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Best Cities for Single Women

Feb. 5, 2014
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It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so get ready to see flowers, greeting cards and heart-shaped chocolates everywhere. Those celebrating Singles Awareness Day, however, might have entirely different plans. If you’ve had bad luck searching for dates recently, the problem may not be with you but with where you live.

NerdWallet crunched the numbers to find the best cities for single heterosexual women by considering the following:

1. Availability of singles: We looked at the ratio of unmarried women to unmarried men. Cities with lower ratios have relatively more single men available, so your odds of finding a date are higher than in other places.

2. Ease of meeting people: We assessed the date-friendliness of each city by calculating the number of bars and restaurants per 1,000 residents. We also used Walk Scores to evaluate how easy it is to live in each city without a car. A city with many venues that you can get around to without needing a car will make it easier to meet others.

3. Affordability: To see how affordable dating is in each city, we calculated the cost of a pretty darn cheap date: two movie tickets, a 12-inch Pizza Hut pizza and one 1.5-liter bottle of Livingston Cellars or Gallo Chablis or chenin blanc wine. We also included unemployment rates in this category—if there’s a higher percentage of employed singles available, dates will be more affordable.

For more information, check out our Cost of Living Calculator.

Best Cities for Single Women

 1. San Francisco, Calif.

With a greater number of unmarried men than women, San Francisco provides a statistical advantage for single women. The cost of dating may be a bit high in the City by the Bay, but the abundance of bars and restaurants and the city’s walkability combine to make it easy to meet others. San Francisco’s eclectic culture and status as a top tourist destination allow for some great potential dates.

2. Miami, Fla. 

Miami has the highest number of bars and restaurants per 1,000 residents of all the cities on this list. It also boasts a strong Walk Score, in addition to its enviable weather and location on the water. Beaches, restaurants and a plethora of clubs make Miami one of the most fun cities in the country for singles.

3. Minneapolis, Minn. 

Minneapolis is the smallest city on our list, but a relatively low ratio of unmarried women to unmarried men boosts its ranking. The City of Lakes also boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates among the 50 largest metropolitan cities in the country, stemming from its strong local economy. Minneapolis is also a great location for arts and culture—the region is ranked second in the nation in live theater per capita—so locals can easily enjoy a nice date at a playhouse.

4. Seattle, Wash.

Seattle has a favorable unmarried women/men ratio, a healthy unemployment rate and a lower-than-average cost of a cheap date. The coastal city also has great live music and performing arts, and outdoorsy types can enjoy a relaxing date at locations such as Green Lake or Discovery Park.

5. San Diego, Calif.

San Diego doesn’t have as many bars and restaurants as some of the other places on this list, and it’s not the most walkable city. But its ratio of unmarried women to men is among the best of any large city, which means there are relatively more single men available here than in most other towns. There’s also a lot for singles to do, as the city is home to many beaches and museums.

Rank City Unmarried Women per 100 Unmarried Men Bars/Restaurants per 1000 Residents Walk Score Cost of a Date Nov. 2013 Unemployment Rate Overall Score
1 San Francisco, CA 97.77 5.04 83.9 $40.87 6% 71.47
2 Miami, FL 104.40 5.22 75.6 $35.69 6.3% 65.84
3 Minneapolis, MN 104.57 3.04 65.4 $38.98 4% 62.26
4 Seattle, WA 106.48 3.94 70.8 $36.36 5.7% 61.49
5 San Diego, CA 101.55 4.88 48.5 $35.66 6.8% 60.99
6 Denver, CO 102.26 3.05 55.7 $37.07 5.8% 60.98
7 Portland, OR 107.26 3.76 62.8 $34.71 6.2% 58.95
8 Austin, TX 101.70 2.43 35.4 $37.97 4.7% 56.99
9 Phoenix, AZ 104.97 3.69 38.3 $33.86 6% 56.39
10 Dallas, TX 104.14 3.37 43.6 $37.37 5.6% 55.94


The overall score for each city was calculated using the following measures:

  1. Number of unmarried women per 100 unmarried men (ages 15 and up) currently unmarried from the U.S. Census Bureau
  2. Number of bars and restaurants per 1,000 residents from the Yellow Pages.
  3. Walk Score
  4. Cost of a date (two average-priced movie tickets, one 12-inch Pizza Hut pizza and one 1.5-liter bottle of Livingston Cellars or Gallo Chablis or Chenin Blanc wine) from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index
  5. Unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Each of the three categories—availability of singles, ease of meeting people and affordability—was weighted equally.

Check out the Best Cities for Single Men and overall Best Cities for Singles as well.

Young couple at restaurant image from Shutterstock.