Best & Worst Cities For Singles

MyDatingAdviser • 2023

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

[supsystic-tables id=5]

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

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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