CHICAGO — If you’re looking for someone special to kiss under the mistletoe this holiday season, your success may depend on where you live, according to WalletHub’s new report on 2022’s Best & Worst Cities for Singles released on Monday.
Researchers with the personal finance website compared more than 180 U.S. cities on a variety of dating-friendly metrics, ranging from the average price of a two-person meal, to the total percentage of single population, to the number of online dating opportunities.
Chicago ranked 34th out of 182 cities on the list for its dating scene.
The only other Illinois city to make the list is Aurora, which is ranked 123rd.
The best city for singles is Seattle, followed by Madison, Wisconsin in second, Denver, Colorado in third, San Francisco in fourth and Portland, Oregon in fifth.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports nearly half of the adult U.S. population is unmarried – we’re talking, never married, divorced or widowed; and data shows the ratio of men to women or women to men can shift higher or lower depending on the city.
Singles have been saying how rough the dating scene is for some time.
The pandemic also made things tough, and now researchers say high inflation is making it even tougher because the average date costs $90 and a lot of people are short on cash.
With 19% of Gen Zers and 22% of Millennials admitting to going into debt for a date, researchers say it pays to live in a city with lots of relatively cheap dating activities, like watching a movie or dining out.
The WalletHub experts acknowledge that every city has its own unique dating scene.
They suggest singles think beyond restaurants and bars for dates — and instead — go bowling, explore a park, or meet at a pub for a trivia night.
When choosing a city to live in, experts suggest singles pick a city that meets a lot of their own hobbies, activities and interests because it will attract like-minded people.
They recommend singles look at the demographics of their prospective city and evaluate the number of potential partners that live there as well.
They add to also look to see if the city has a reasonable variety of restaurants, bars, clubs, open-air concerts, or venues that offer classes where you can meet people.
WalletHub’s experts say that while a bigger city offers more, it can also be impersonal and put you at higher risk of being ghosted.
Here’s a look at how Chicago did in some categories:
- 5th – Restaurants per Capita
- 39th – Share of Singles
- 39th – Percentage of Residents Who Are Fully Vaccinated Against Covid-19
- 57th – Mobile Dating Opportunities
- 137th – Online Dating Opportunities
- 146th – Restaurant-Meal Costs
- 153rd – Movie Costs
- 164th – Unemployment Rate
Here are the Top 10 Best Cities for Singles:
- 1. Seattle, WA
- 2. Madison, WI
- 3. Denver, CO
- 4. San Francisco, CA
- 5. Portland, OR
- 6. Minneapolis, MN
- 7. Austin, TX
- 8. Honolulu, HI
- 9. San Diego, CA
- 10. Atlanta, GA
Here is an interactive map of all 182 cities that made the 2022’s Best Cities for Singles report.