalised score from 1 to 69 for each factor. Finally, we combined these scores to reach the overall score out of 69 for each city.  All factors were given the following weighting:

  • Population Attributes (Happy, Sexy & Smart People – (50%)
  • Date Costs (Cinema, Meal, Drink) – (30%)
  • Living Costs (Salary & Rent) – (20%)
 

Happy Score

Estimates of personal well-being, taken from the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Population Survey (APS) (Oct  2019). Rating is from most (1) to least happy (69).

Sexy Score

Rankings of the sexiest places in the country according to the level of sexual activity. Research by sex toy seller Lovehoney’s sex map (July 2020). Rankings based on sales of sex toys from March to May 2019. Rating is from most (1) to least sexy (69).
 

Smart Score

The percentage of individuals in a population with a degree or equivalent. The number of individuals with a degree level qualification taken from the Office for National Statistics Highest Level of Qualification Achieved by People Living in UK Regions (Sept 2019). The total individuals in a population taken from Estimates of the Population for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (June 2020, also from ONS). Rating is from most (1) to least educated (69).

  

Cost of One Cinema Ticket, Meal for Two & Pint of Beer

All costs are taken from crowd-sourced data from Numbero (Aug 2020).

Average Salary

The median annual salary for a full-time worker, taken from the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (Oct 2019).

Average Rent & Rent as a Percentage of Salary

The average rent for a one-bed property according to Zoopla (Aug 2020). The rent as a percentage of salary took this value and divided by it by annual salary figures.
 

Overall Score

The overall score was determined by combining the scores on population attributes, affordability of a date and cost of living. These values were combined after weightings were applied to each group.