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Ready for love? These are the best and worst US cities for singles

Where you live can have a big impact on your love life, according to WalletHub's new report on America's best and worst cities for singles.
Ready for love? These are the best and worst US cities for singles
Posted at 5:38 PM, Dec 05, 2023

It's not you; it's your city.

Finding love is typically a tough mission on its own, but the place you live might not be making it any easier, according to a new report from personal finance website WalletHub.

The U.S. Census Bureau says 47% of the U.S. adult population are unmarried, meaning either never married, divorced or widowed. Plus, it says 57% of single adults aren't even interested in dating, making the outlook even more bleak. 

But WalletHub's report compared more than 182 cities across 35 key indicators of dating-friendliness to discover the best and worst places for America's single-and-ready-to-mingle crowd. This includes the amount of the population that is actually single, the number of online dating opportunities in the area, the average price for a two-person meal and more.

"If a city has a high population of singles and is packed with activities that you'll enjoy, then you'll have a better chance to meet someone with similar interests and can go on higher-quality dates," said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub analyst. "In the current economy, a city that minimizes costs through inexpensive restaurants and venues, plus free things to do, is especially attractive."

So if you'd like to prioritize the prospect of a love life over where you're laying your head at night, here's where WalletHub says you should go.

Source: WalletHub

The best U.S. city for singles is …

Seattle, Washington, was crowned the best overall city for singles

The Northwestern hub is one of the nation's fastest-growing large cities, and with the larger crowd comes a wider array of options for date chatter, including its bustling restaurants, music scene and social clubs. And you can't forget its attractions, like the Space Needle or Pike Place Market.

Plus, Seattle scored well on the Community Well-Being Index, which measures points like public health, transportation, access to food and other resources.

WalletHub also notes it's a great place to meet a partner with a healthy wallet, as the tech-hub city draws in the brains and offers one of the country's highest median annual household incomes in return at $70,308.

On the downside, it's far from the cheapest city, with all those activities costing more than they would in many other American cities.

Which cities almost nabbed the gold

Coming in second place is — believe it or not — Sin City.

Las Vegas' diverse nightlife, music festival lineups and other activities helped bump it up the list, as it has the fifth-most attractions overall. It also has a pretty low crime rate compared to other cities, and, surprisingly, the average cost for a beer and the price of a movie ticket are some of the lowest in the country. 

And hey, if it's love at first sight, you can even head right to Elvis to get hitched.

Taking home third is Denver, Colorado.

This one is particularly good for those looking for a gym buddy, as the city is known for its mountainous terrain that offers tons of ways to stay in shape. There's also its walkability and a large number of parks and fitness centers, WalletHub notes.

But even if you don't like the high-altitude air, there's always online dating. More than 90% of Denver's population has an internet connection and a smartphone, and where there's smoke, there's fire — at least when it comes to dating apps.

Taking home fourth and fifth were Atlanta and Austin, respectively.

SEE MORE: Viral list of unacceptable first dates sparks heated debate online

Where are the worst cities for singles?

The bottom five worst cities for singles according to WalletHub's ranking are Pearl City, Hawaii; Glendale, California; Brownsville, Texas; Warwick, Rhode Island; and in dead last overall, Columbia, Maryland.

These cities scored low on the report's metrics, with the middle three cities taking the bottom three spots for dating opportunities. 

How the nation's biggest cities ranked

When discussing the dating pool of big cities, there's often a divide between those who believe the larger population can bring more opportunities and those who think the exact opposite. 

So where did America's largest cities rank?

Though New York is a destination for favorite rom-coms, the real story isn't much aligned with fiction. It came in No. 144 on average and ranked dead last in economic rankings. 

On the opposite end of the country, the nation's second-largest city didn't rank too far down the list. Los Angeles came in at No. 29, though it also didn't rank very high in the economic department, coming in at No. 176.

Just ahead, the third-largest city in the U.S., Chicago, came in at No. 22. But, you guessed it, it also ranked low in economic draw at No. 168.

Next up in population is Houston. It came in at No. 60 overall, with a slightly better economy factor at No. 144.

And last up in the nation's top five, Phoenix at No. 26. Its economic draw came in at a high No. 77, with its recreation and dating opportunity rankings in the top 40, too.

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