2018’s Best & Worst States for Singles
Besides your looks, personality, interests and employment status, your location can influence your odds of finding a romantic partner. Everyone has different priorities when searching for love, but certain places simply make dating easier than others.
In states with low cost of living, for instance, your income might stretch a lot further, which means cheaper or more frequent dates. If you’re more financially stable, though, you might appreciate a state with more attractions to find new experiences for both you and your potential other half. But dating is also a numbers game, so a state with a higher proportion of single adults automatically improves your prospects.
Which states combine all of those qualities and more? To answer that question, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 27 key indicators of dating-friendliness. Our data set ranges from share of single adults to movie costs to nightlife options per capita. Read on to see the complete ranking, more insight from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.
To see how your zip code affects your chances of finding love, check out WalletHub’s Best & Worst Cities for Singles report.
Best & Worst States for Singles
‘Dating Opportunities’ Rank
‘Dating Economics’ Rank
‘Romance & Fun’ Rank
Your marital status can affect, among many things, where you choose to live and how you spend your money. For additional insight on such topics, we turned to a panel of experts for their thoughts on the following key questions:
- What should singles look for when choosing where to live?
- When, if ever, is it appropriate to ask someone you are dating about their finances, including their credit score and amount of debt?
- What tips do you have for saving money when dating?
- Should local authorities work to make states more attractive to single professionals? If so, how?
In order to identify the best and worst states for singles, WalletHub compared the 50 states across three key dimensions: 1) Dating Economics, 2) Dating Opportunities and 3) Romance & Fun.
We evaluated those dimensions using 27 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the most favorable conditions for singles who are actively dating. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available at the city level only, and in such cases we calculated a weighted average based on the size of the city population. For metrics marked with two asterisks (**), we used the square root of the population to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across states.
We then determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.
Dating Opportunities – Total Points: 50
- Share of Single Adults: Double Weight (~11.11 Points)
- Gender Balance of Singles: Double Weight (~11.11 Points)
Note: This metric measures the ratio of single women to single men, taking into account several age groups (20-34; 35-49; 50-64, 65 and Over).
- Online-Dating Opportunities: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)
Note: This metric was measured using the percentage of households with a broadband Internet connection.
- Mobile-Dating Opportunities: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)
Note: This metric was measured using the percentage of adults who own a smartphone.
- Online-Dating Participation: Double Weight (~11.11 Points)
- Openness to Relationships: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)
Note: This metric is based on the Attachment Avoidance Score, which comes from a survey of 127,000 adults who answered questions about fear of abandonment and discomfort with intimacy.
Dating Economics – Total Points: 25
- Average Beer & Wine Price*: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
- Movie Costs*: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
- Beauty-Salon Costs*: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
- Haircut Costs*: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
- Median Annual Household Income: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
- Housing Affordability*: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
Note: This metric measures the price of rent for a one-bedroom apartment (adjusted for the median annual household income).
- Job Growth Rate: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
- Median Credit Score: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
- Overall Well-Being Index: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
- Unemployment Rate for Single Population: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
Note: “Single Population” includes those who have never been married, are widowed or are divorced.
- Underemployment Rate: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
Romance & Fun – Total Points: 25
- Restaurants per Capita: Full** Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Number of Attractions*: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Note: “Attractions” include, for instance, museums, cultural performances, and zoos and exclude nightlife options.
- Nature Parks and Other Similar Institutions per Capita: Full** Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Fitness & Recreational Facilities per Capita: Full** Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Movie Theaters per Capita: Full** Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Music Festivals per Capita: Full** Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Nightlife Options per Capita*: Full** Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Access to Bars Grade: Full** Weight (~2.50 Points)
Note: This grade is a combination of bars per square root of residents and bars per square mile. A measure of both the proximity (per square mile) and the availability (per capita).
- Crime Rate: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Online Dating Safety (Cyber Crime Rate): Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
Note: This metrics measures the total number of internet crime complaints from each state.
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Council for Community and Economic Research, Esri's Updated Demographics - 2017 estimates (Market Potential: GfK MRI), Live Science, TransUnion, United Health Foundation, Music Festival Wizard, Internet Crime Complaint Center, TripAdvisor and Gallup-Healthways.
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