Updated February 19, 2014

Study: Best Cities to Find Love

Read more about Marriage Statistics

If you've been looking high and low for the love of your life, you may need to take steps to improve your chances - even if that means starting over in a new place. We're here to help. CreditDonkey narrowed down the 10 big cities in the U.S. where you're more likely to find someone to share your life with, thanks to a high concentration of unmarried people who meet specific criteria for being great catches.

Study Methodology

Here are the factors we considered to discover the best places for finding love:

  • Number of single people: Luck has a lot to do with love. To increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time, we looked at the number of unmarried males and females in each major metropolitan area per capita, according to the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. We've also taken into account the ratio of males and females in a city from the same data.

  • Divorce rates: You need to find love but also stay together. Studies have shown that friends of divorcees – particularly men – are more likely to get divorced themselves. So we factored in low divorce rates for our higher ranked cities, using data from the Census survey.

  • Credit score: What do most couples fight about? Money. You want someone who knows how to manage their finances, and a credit score is one indication. As it is, according to a recent study, a person’s poor credit history is a significant deterrent for marriage.

  • Unemployment rates: A recent article in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that unemployment negatively affects a person's ability to date and find a partner.

  • Depression statistics: The happier a person is, the more likely they will be open to finding love, so we’ve considered the Centers for Disease Control's record of incidence of depression in major cities, based on a survey that asked respondents whether they had some form of depression.

With all those data points in mind, we came up with the following list of the best major U.S. cities to find love:

10. Boston, MA

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 30%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 688,482:663,824
  • Divorce rate: 8.9%
  • Average credit score: 702
  • Unemployment: 6.6%
  • Likelihood of depression: 15.3%

Boston rounds out the top 10. With about 30 percent of residents never having married, as well as low divorce rates and the highest average credit score on our list, many Bostonians are single and ready for love. Popular date spots include Eastern Standard in nearby Cambridge and Toro in the South End. But if you're looking for love in Boston, don’t try to blend in by using the word “pissah,” the slang word used by Bostonians to rave about something they think is great. Nearly 73 percent of dating Bostonians said the word is their biggest turnoff, according to a survey.

9. Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 23%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 224,827:283,740
  • Divorce rate: 9.6%
  • Average credit score: 665
  • Unemployment: 9.1%
  • Likelihood of depression: 16.7%

With its very low divorce rate, Charlotte ranks ninth. The city hosts several dating sites and services. There are several places that serve as a great dating locale, including white water rafting and the amusement park Carowinds. The Charlotte Observer chronicles the local love stories on its website of several couples who met in Charlotte.

8. Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 27%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 292,330:270,837
  • Divorce rate: 12.3%
  • Average credit score: 683
  • Unemployment: 7.3%
  • Likelihood of depression: 16.1%

Cleveland has ranked as one of the best cities to find love from The Daily Beast, and it has also made our list. Cleveland has one of the best ratios of unmarried males to unmarried females on the list. Finding love is a popular topic among local Cleveland blogs, including Misadventures in Cleveland Dating, as does the TV show, “Hot in Cleveland.” There's hope for love in Cleveland.

7. Memphis, TN

Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 30%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 196,891:195,834
  • Divorce rate: 12.1%
  • Average credit score: 638
  • Unemployment: 9.5%
  • Likelihood of depression: 15.2%

With its high percentage of unmarried adults and nearly identical number of unmarried males to unmarried females, Memphis ranks as the seventh best place to find love. Memphis was rated as one of the best cities for a woman to meet a man by Men's Health. The site “I Love Memphis” gives visitors great date ideas, including places to go that won’t weigh down your wallet.

6. Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 27%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 240,786:206,055
  • Divorce rate: 10.9%
  • Average credit score: 700
  • Unemployment: 6.2%
  • Likelihood of depression: 14.4%

Virginia Beach is the second city in the state for lovers. It’s home to coastal getaways and events that can serve as the backdrop for a new love. Virginia Beach residents have a high average credit score and low unemployment rates. Most recently, the city hosted the One Love Festival, which aims to bring people together in the names of love and peace.

5. Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 29%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 234,191:217,217
  • Divorce rate: 9.9%
  • Average credit score: 690
  • Unemployment: 7.6%
  • Likelihood of depression: 13.8%

Milwaukee the furthest west city on our list has a very low divorce rate and high percentage of unmarried adults compared to its population. It’s easy to find dating events and love connections in this area when you’re not even looking. The most common place for love connections in Milwaukee is at a bar, according to a Psychology Today article, so take some friends out on the town and see if you just happen to meet your match.

4. Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 30%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 405,954:397,663
  • Divorce rate: 10.5%
  • Average credit score: 682
  • Unemployment: 7.5%
  • Likelihood of depression: 15.5%

Relative to its population, the number of unmarried males to unmarried females is very close in Baltimore, which also has a high percentage overall of unmarried adults per capita. In addition, there's a diverse array of places for daters to visit, including several museums in the Federal Hill neighborhood. Peruse Baltimore Magazine’s recent highlight of the area’s top 20 bachelors and bachelorettes, which includes Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Tandon Doss. Baltimore also houses the Baltimore Love Project, a series of love-themed murals throughout the city.

3. Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 29%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 175,974:156,062
  • Divorce rate: 10.3%
  • Average credit score: 683
  • Unemployment: 7.4%
  • Likelihood of depression: 14%

A bit further north is the third best place to find love. Buffalo, home to “America's Matchmaker,” Patti Novak, was recently ranked earlier this year by Zillow.com as one of the best cities to find love based on walkability and median rents. Depression rates are low in Buffalo, despite the cold winter months, and nearly 30 percent of the city's population has never been married.

2. Washington, DC

Washington, DC
Washington, DC

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 29%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 837,437:798,187
  • Divorce rate: 8.9%
  • Average credit score: 690
  • Unemployment: 5.7%
  • Likelihood of depression: 10.7%

Close to Richmond, the nation's capital ranks second on our list. Unemployment and divorce rates are low here, and it’s easy to bump into federal employees, who are likely to have reliable income and benefits. The margin between unmarried males and females is relatively low. U.S. News and World Report ranks Washington, D.C., as the third most educated city in the country, meaning many of the city's dating population have finished college and could be looking for love. However, those who are online dating in this area should be skeptical – a survey by dating auction site WhatsYourPrice.com found D.C. to be the first least honest city among men and second least-honest city among women when it comes to information listed on online dating profiles.

1. Richmond, VA

Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia

  • Unmarried adults per capita: 29%
  • Unmarried males to unmarried females: 185,791:168,204
  • Divorce rate: 11.4%
  • Average credit score: 677
  • Unemployment: 6.2%
  • Likelihood of depression: 12.3%

Virginia, the state “for lovers,” is home to the No. 1 city in America to find love. Nearly 30 percent of Richmond’s population is unmarried, and unemployment is low. The city also has several locally focused sites for those seeking a date. The city dubs itself as “Easy to Love,” so it's appropriate that it serves as the setting for many great places for dates, including Civil War sites for mutual historic buffs, gardens for walkers, and river cruises for those who like to sightsee. It's also the site ofone of the country's oldest and most well-known love fables – Pocahontas and John Smith met in the area that is now considered Richmond.


If you're looking for the best place to make a fresh start and to find your potential soul mate, this list should give you some ideas of where to go. We considered the top 50 metropolitan areas based on population. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if a smaller nearby city would also be a good way to find your special someone. A combination of the right place, right time, and the right interests could lead to a long-lasting relationship.

Sources used in this study:

Tracy Jones is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a diamond jeweler comparison and financial education website. Write to Tracy Jones at tracy@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped young adults make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

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