Love is in the air and many singles are prepping for the chocolate-fueled day we celebrate every Feb. 14. For single women looking to change their status, is Cupid’s arrow all about location, location, location?
To find out, NerdWallet crunched the numbers of the 50 largest U.S. cities to uncover the best places for single women. Unfortunately, due to a lack of specific data, our list isn’t able to break out information for lesbian, bisexual and transgendered singles.
Consider the odds. All things being equal, living among many single men can’t hurt, right? In four of our top 10 cities, we found an excess number of single men for every 100 single women. Another way to look at it: In Baltimore, our top city for single men, there are 80.16 unmarried men for every 100 women.
It’s not about the coasts. Sure, San Francisco made the No. 1 spot thanks in large part to its great singles scene for women and enviable walkability, but consider the rest of the list: Minneapolis, Minnesota; Denver, Colorado; Austin, Texas; and Omaha, Nebraska, also are good options for single women.
NYC is not GFSW (Great for Single Women). Many have bemoaned the dating scene for women in New York City over the years. Now, we have data to back that up: U.S. Census Bureau figures show 82.57 single men for every 100 single women in New York City. And it’s expensive to date, too — $103 for a fairly simple night out. It doesn’t even crack our top 20 for single women.
Factors we considered
Availability of single men: We looked at the number of unmarried men for every 100 unmarried women in each city to see if the odds are in your favor.
Dating affordability: To calculate how much it costs to date, we looked at the price of a three-course meal for two and two movie tickets at a midrange restaurant in each city. We also considered the median earnings for workers to gauge the relative affordability of dating.
Social scene: We assessed date-friendliness by calculating the number of arts and entertainment businesses and restaurants per 1,000 residents in the metro area. We also included walk scores in this category to evaluate how easy it is to get around and meet people.
For more information on affordability on cities across the U.S., check out our Cost of Living Calculator.
Best cities for single women
1. San Francisco, California
San Francisco seems to have it all for single women: a deep pool of unmarried men, one of the most walkable city layouts in the country and a thriving social scene with three arts and entertainment businesses and restaurants per 1,000 residents.
2. Seattle, Washington
This Pacific Northwest city has no shortage of venues for meeting one of the over 16,000 unmarried men who live here. Seattle also seems to have some attraction for filmmakers tackling the subject of singlehood — in the iconic “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Singles,” 1992’s ode to grunge.
3. Minneapolis, Minnesota
This friendly Midwest city is one of only four places on our top 10 list with more unmarried men than women, but Minneapolis enjoys more than just favorable demographics. With over 16% of the city set aside for parks, there is ample opportunity to plan affordable outdoor dates in the summer. This, in combination with its lively theater and arts scene, makes it easy to socialize in the larger of the Twin Cities.
4. San Diego, California
This sunny city is home to incredible year-round weather, which makes it easy to enjoy the beaches and outdoor attractions. San Diego’s near-perfect climate and the nightlife and entertainment establishments in the historic Gaslamp Quarter make the city a top choice for single women looking for love.
5. Austin, Texas
With the largest number of unmarried men per 100 women, Austin offers women a statistical advantage, but the quirky Texas capital stands out for many reasons. It boasts a world-class music and arts scene, including the acclaimed South by Southwest Festival, which provides many opportunities to mingle and meet single men.
6. San Jose, California
This city in the heart of Silicon Valley boasts beautiful weather and a high median income that draws tech workers from all over the world to this unique region. Active singles have easy access to biking and hiking during the day, then at night, they fuel up at Santana Row or they head to bars and restaurants downtown, where they could catch a hockey game or a concert.
7. Long Beach, California
With the most entertainment, food and arts establishments on our list, this Southern California city is a place where residents can enjoy a city bursting with culture, which also makes it easier for singles to meet. When you add in the sunny days and mild nights, beaches and a city for walking, single life in Long Beach is all the sweeter.
8. Portland, Oregon
Portland may be proudly quirky in a laid-back Northwest way, but it’s still relatively inexpensive to go out for the night. The city offers many options for eating and entertainment — from the Oregon Symphony and a local music scene to an array of microbreweries, which are perfect date destinations.
9. Denver, Colorado
The mile-high city provides seemingly endless options for singles who seek easy access to the outdoors. However, the urban setting also delivers when it comes to arts and entertainment districts — such as the Santa Fe Arts District and the River North District — giving singles a place to meet up after biking or hiking all day.
10. Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels has it all, from access to the Pacific Ocean to a diverse nightlife and more, making it an ideal place for women looking for love. The numerous arts and entertainment venues, from casual dive bars to high-end clubs, provide unique opportunities for singles to meet.
Top 20 best cities for single women
|Rank||City||Unmarried men per 100 unmarried women||Cost of
|Number of arts & entertainment businesses and
restaurants per 1,000 people
|Walk score||Overall score|
|1||San Francisco, California||100.86||$102.00||$47,428||3.00||83.90||81.15|
|4||San Diego, California||100.70||$74.80||$35,032||2.44||48.50||67.79|
|6||San Jose, California||96.94||$72.00||$38,354||2.50||48.10||64.56|
|7||Long Beach, California||93.98||$78.40||$30,610||3.03||63.90||63.37|
|10||Los Angeles, California||94.81||$78.40||$25,597||3.03||63.90||62.06|
|14||Las Vegas, Nevada||99.39||$72.26||$27,127||2.38||38.60||59.29|
Here’s how the score for each city was calculated:
- Percentage of unmarried men per 100 unmarried women older than 15 in each city from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. This is 40% of the score.
- Cost of a date is the price of a three-course meal for two at a midrange restaurant from Numbeo and the price of two movie tickets from the Council for Community and Economic Research. This is 15% of the score.
- Median earnings for workers from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. This is 15% of the score.
- Number of arts and entertainment businesses and restaurants per 1,000 residents in metropolitan areas from the U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns. It is 20% of the score.
- Walk score from walkscore.com. It is 10% of the score.
San Francisco, California, image via iStock.