Best & Worst Cities For Singles

Amy Pritchett • May 2021

USA dating report

If you’re single and loving it or searching for your future partner in life, some cities might be better than others to find romance. US cities vary in the size of the dating pool, cost of living, and quality of life.

We have scientifically proven that Lincoln, Nebraska is the most single-friendly city in the United States, beating out other great cities across the US.

In our groundbreaking new study, the affordability, population attributes, 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 'Romance' Rank 'Population Attributes' Rank 'Quality of Life' Rank
1 Lincoln Nebraska 64.9 10 40 32 14
2 New Haven Connecticut 64.6 111 2 22 28
3 Buffalo New York 64.2 31 15 27 19
4 Lakeland Florida 61.7 32 72 30 8
5 Jacksonville Florida 61.6 45 66 34 5
6 Springfield Massachusetts 61.4 73 3 26 91
7 Kalamazoo Michigan 61.1 8 73 47 36
8 Albany New York 60.5 24 49 7 96
9 San Diego California 60.4 97 35 2 61
10 Ocala Florida 60 54 53 63 2
11 Boulder Colorado 59.9 105 41 3 54
12 Eugene Oregon 59.6 63 44 52 6
13 Santa Barbara California 59.5 133 80 1 16
14 Huntsville Alabama 59.4 1 67 127 4
15 Winston-Salem North Carolina 59 9 38 131 1
16 Hartford Connecticut 58.8 35 4 23 137
17 Santa Rosa California 58.6 126 75 6 18
18 Des Moines Iowa 58.4 23 19 76 67
19 Fresno California 57.6 144 1 43 72
20 Davenport Iowa 57.5 14 13 113 33
21 Syracuse New York 57.4 6 46 29 132
22 Lansing Michigan 57.2 13 63 66 70
23 Madison Wisconsin 56.8 19 23 56 115
24 Sacramento California 56.7 135 6 17 97
25 Melbourne Florida 56.7 67 58 37 40
26 Green Bay Wisconsin 56.7 5 5 111 114
27 Rochester New York 56.5 46 62 14 111
28 Augusta Georgia 56.5 70 36 57 32
29 Peoria Illinois 56.4 4 31 98 82
30 Visalia California 56.3 107 10 31 104
31 Baltimore Maryland 56.2 64 29 48 77
32 Trenton New Jersey 56.1 71 7 11 147
33 Ann Arbor Michigan 56.1 42 114 16 81
34 San Francisco California 55.3 112 59 5 99
35 Raleigh North Carolina 54.8 27 103 50 71
36 Salinas California 54.6 149 18 12 51
37 Albuquerque New Mexico 54.5 61 56 64 49
38 Tallahassee Florida 54.1 75 146 19 9
39 Grand Rapids Michigan 53.8 21 101 88 43
40 Pensacola Florida 53.6 121 54 62 12
41 Boston Massachusetts 53.5 131 42 8 110
42 Los Angeles California 53.5 142 48 4 101
43 Austin Texas 53.5 85 61 18 109
44 Greenville South Carolina 53.3 11 109 115 25
45 Harrisburg Pennsylvania 53.3 66 9 108 75
46 San Jose California 53.2 96 45 13 127
47 Fort Myers Florida 53.2 81 90 42 65
48 Greensboro North Carolina 53 17 85 93 73
49 Fayetteville North Carolina 52.9 30 24 123 60
50 Tuscon Arizona 52.9 103 34 39 92
51 Charlotte North Carolina 52.9 47 92 78 52
52 Wichita Kansas 52.6 28 84 119 13
53 Savannah Georgia 52.5 76 21 73 105
54 Spartanburg South Carolina 52.5 41 39 145 3
55 St. Louis Missouri 52.3 55 33 103 58
56 Spokane Washington 52.3 44 100 87 50
57 Oklahoma City Oklahoma 52.2 25 79 140 7
58 Dayton Ohio 52.2 2 94 124 83
59 El Paso Texas 52 110 25 58 98
60 Miami Florida 52 128 138 9 46
61 Fort Collins Colorado 51.9 114 51 20 106
62 Daytona Beach Florida 51.9 84 95 45 76
63 Chicago Illinois 51.7 91 17 36 140
64 Richmond Virginia 51.4 53 120 44 94
65 Reno Nevada 51.3 74 43 85 78
66 Beaumont Texas 51.2 99 22 95 68
67 Killeen Texas 51.1 86 16 128 29
68 Naples Florida 50.8 72 147 33 27
69 McAllen Texas 50.7 82 12 91 108
70 Virginia Beach Virginia 50.7 116 76 70 39
71 Lexington Kentucky 50.6 40 116 104 24
72 Springfield Missouri 50.3 29 30 147 26
73 Hickory North Carolina 50.1 7 11 149 117
74 Port St. Lucie Florida 50 113 139 28 45
75 Shreveport Louisiana 49.8 56 14 134 74
76 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 49.7 36 97 71 119
77 Minneapolis Maine 49.5 43 135 84 62
78 Birmingham Alabama 49.4 68 69 129 15
79 Columbia South Carolina 49.3 33 130 96 38
80 Cleveland Ohio 49.2 20 108 107 80
81 Detroit Michigan 49.2 22 32 90 143
82 Milwaukee Wisconsin 49.1 39 52 67 136
83 Manchester New Hampshire 48.9 92 98 74 79
84 South Bend Indiana 48.7 58 77 133 21
85 Stockton California 48.6 147 8 65 123
86 Portland Oregon 48.5 123 118 49 66
87 Lancaster Pennsylvania 48.5 79 127 97 17
88 Anchorage Alaska 48.5 127 88 77 44
89 Salt Lake City Utah 48.5 52 104 83 107
90 Rockford Illinois 48.4 62 20 110 118
91 Sarasota Florida 48.4 95 149 46 20
92 Corpus Christi Texas 48.3 118 47 89 64
93 Atlanta Georgia 48.3 78 89 53 125
94 Youngstown Ohio 48.2 37 27 144 89
95 Omaha Nebraska 48.1 101 68 80 93
96 Seattle Washington 48 137 129 41 56
97 Modesto California 48 148 37 61 63
98 Cincinnati Ohio 48 3 57 121 138
99 Houston Texas 47.9 90 86 68 112
100 Little Rock Arkansas 47.9 18 107 141 59
101 Vallejo California 47.8 143 83 40 88
102 Salisbury Maryland 47.8 141 28 82 90
103 Columbus Ohio 47.7 109 102 100 22
104 Scranton Pennsylvania 47.7 83 70 117 53
105 Orlando Florida 47.6 145 111 24 84
106 Tampa Florida 47.6 89 125 38 120
107 Colorado Springs Colorado 47.5 80 65 54 135
108 Honolulu Hawaii 47.5 150 134 15 37
109 Bakersfield California 47.4 139 26 69 116
110 Asheville North Carolina 47.2 125 113 79 47
111 Denver Colorado 47.1 108 115 25 128
112 Toledo Ohio 47 48 64 116 102
113 Charleston South Carolina 46.9 119 131 75 42
114 Fayetteville Arkansas 46.9 34 137 125 30
115 Washington DC 46.4 120 121 21 129
116 New York City New York 46.3 134 132 10 130
117 Fort Wayne Indiana 46.3 77 71 143 31
118 San Antonio Texas 46.1 104 142 51 86
119 Phoenix Arizona 46 87 60 35 148
120 Myrtle Beach South Carolina 45.9 94 87 130 35
121 Indianapolis Indiana 45.8 60 96 109 100
122 Gulfport Mississippi 45.6 49 55 148 57
123 Portland Maine 45.5 50 122 81 131
124 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 45.4 51 110 86 133
125 Boise Idaho 45.4 57 144 92 69
126 Providence Rhode Island 45.4 115 128 60 95
127 Huntington West Virginia 45.1 16 140 150 10
128 Jackson Mississippi 45.1 132 74 118 34
129 Kansas City Missouri 45.1 106 124 106 41
130 Baton Rouge Louisiana 44.9 88 91 114 85
131 Lafayette Louisiana 44.8 69 105 137 55
132 Chattanooga Tennessee 44.7 59 143 138 11
133 Flint Michigan 44.5 12 78 120 146
134 Knoxville Tennessee 44 15 136 132 103
135 Salem Oregon 43.9 124 123 102 48
136 Dallas-Fort Worth Texas 43.6 129 112 55 126
137 Tulsa Oklahoma 43.5 98 93 146 23
138 Montgomery Alabama 41.7 122 50 139 87
139 Reading Pennsylvania 40.9 38 126 135 124
140 York Pennsylvania 40.1 26 99 136 144
141 Brownsville Texas 38.9 140 119 99 113
142 New Orleans Louisiana 37.5 138 82 112 142
143 Louisville Kentucky 37.1 65 145 126 122
144 Las Vegas Nevada 37 146 117 72 145
145 Allentown Pennsylvania 36.4 117 81 101 149
146 Mobile Alabama 36.4 93 106 142 141
147 San Juan Puerto Rico 36.1 130 133 59 150
148 Memphis Tennessee 35.9 100 141 122 134
149 Worcester Maine 34.7 102 148 105 139
150 Nashville Tennessee 32.3 136 150 94 121

Best City vs Worst City

Highest % of singles

  1. Tallahassee, Florida
  2. Springfield, Massachusetts
  3. New Orleans, Louisiana
  4. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  5. Augusta, Georgia

Lowest % of singles

  1. Naples, Florida
  2. Salt Lake City, Utah
  3. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
dating app market statistics

Highest population diversity

  1. California
  2. New Jersey
  3. New York
  4. Florida
  5. Nevada

Lowest population diversity

  1. West Virginia
  2. Mississippi
  3. Alabama
  4. Maine
  5. Louisiana
population diversity

Highest educational attainment

  1. Boulder, Colorado
  2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  3. San Jose, California
  4. Washington, DC
  5. San Francisco, California

Lowest educational attainment

  1. Visalia, California
  2. Modesto, California
  3. Brownsville, Texas
  4. Bakersfield, California
  5. McAllen, Texas
education reading

Highest wellbeing

  1. Boulder, Colorado
  2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  3. San Jose, California
  4. Washington, DC
  5. San Francisco, California

Lowest wellbeing

  1. Hickory, North Carolina
  2. Gulfport, Mississippi
  3. South Bend, Indiana
  4. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  5. Flint, Michigan
wellbeing

Highest life expectancy

  1. Hawaii
  2. California
  3. New York
  4. Connecticut
  5. Colorado

Lowest life expectancy

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Tennessee
  3. Louisiana
  4. Ohio
  5. Indiana
life expectancy

Highest marriage rate

  1. Reno, Nevada
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Honolulu, Hawaii
  4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  5. Little Rock, Arkansas

Lowest marriage rate

  1. McAllen, Texas
  2. El Paso, Texas
  3. Killeen, Texas
  4. Beaumont, Texas
  5. Corpus Christi, Texas
marriage rate

Highest sexual activity

  1. Jackson, Mississippi
  2. Anchorage, Alaska
  3. Salisbury, Maryland
  4. Baltimore, Maryland
  5. New Haven, Connecticut

Lowest sexual activity

  1. Huntington, West Virginia
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Portland, Maine
  4. Minneapolis, Maine
  5. Worcester, Maine
sexual activity

Best LGBTQ euality laws

Maine, Oregon, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, New Jersey, Nevada, Colorado, California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, DC

*All these states are ‘Working Toward Innovative Equality’ according to the State Equality INdex (SEI) from the Equality Federation and HRC.

Worst LGBTQ equality laws

West Virginia, Idaho, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Tennessee, Nebraska, Michigan, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, Alaska

*All these states are ‘High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality’ according to the State Equality INdex (SEI) from the Equality Federation and HRC.

LGBTQ

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
bottle of wine

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
meal for two

Best weather conditions

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. San Diego, California
  3. Santa Barbara, California
  4. San Jose, California
  5. Los Angeles, California

Worst weather conditions

  1. Anchorage, Alaska
  2. Green Bay, Wisconsin
  3. Mobile, Alabama
  4. Minneapolis, Maine
  5. Colorado Springs, Colorado
good weather

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 train

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
crime rate

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 gas

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 2

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
utilities electricity

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
employment

Lowest median monthly rent

  1. Youngstown, Ohio
  2. Hickory, North Carolina
  3. Brownsville, Texas
  4. Huntington, West Virginia
  5. McAllen, Texas

Highest median monthly rent

  1. San Jose,California
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Honolulu, Hawaii
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Santa Barbara, California
rent house

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
home price

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

Ask the Experts

Dr. Charles T. Hill
Dr. Charles T. Hill

Professor of Psychology at Whittier College

You need to have something in common with a potential partner, in order to have things to talk about and things to do together. So you look for a city that has readily available the kinds of activities that you enjoy, where you could meet potential partners and engage in activities with them. Do they have recreation facilities, cultural activities, dance clubs, or other places where you would enjoy meeting or going with a partner? –  Dr. Charles T. Hill

Half of dating partners are introduced by someone else, typically friends. This is usually in a casual manner not necessarily setting up a date. So go places and do things where you are likely to find new friends, who can introduce you to others in their networks. You are more likely to have values and attitudes in common with potential partners met through friends, than people met in a bar whom you have less reason to trust. -Dr. Charles T. Hill

Try to join LGBT organizations to meet potential partners and to find friends who could introduce you to others in their networks.  This will provide a support network where you are accepted, and avoid hostile reactions if your attempts to approach a potential partner are not welcome. – Dr. Charles T. Hill

The factors that predict relationship satisfaction and commitment are described in my book, Hill, C. T. (2019). Intimate Relationships across cultures: A Comparative study. New York: Cambridge University Press.

The most important factors are:

  1. Partner Suitability, which includes being similar on personality and having approval of the relationship by parents and friends.
  2. Intimacy Dimensions of love, disclosure, sexual satisfaction, and trust.
  3. Exchange Processes of gaining benefits from the relationship, equal involvement in the relationship, equal power, and feeling invested in the relationship.
  4. Conflict Resolution in positive ways such as discussing problems, rather that reacting in negative ways that escalate the conflict.

These same factors are important in eight relationship types (women or men in opposite-sex or same-sex relationships unmarried or married), and across nine cultural regions around the world. – Dr. Charles T. Hill

Go places and engage in activities not only where you are likely to meet potential partners, but also friends who can introduce you to others in their networks.

You are more likely to have values and interests in common with partners met through activities you enjoy, or met through friends. Partners approved by parents and friends are also likely to be more compatible.

When you marry someone you are marrying into their family and network of friends, and their disapproval creates problems. But sometimes conflicting values and prejudices of parents makes this unavoidable, especially if you are LGBT and your parents are unaccepting. – Dr. Charles T. Hill

There are many places to go and things to do that are free. If you cannot find inexpensive or free things that both you and a potential partner enjoy, look for another partner. Conflicts over money are a major cause of relationship dissatisfaction. – Dr. Charles T. Hill

Create affordable housing, where singles can either live alone or with roommates. Create recreational and cultural places and activities where singles can afford to meet potential partners and join friendship networks. – Dr. Charles T. Hill

Methodology

In order to determine the best cities for singles, MyDatingAdviser.com compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across four key dimensions: 1) Population Attributes, 2) Romance, 3) Quality of Life, and 4) Affordability.

We evaluated each of those dimensions using 20 relevant metrics. These are listed below with their corresponding weights. The metrics were combined to create 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.

Population Attributes – Total Points: 25

  • Share of single adults: Full Weight (~5 Points) Note: This metric measures the percentage of the population that is unmarried from the U.S. Census. American Community Survey.
  • Population diversity: Full Weight (~5 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the percentage of foreign-born residents on a state level from the U.S. Census. American Community Survey.
  • Educational Attainment: Full Weight (~5 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher from the U.S. Census, American Community Survey.
  • Wellbeing: Full Weight (~5 Points)
    Note: The composite score from the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index (which analyzes resident satisfaction in the following areas: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical) as a representation of whether residents of each metro area are generally happy with their day-to-day lives.
  • Life Expectancy: Full Weight (~5 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the average life expectancy on a state level, based on reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and National Center for Health Statistics.

Romance – Total Points – 25

  • Marriage Rates (~5 Points) Note: This metric measures marriage rates in the U.S. by thousand people, by state 2019 from the U.S. Census, American Community Survey.
  • Sexual activity: Full Weight (~5 Points) Note: This metric measures the Promiscuity Index Score on a state level from a study by BestLifeOnline. This is based on STDs per 100,000 people, active Ashley Madison users per 100,000 people, sexually active high schoolers per 100,000 people, and median household income.
  • LGBT Dating (~5 Points) Note: This metric measures statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people based on the State Equality Index (SEI) from the Equality Federation and HRC.
  • Bottle of wine: Full Weight (~5 Points) Note: This metric measures one bottle of mid-range wine.
  • Dining: Full Weight (~5 Points) Note: This metric measures a meal for 2 people, mid-range restaurant, three-course.

Quality of Life – Total Points – 25

  • Weather: Full Weight (~5 Points) Note: This metric measures the climate likeability of a given city using Weather Underground data. An ideal climate is defined as having moderate temperatures, low humidity, and no major weather conditions.
  • Commute: Full Weight (~5 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 (~5 Points) 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 (~5 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 (~5 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: 25

  • Utilities (Monthly): Full Weight (~5 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 (~5 Points) 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 monthly rent (~5 Points) Note: To determine the housing cost for renters, we collected the median gross rent of each metro area, which includes utilities if paid by renters.
  • Median home price (~5 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 (~5 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, Robert Wood Foundation’s ‘Life Expectancy by Zip Code’ based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Promiscuity Index from BestLifeOnline, State Equality Index (SEI) from the Equality Federation, and HRC, Numbeo and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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