Here Are the Best States for Singles
Whether or not dating apps have made it easier to find a mate is still up for debate, the fact is that some states are better for singles than others. The top 20 states for singles compiled by WalletHub take into account 28 indicators of dating-friendliness across three principal categories: dating opportunities, dating economics, and romance and fun.
We included key takeaways from their report and additional factors that make dating in these 20 states special. So, if you’re single, check out where your state lines up — or you may want to think about moving.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 19
Dating Economics Rank: 44
Romance and Fun Rank: 10
Oregon is known as the Pacific Wonderland because of its numerous natural beauties, including the nation's deepest lake, Crater Lake. Plus, mushroom foraging is so popular here that the state has its own annual mushroom festival, and Portland has the most bicyclists per capita of any city in the country.
Portland was ranked as the No. 4 city in WalletHub's ranking of best cities for singles across the U.S., while Salem came in at No. 74. With so many things to do indoors and out, the state ranked No. 10 in fun. But the state scored 44 in dating economics, likely due to the fact that more people are moving here and therefore upping the costs of living.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 18
Dating Economics Rank: 20
Romance and Fun Rank: 26
Virginia made the cut as one of the top states for singles. It came in at No. 1 as the state with the highest median annual household income adjusted for cost of living and No. 20 for dating economics. When calculating dating economics, WalletHub considered average beer and wine price, movie costs, average Starbucks latte price, housing affordability, job growth rate and underemployment rate among other financial factors.
There are tons of potential date activities that delve into the nation's history, including visiting Williamsburg, Yorktown and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Plus, a trip to Virginia Beach or Shenandoah National Park could make for a great date.
18. New Jersey
Dating Opportunities Rank: 8
Dating Economics Rank: 40
Romance and Fun Rank: 23
The Garden State came in high for dating opportunities, but dating economics did not bode well for finding a partner here. Even though New Jersey came in at No. 4 with the highest median annual household income adjusted for cost of living, the high average price of dating activities gave the state the ranking of No. 40 in that category.
Expensive or not, living in New Jersey means you're never far from fun things to do. There's the Jersey Shore, and all 21 counties are considered metropolitan areas. Plus, New York and Philadelphia are a quick train ride away.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 30
Dating Economics Rank: 12
Romance and Fun Rank: 16
Missouri is enjoying its moment in the spotlight after the Netflix drama, "Ozark," became a huge hit. But its 6 million residents already knew the beauty of the state that is known for its lakes and more than 6,000 caves. Singles who happen to love reading or writing will also be thrilled to explore the state's literary history, with famous writers from Missouri including T.S. Eliot, Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams and Sara Teasdale.
Missouri's most popular areas include St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia, with St. Louis coming in at No. 32 in the best cities for singles list. With several sports teams between St. Louis and Kansas City, going to a baseball or football game could make for an exciting date.
16. North Carolina
Dating Opportunities Rank: 21
Dating Economics Rank: 21
Romance and Fun Rank: 15
From the mountains to the beach, North Carolina has countless outdoor date opportunities, so it isn't surprising that the state ranked reasonably high for romance and fun. But there are several different factors that matter when choosing the right city or state in which to live.
"Having strong social connections is actually a critical part of effective dating. Having a solid friend group provides networking opportunities to meet potential dates," said Glenn Geher, founding director of evolutionary studies, State University of New York, in the WalletHub report. "So, choosing a place to which you have substantial social connections is usually a good idea. Also, choosing a city that includes a high proportion of others with similar interests and values to oneself can help.”
Dating Opportunities Rank: 25
Dating Economics Rank: 11
Romance and Fun Rank: 19
While Colorado came in at No. 15 on top states for singles, Denver came in as the second-best city across the U.S. for singles, and Colorado Springs ranked No. 45. Colorado overall was ranked as the No. 3 state for both most online- and mobile-dating opportunities.
Colorado, especially Denver, has seen a huge population increase in the last five years, likely because it’s not as costly to live here as its West Coast counterparts. "Going for a hike at a state park (free) could be more meaningful and a better time than dinner and a movie (expensive)," said Matthew S. Mutchler, interim academic director, Graduate Counseling Psychology Program, Delaware Valley University, in the WalletHub report.
"As tired as the 'Netflix and chill' trope is, spending time 'in' together is a great way to connect. Is there a series or a movie you could watch together and talk about? Even something as simple as playing cards or a board game [is key]," he added.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 14
Dating Economics Rank: 29
Romance and Fun Rank: 14
Georgia has a right balance of opportunities, economics and fun for singles, and believe it or not, its capital city of Atlanta is the No. 1 city in the country for those in search of a mate. While the city has tons of restaurants, singles shouldn't feel pressured to spend a lot of money on their date nights.
"Not every date needs to be an expensive dinner at a fancy restaurant. In fact, fun, exciting dates can help ignite passion, and they don’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money," Gwendolyn Seidman, associate professor of psychology, chair, psychology department, Albright College, told WalletHub. "Visiting a part of the city you’ve never been to, going hiking, checking out a new art exhibit — these activities don’t have to break the bank and can make you and your date more excited about being together."
Dating Opportunities Rank: 13
Dating Economics Rank: 35
Romance and Fun Rank: 11
While Washington itself is a bit lower on this list, Seattle ranked as the No. 6 city in the country for singles, even with dating economics being worse than average.
Where Washington did rank high was for opportunities (yay, single people) and fun and romance. Between countless live music shows, islands to explore and hikes to take, you'll never get bored in the Evergreen State. Plus, the state ranks No. 2 for most online- and mobile-dating opportunities.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 24
Dating Economics Rank: 8
Romance and Fun Rank: 12
Minnesota is often referred to as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” and it came in at No. 3 in the country for highest median annual household income, according to WalletHub. While talking about money on the first date isn't likely, it is one that always impacts relationships.
"Although this is not a favorite topic for discussion, it is absolutely essential that this conversation happens when a couple starts to become more serious about starting a life together," Mary Shuttlesworth, assistant professor of psychology, La Roche College, told WalletHub. "Finances are one of the top reasons that couples divorce or separate, so talking about this early in a relationship can save many headaches later on."
Not surprisingly, the two cities that are best for singles here are the Twin Cities: Minneapolis ranked No. 9 across the country, while St. Paul ranked No. 40 in WalletHubs list of best cities for singles.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 11
Dating Economics Rank: 16
Romance and Fun Rank: 17
While Arizona is famous for the Grand Canyon, the state has several cities that are great for singles. Tucson, Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale and Mesa all ranked in WalletHub’s top 100 cities for singles. Arizona has a mix of activities for singles, with several golf courses for those who like to play and countless hikes for people who want a more strenuous date.
"When choosing a place to live, single people might look for a place that matches their personal values. For instance, if a person values opportunities for leisure, the ideal place to live will support that,” Shuttlesworth said. "If a person values cultural experiences, the ideal place to live should offer access to these experiences."
Dating Opportunities Rank: 10
Dating Economics Rank: 18
Romance and Fun Rank: 13
If you love nature, you'll never run out of date ideas in Michigan. The state has an abundance of lakes, rivers, streams, national parks and wildlife refuges. The best city in the state for singles is Grand Rapids, which earned the No. 39 spot across the country. Detroit ranked above several other cities in the U.S. but only made the 140 spot.
There are tons of fun dates to plan in Michigan, too, including attending LaughFest or celebrating Beer Month. Farmer's markets and art museums are also popular date spots, while Grand Rapids has six museums in its downtown area alone.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 5
Dating Economics Rank: 37
Romance and Fun Rank: 9
With so many singles, Massachusetts earned the No. 5 rank for dating opportunities, so be prepared to meet some new folks. Boston ranked No. 12 across the nation for best cities for singles, while Worcester also ranked in the top 100. There are tons of bars known for attracting singles, but dating sites are equally popular. The state ranks No. 5 for most online- and mobile-dating opportunities.
Once you find a date, there are tons of things to do, especially in the Boston area. Those include seeing a movie at Coolidge Corner, taking a hobby class at Artisan’s Asylum, seeing free Shakespeare on the Common or taking a stroll through Arnold Arboretum, which features 15,000 kinds of plants.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 16
Dating Economics Rank: 7
Romance and Fun Rank: 8
Cheese lovers unite! Wisconsin, aka America's dairyland, has a few great cities where you can indulge in your favorite cheese and meet fellow singles. The largest city in Wisconsin is Milwaukee, and it ranked No. 54 in WalletHub's best cities for singles list. While Bumble and Tinder are the dating apps of choice for singles in the city, meeting someone new at a beer garden is also popular.
Madison, the state capitol, is smaller in size, but it ranked better for singles, coming in at No. 11 on the cities list. The city is known for great parties, but it also has a ton of taverns, restaurants, wine bars, and ice cream and coffee shops. Plus, the local zoo is admission free.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 9
Dating Economics Rank: 19
Romance and Fun Rank: 7
Thanks to so many buckeye trees throughout the region, Ohio is considered the Buckeye State. So, rather fittingly, Ohioans are often referred to as Buckeyes.
The two best cities for single Buckeyes are Columbus and Cincinnati. "Strong points for Columbus were in the fun and recreation category, with one of the largest numbers of parks and various nightlife options," said WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez. "Cincinnati ranked well in the economics category, as it has some of the lowest taxi fares and restaurant meal costs.”
Dating Opportunities Rank: 4
Dating Economics Rank: 46
Romance and Fun Rank: 6
About 12.74 million people call Illinois home, and while it is famously known for Chicago, the state also has plenty of other cities that are great for singles, including Urbana, Champaign, Carbondale and Blue Island.
While the state didn't come in high with its dating economics rank, it does offer singles a lot of opportunities to meet and do things with other said singles. Outside of spending countless hours exploring Chicago and all it has to offer — Second City comedy club, anyone? — singles in Illinois can also venture out of the city on dates. For example, Metropolis, the home of Superman, is an actual city you can visit. Or you can check out the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, visit the many farmer's markets throughout the state or do some hiking at the Cahokia Mounds.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 7
Dating Economics Rank: 36
Romance and Fun Rank: 4
While Pennsylvania isn't one of the largest states, it is one of the most populated. With two highly populated cities, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, there are lots of opportunities to meet other singles. And, as one of the 13 original founding states, singles can expect a history-themed date or two here.
The state earned the No. 4 spot for romance and fun, so you'll have plenty of spaces and activities to try out while you're searching for love. Some Pennsylvania-themed date ideas include touring the Yuengling factory, visiting the Capitol Rotunda, catching a Little League World Series game, walking the Gettysburg Battlefield or hiking the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.
4. New York
Dating Opportunities Rank: 2
Dating Economics Rank: 50
Romance and Fun Rank: 1
Of course, New York is high up on the list! While the state came in last for dating economics, if you have the cash, New York can be an excellent place for single ladies and fellas.
Sure, the Big Apple is famous for countless things to do: Restaurants, shows, shopping, art galleries and gardens are just a handful of experiences to get to know someone. But the Empire State has a lot going on outside of the city, too, which is why it earned the No. 1 spot for romance and fun.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 6
Dating Economics Rank: 17
Romance and Fun Rank: 5
Texas is the second-largest state in the United States by total area and by population. So, it isn't surprising that it would rank high on the list of best places for singles.
The Lone Star state is known for its low cost of living in comparison to places like California and New York. But Texas also snuck up the list with its opportunities for dating. For instance, Bumble was started and is still headquartered in Texas. The state also had a good score when it came to romance and fun, so singles won't be without options when it comes to planning a date night.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 1
Dating Economics Rank: 49
Romance and Fun Rank: 2
California is the land of many successful businesses (hello, Hollywood and Silicon Valley). It has stunning weather, gorgeous beaches and more restaurants per capita than any other state. Rather fitting for the Hollywood folks, it also has more movie theaters per capita than any other state, which is a pretty classic date-night activity.
It isn't nearly as affordable as many states on this list, but what it lacks in low real estate prices, it makes up for in romance and fun.
Dating Opportunities Rank: 3
Dating Economics Rank: 34
Romance and Fun Rank: 3
The Sunshine State came in as the best state to live in if you're single. After all, it does have some of the country’s most beautiful beaches.
Florida also has a lot to offer singles: low cost of living, tons of college towns and colleges within larger cities as well as lots of restaurants to try with potential partners. Both Tampa and Orlando ranked in WalletHub's top 30 cities for singles to live.
Wondering exactly how WalletHub came up with its ranking? While WalletHub compared the states across three categories — dating opportunities, dating economics, and romance and fun — each of the categories were made up of their own relevant metrics. For example, in the dating opportunities category things like share of single adults, the gender balance of singles, online- and mobile-dating opportunities, online-dating participation and openness to relationships were included to come up with each state's score.
Read more about their methodology here.