Best and Worst Cities for Singles in America

Released July 2020

Getting tired of hearing “It’s not you, it’s me,”? Well, what if the real reason you may be struggling to find love is that it’s not you, but it’s the city you live in. We’ve read countless articles and claims that this city or that city is the best place for singles in the U.S. But instead of just blindly believing the claims, we decided to get to the bottom of it.

Here’s what our research team looked at:

  • Studied the 100 largest cities by population in the United States
  • Analyzed each city on 36 different data points
  • Aggregated scores and rankings into 3 main scoring categories
  • Ranked the cities from best to worst
Group Of Friends Enjoying Drink And Snack In Rooftop Bar

Table of Contents


Brief Methodology

Scoring Category 1 – The Dating Pool (40% of total score)

icons of the dating pool for singles
  • % of the population that is single (40% weight)
  • % of high school graduates (12% weight)
  • Diversity of male and female population (10% weight)
  • % with access to the internet from home (10% weight)
  • Google search trends for singles (10% weight)
  • Prevalence of STDs (13% weight)

Scoring Category 2 – The Cost of Dating (30% of total score)

Icons of different costs associated with dating
  • Cost of Living Index (25% weight)
  • Average cost of dining out (15% weight)
  • Average cost of movie tickets (15% weight)
  • Average cost of cocktail out (15% weight)
  • Average cost of a Lyft ride (15% weight)
  • Average cost of a gym membership (15% weight)

Scoring Category 3 – Dating Amenities and Safety (30% of total score)

Icons of dating amenities
  • Total number of entertainment locations (35% weight)
  • Food and bar service locations (20% weight)
  • Crime Statistical Index (20% weight)
  • Park Score Index (10% weight)
  • Waiters per/1000 jobs (7.5% weight)
  • Bartenders per/1000 jobs (7.5% weight)

Sources: Census.gov, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), The Center for Disease Control (CDC) City-Data.com, Google Analytics, Expatistan, PayScale.com, EstimateFares, The Trust for Public Land (TPL)


The Best Cities for Singles – Research Findings

1. Minneapolis, Minnesota

 minneapolis skyline during autumn at sunset from plymouth, minnesota

Key Findings About Dating in Minneapolis

  • 63% of the women in the city are single (unmarried).
  • 65% of the men in the city are single (unmarried).
  • The average price of a 10-mile Lyft ride is $11.57.
  • The city has 1,877 entertainment locations.
  • 81.60% of people have at least a high school education.

Minneapolis, Minnesota stole the trophy for the best city for singles in the United States. The city took 1st place overall in the Dating Pool Score Category, which helped to propel its overall score upwards. The score for Amenities was barely top 20 (20th), and Cost of Dating ranking was slightly above average at 38th. It’s no secret that the city with just under 2/3 of the population unmarried is one of the hottest locations for singles.

CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score81.711
Cost of Dating Score72.1038
Amenities Score69.2520
Total Score75.091

Additional Resources


2. Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA skyline on the river at dusk.

Key Findings About Dating in Cincinnati

  • Residents have access to 6,891 acres of parks within the city limits.
  • The average price of a 10-mile Lyft ride is $12.49.
  • The average price of a cappuccino in Cincinnati is $5.06.
  • 75.30% of residents have access to the internet from home.
  • 70% of women in the city are single (unmarried).

Cincinnati, Ohio takes the silver medal for the best cities for singles in the entire United States. While the city didn’t break the top 10 in any individual categories, strong showings across the board were still good enough for a second place finish.

CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score73.9611
Cost of Dating Score85.9514
Amenities Score63.7031
Total Score74.492

Additional Resources


3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A night scene of downtown pittsburgh from north shore.

Key Findings About Dating in Pittsburgh

  • 92.40% of people in the city have at least a high school diploma
  • There are 1,042 entertainment spots in Pittsburgh.
  • 52% of the population is female.
  • 69% of the females in the city are single (unmarried).
  • 66% of the men in the city are single (unmarried).

Pittsburgh came out super strong in the Dating Pool Category, which carries the most weight in the study. With almost 70% of the women unmarried, Pittsburgh ranked 11th for that stat alone. The city was slightly below average when it came to the cost of dating, but made up for it with the options available for daters. If you want to grab a drink with that new special someone, the city has 5,385 drinking establishments ready to serve you the cocktail of your choice.

CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score73.994
Cost of Dating Score85.9545
Amenities Score71.9015
Total Score73.963

Additional Resources:


4. Atlanta, Georgia

The city of Atlanta with Buckhead in the background

Key Findings About Dating in Atlanta

  • The population of Atlanta is 506,811 strong.
  • The Cost of Living Index is 1% below the national average.
  • 90.30% of the population in Atlanta has at least a high school degree.
  • 51% of the population is female.
  • There are 11,672 drinking establishments in the city.

HOT-lanta didn’t just get its nickname for the balmy weather and hot temperatures. While those surely contributed, the real reason was for the blazing singles scene in the city. If you want to take that new prospect for a walk outside (when it’s not too hot), the city has just under 5,000 acres of park space within the city limits. And if you need to catch a ride because you’re planning on tossing back a few cervezas, the average for a 10-mile Lyft ride in the city is $12.89 (not counting surge pricing or waiting in traffic).

CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score74.869
Cost of Dating Score68.9542
Amenities Score75.7311
Total Score73.354

Additional Resources


5. St. Paul, Minnesota

Downtown of st. paul, mn early in the morning

Key Findings About Dating in St. Paul

  • 62% of the men and women in the city of St. Paul are single (unmarried).
  • There are more females than men in the city (51% to 49%).
  • The city has 1,877 entertainment venues you can use for dates.
  • There are 6,763 restaurants if grabbing a meal is more your style.
  • 86.30% of the people in St. Paul have at least a high school education.

Whoa! Slow down there, Minnesota. This is the second time we’ve seen the state on our list of the best cities for singles, and we’re not even out of the top five. Unlike Minneapolis that stole the show in one category and did okay elsewhere, St. Paul had a good showing across the board. The biggest jump to the total score came from the Amenities and Safety category with a top 10 showing.

CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score69.2321
Cost of Dating Score72.1039
Amenities Score75.9010
Total Score72.095

Additional Resources:


6. Boise, Idaho

Downtown city center of Boise Idaho framed by Schafer Butte

Key Details About Dating in Boise

  • 94.90% of people have at least a high school degree (3rd highest).
  • There are 293 entertainment establishments in the city.
  • The Cost of Living Index in Boise is 8% below the national average.
  • The percentage of homes with internet access is 80%.
  • The population is an even split of females to males.
CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score64.9435
Cost of Dating Score90.307
Amenities Score61.9036
Total Score71.636

Additional Resources:


7. Columbus, Ohio

View of downtown Columbus Ohio Skyline at twilight

Key Details About Dating in Columbus

  • There are 15,155 acres of parks within the city limits.
  • The Cost of Living Index is 10% below the national average.
  • The average cost of two movie tickets is $21.
  • 63% of women in Columbus are single (unmarried).
  • 61% of men in the city are single (unmarried).
CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score78.196
Cost of Dating Score84.8515
Amenities Score46.8059
Total Score70.777

Additional Resources


8. Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia, USA downtown city skyline.

Key Details About Dating in Richmond

  • The Cost of Living Index in Richmond is 4% below the national average.
  • The average price of a cocktail downtown is $10.
  • 73% of homes in Richmond have internet access.
  • 85% of residents have at least a high school diploma.
  • 53% of the population is female.
CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score66.8628
Cost of Dating Score78.4525
Amenities Score67.0825
Total Score70.408

Additional Resources


9. Arlington, Texas

A flag of Texas with a grunge texture

Key Details About Dating in Arlington

  • 52% of the 398,854 people in Arlington are single (unmarried).
  • There are 4,714 acres of parks accessible within the city limits.
  • The average price of a cappuccino is $4.08.
  • 82.40% of homes have internet access.
  • 49% of the population is male.
CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score45.7678
Cost of Dating Score88.009
Amenities Score81.934
Total Score69.289

Additional Resources


10. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown city skyline.

Key Details About Dating in Raleigh

  • There are 13,619 acres of parks that you can use withing the city limits.
  • The Cost of Living Index is 5% below the national average.
  • The average cost of a fancy dinner out is $68.
  • 91.70% of people have at least a high school education (15th).
  • There are 2,667 food and drinking establishments in Raleigh.
CategoryScoreRank
Dating Pool Score68.1023
Cost of Dating Score77.6528
Amenities Score61.7337
Total Score69.0510

Additional Resources


Full Table of Results – The Best Cities for Singles

Data was accumulated for the 100 largest cities in the United States based on population. If a city had too few of data points, it was removed from the study. The final rankings are for 90 major US cities.

RankCityStateDating PoolCost of DatingAmenities
1MinneapolisMinnesota81.7172.1069.25
2CincinnatiOhio73.9985.9563.70
3PittsburghPennsylvania79.5968.5071.90
4AtlantaGeorgia74.8668.9575.73
5St. PaulMinnesota69.2372.1075.90
6BoiseIdaho64.9490.3061.90
7ColumbusOhio78.1984.8546.80
8RichmondVirginia66.8678.4567.08
9ArlingtonTexas45.7588.0081.93
10RaleighNorth Carolina68.1177.6561.73
11NorfolkVirginia68.0065.3573.38
12MilwaukeeWisconsin79.7780.5042.28
13ClevelandOhio73.3178.4052.48
14TampaFlorida64.8768.8073.00
15St. PetersburgFlorida65.0360.1077.83
16BuffaloNew York60.6587.0053.78
17St. LouisMissouri73.3558.7564.05
18ScottsdaleArizona54.9863.2083.60
19LincolnNebraska67.2973.1556.58
20RiversideCalifornia55.1773.9070.93
21MadisonWisconsin80.9958.9050.93
22OrlandoFlorida68.3558.4567.43
23ToledoOhio72.5582.0037.43
24MiamiFlorida69.2745.3578.35
25GreensboroNorth Carolina50.8998.3049.25
26TulsaOklahoma58.5497.2039.48
27PortlandOregon74.8554.9558.10
28DenverColorado77.5649.9059.43
29BostonMassachusetts77.8531.5577.30
30DetroitMichigan69.9763.7055.10
31TucsonArizona71.4284.4030.90
32SpokaneWashington69.3776.0541.88
33Virginia BeachVirginia54.8465.3570.28
34Winston-SalemNorth Carolina49.5598.3044.28
35MemphisTennessee66.3093.4526.65
36LexingtonKentucky60.6083.5543.40
37AlbuquerqueNew Mexico67.1383.2033.45
38CharlotteNorth Carolina55.3180.2051.93
39DallasTexas58.5967.3560.33
40ChicagoIllinois70.4158.6053.08
41Fort WorthTexas49.8369.4568.58
42JacksonvilleFlorida58.2988.0038.43
43MesaArizona45.2474.2069.10
44Long BeachCalifornia57.9545.6580.40
45Fort WayneIndiana54.7587.6040.93
46AustinTexas71.6150.9554.85
47IndianapolisIndiana65.2173.2040.73
48Jersey CityNew Jersey56.9041.5082.60
49RenoNevada66.7762.5048.20
50LubbockTexas62.8986.1029.28
51NashvilleTennessee59.5257.4062.05
52OmahaNebraska65.4566.0045.48
53Colorado SpringsColorado60.2880.9537.30
54Kansas CityMissouri58.6167.4052.10
55WichitaKansas54.8291.6531.45
56PlanoTexas45.3365.3570.13
57Oklahoma CityOklahoma52.0488.5535.43
58El PasoTexas44.1596.2537.93
59PhoenixArizona59.3868.6544.90
60AuroraColorado53.3451.4069.43
61SacramentoCalifornia58.2154.4559.70
62SeattleWashington78.6323.8562.95
63HendersonNevada42.0956.0579.08
64San AntonioTexas56.0782.9032.35
65DurhamNorth Carolina54.4774.6042.70
66Las VegasNevada52.7558.1559.93
67NewarkNew Jersey35.3466.0574.75
68WashingtonD.O.C66.3734.6563.75
69HoustonTexas56.9171.8539.10
70New OrleansLouisiana60.4552.6553.38
71BaltimoreMaryland64.4849.2051.33
72LouisvilleKentucky52.9475.6040.18
73ChandlerArizona43.9665.2062.05
74San DiegoCalifornia61.1144.1058.98
75Los AngelesCalifornia62.8933.8066.85
76AnaheimCalifornia35.1953.6582.45
77FresnoCalifornia54.3576.3032.78
78San FranciscoCalifornia67.7522.9066.85
79IrvingTexas36.4166.8563.13
80OaklandCalifornia54.6737.9067.50
81BakersfieldCalifornia49.2978.1033.90
82Baton RougeLouisiana63.3746.0542.38
83PhiladelphiaPennsylvania52.3145.7555.55
84StocktonCalifornia44.8182.3527.78
85Corpus ChristiTexas46.6973.3032.88
86HonoluluHawaii55.7537.3556.28
87LaredoTexas37.8961.7536.63
88AnchorageAlaska58.4032.5530.45
89New York CityNew York39.2320.3064.13
90San JoseCalifornia42.1333.7546.40

Additional Interesting Findings

office businessman french bulldog dog with pen or pencil in mouth isolated on white background

While the main goal of the data study was to find the best cities for singles (and the worst), we also found a lot of other interesting data along the way. Here are some of the things our stats nerds just had to share.

As much as we wish the above pictures was a real shot of our stats team, it’s not.

Cities with the Highest Percentage of Single Men

Winner: Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio, USA skyline on the river.
RankCityState% Men Single
1ClevelandOhio73.00%
2DetroitMichigan73.00%
3RichmondVirginia72.00%
4BaltimoreMaryland68.00%
5CincinnatiOhio68.00%
6AtlantaGeorgia67.00%
7MilwaukeeWisconsin67.00%
8WashingtonDistrict of Columbia67.00%
9PittsburghPennsylvania66.00%
10BostonMassachusetts65.00%

Cities with the Highest Percentage of Single Women

Winner: Detroit, Michigan

A view of Detroit skyline at sunset with dramatic HDR effect
RankCityState% Women Single
1DetroitMichigan75.00%
2RichmondVirginia73.00%
3ClevelandOhio72.00%
4WashingtonDistrict of Columbia72.00%
5BaltimoreMaryland70.00%
6CincinnatiOhio70.00%
7AtlantaGeorgia70.00%
8MilwaukeeWisconsin69.00%
9PittsburghPennsylvania69.00%
10New OrleansLouisiana69.00%

Cities with the Most Entertainment Establishments

Winner: Los Angeles, California

Downtown Los Angeles skyline at sunset with palm trees in the foreground
RankCityState# of Establishments
1Los AngelesCalifornia19087
2New York CityNew York13334
3ChicagoIllinois4000
4MiamiFlorida3207
5BostonMassachusetts2603
6PhiladelphiaPennsylvania2484
7AtlantaGeorgia2433
8WashingtonDistrict of Columbia2294
9San FranciscoCalifornia2271
10DallasTexas2216

States with the Lowest Prevalence of STDs

Winner: Wyoming

Single bison stands against backdrop of mountains on Grand Loop Road of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
RankState
1Wyoming
2New Hampshire
3Vermont
4Idaho
5Maine
6Montana
7West Virginia
8Utah
9Nebraska
10Iowa

Data looked at instances of AIDS diagnoses, Chlymidia, Early Latent Syphilis, Gonorrhea, HIV Diagnosis, and Primary and Secondary Syphilis per 100,000 residents.


States with the Highest Prevalence of STDs

Winner: District of Columbia

Washington, D.C. city skyline at twilight
RankState
1District of Columbia
2Louisiana
3Mississippi
4Georgia
5Nevada
6South Carolina
7New York
8California
9Alabama
10Maryland

Data looked at instances of AIDS diagnoses, Chlymidia, Early Latent Syphilis, Gonorrhea, HIV Diagnosis, and Primary and Secondary Syphilis per 100,000 residents.


Average Cost of a 10-Mile Lyft Ride By City

Winner (Least Expensive): Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline.
RankCityStateAverage Rate
1GreensboroNorth Carolina$11.10
2Winston-SalemNorth Carolina$11.10
3RaleighNorth Carolina$11.35
4DurhamNorth Carolina$11.35
5MinneapolisMinnesota$11.57
6St. PaulMinnesota$11.57
7ChicagoIllinois$11.74
8JacksonvilleFlorida$11.80
9DallasTexas$11.85
10Fort WorthTexas$11.85
11ArlingtonTexas$11.85
12IrvingTexas$11.85
13PlanoTexas$11.85
14Oklahoma CityOklahoma$11.88
15HoustonTexas$11.90
16StocktonCalifornia$11.95
17PhoenixArizona$11.97
18MesaArizona$11.97
19ScottsdaleArizona$11.97
20ChandlerArizona$11.97
21WashingtonDistrict of Columbia$12.13
22San DiegoCalifornia$12.15
23SacramentoCalifornia$12.16
24MemphisTennessee$12.25
25ToledoOhio$12.38
26BuffaloNew York$12.44
27ClevelandOhio$12.46
28CincinnatiOhio$12.49
29MiamiFlorida$12.51
30OrlandoFlorida$12.55
31TulsaOklahoma$12.55
32DenverColorado$12.56
33AuroraColorado$12.56
34CharlotteNorth Carolina$12.57
35FresnoCalifornia$12.60
36PittsburghPennsylvania$12.63
37IndianapolisIndiana$12.69
38AtlantaGeorgia$12.89
39San AntonioTexas$13.02
40NashvilleTennessee$13.09
41Las VegasNevada$13.11
42HendersonNevada$13.11
43AlbuquerqueNew Mexico$13.12
44Colorado SpringsColorado$13.15
45NorfolkVirginia$13.19
46Virginia BeachVirginia$13.19
47BakersfieldCalifornia$13.21
48BaltimoreMaryland$13.25
49El PasoTexas$13.30
50RichmondVirginia$13.31
51TucsonArizona$13.35
52OmahaNebraska$13.36
53Long BeachCalifornia$13.50
54Los AngelesCalifornia$13.50
55AnaheimCalifornia$13.50
56RiversideCalifornia$13.50
57AustinTexas$13.59
58Jersey CityNew Jersey$13.71
59NewarkNew Jersey$13.71
60BostonMassachusetts$13.73
61Fort WayneIndiana$13.80
62PhiladelphiaPennsylvania$13.81
63DetroitMichigan$13.90
64Lexington-FayetteKentucky$13.92
65Kansas CityMissouri$13.98
66PortlandOregon$14.14
67OaklandCalifornia$14.24
68San FranciscoCalifornia$14.24
69San JoseCalifornia$14.24
70St. PetersburgFlorida$14.32
71TampaFlorida$14.32
72New OrleansLouisiana$14.45
73LouisvilleKentucky$14.70
74New York CityNew York$14.80
75LaredoTexas$14.92
76LubbockTexas$15.03
77Baton RougeLouisiana$15.46
78Corpus ChristiTexas$15.65
79ColumbusOhio$15.72
80MadisonWisconsin$15.76
81BoiseIdaho$15.76
82WichitaKansas$15.77
83MilwaukeeWisconsin$15.94
84LincolnNebraska$16.20
85RenoNevada$16.50
86St. LouisMissouri$17.10
87SpokaneWashington$17.66
88HonoluluHawaii$19.40
89SeattleWashington$19.53
90AnchorageAlaska$20.58

Data comes from EstimateFares. The company is not affiliated with Lyft directly. Please consult Lyft for actual rates in your area for your ride. Rate estimates include base fare, service fee, and mileage charge.


Complete Methodology and Sources

  • The study consisted of the 100 largest cities in the United States by population.
  • If a city failed to have sufficient data points, it was removed from the study. 10 cities were removed leaving a total of 90.
  • In some instances, state data or data from a neighboring town was used when data was not available. Replacement was done at the discretion of the review team.
  • Raw data was ranked from best to worst and an appropriate ranking number was given to each city. Ranking numbers were used to calculate category scores.
  • In instances of no appropriate data, a neutral placeholder was put in place for the data point. Again, if too many data points were unavailable, the city was removed from the study.

Scoring Categories

Scoring Category 1 – The Dating Pool (40% of total score)

This category aimed to capture the availability and quality of the dating pool in a particular geographical area. Extensive weight was placed on the number of the population that is single. The remaining data points looked for education, diversity, access to online dating, search trends, and sexually transmitted disease prevalence.

  • % of the population that is single (40% weight)
  • % of high school graduates (12% weight)
  • Diversity of male and female population (10% weight)
  • % with access to the internet from home (10% weight)
  • Google search trends for singles (10% weight)
    • Search volume for “City singles” and “City dating sites” was researched
  • Prevalence of STDs (13% weight)
    • AIDS diagnoses instances per 100,000 people
    • Chlymidia instances per 100,000 people
    • Early Latent Syphilis instances per 100,000 people
    • Gonorrhea instances per 100,000 people
    • HIV Diagnosis instances per 100,000 people
    • Primary and Secondary Syphilis instances per 100,000 people

Scoring Category 2 – The Cost of Dating (30% of total score)

This category aimed to look at the cost of dating in a specific geographical area. While salaries may compensate for some more expensive areas, it’s our belief that the best cities for singles have affordable dating options.

  • Cost of Living Index (25% weight)
  • Average cost of dining out (15% weight)
  • Average cost of movie tickets (15% weight)
  • Average cost of cocktail out (15% weight)
  • Average cost of a Lyft ride (15% weight)
  • Average cost of a gym membership (15% weight)

Scoring Category 3 – Dating Amenities and Safety (30% of total score)

This category looks at the available amenities that can be used for dates. Additionally, this category looks at the safety of dating in the area. In some areas, extra weight was given for the availability of entertainment and food venues in closely neighboring towns.

  • Total number of entertainment locations (35% weight)
  • Food and bar service locations (20% weight)
  • Crime Statistical Index (20% weight)
  • Park Score Index (10% weight)
    • Population within a 10-minute walk to a park
    • % population within a 10-minute walk to a park
    • Spending per resident
    • Basketball hoops per 10,000 residents
    • Dog parks per 100,000 residents
    • Playgrounds per 10,000 residents
    • Recreation and senior centers per 20,000 residents
    • Restrooms per 10,000 residents
    • Splashpads per 100,000 residents
  • Waiters per/1000 jobs (7.5% weight)
  • Bartenders per/1000 jobs (7.5% weight)

Sources

Census.gov, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), The Center for Disease Control (CDC) City-Data.com, Google Analytics, Expatistan, PayScale.com, EstimateFares, The Trust for Public Land (TPL)

For study inquiries, please contact [email protected]