Updated June 25, 2014

And the Heartbreak Capital of the U.S. Is ...


Whoever said that misery loves company had better check out this list.

San Francisco might be known for the Golden Gate Bridge and New York is famous for the Empire State Building, but other cities are the crown capitals of somewhat more dubious honors. Based on factors like average duration of failed marriages, number of dating services, general wellbeing and even gonorrhea stats, CreditDonkey has arrived at the ten American cities where heartbreak is most common.

Whether this spells a road trip to Chicago to spend V-Day with your single pals or a mental note that you could save on candy hearts if only you lived in Houston, we bring you the top ten cities for heartbreak.

And just remember: The average person spends around $133 on Valentine’s Day, with the national tally hitting a whopping $17.3 billion. So if you’re among the “lonely” in one of these cities this year, we recommend gloating over your cost savings, grabbing a drink with your best friends and being glad you live in Miami (or New York, or Phoenix, or San Diego, or any of the other beautiful cities on this heartbreaking list).

10. San Diego, CA
San Diego is home to lots of local dating services and San Diegan failed marriages tend to last shorter than the national average, but there’s an upside: Residents have a great quality of life, according to the Gallup Well-Being Index, so the breakups probably aren’t too acrimonious.

9. Phoenix, AZ
The presence of Phoenix on this list emphasizes the strange connection between heartbreak and heat, as a surprising number of these locales are in warmer climes.

8. Los Angeles, CA
L.A. landed on this list because of its whopping 33 dating services. We were a bit surprised that it didn’t come in higher, if only because it may be the only place in America where getting a divorce could be considered a good PR move.

7. Dallas, TX
Dallas marriages are some of the shortest in the country, according to U.S. Census data. Plus, the Texas cities on our list rank distressingly high in terms of gonorrhea, making us guess that infidelity and unsound sex choices might be partially to blame for many of the heartbreaks that ensue.

6. Baltimore, MD
Although Baltimore’s marriages last a bit longer than Dallas’ and its residents are somewhat less STD-prone, the city scores in the lower percentile for general wellbeing. We can’t measure how many pints of Ben & Jerry’s are eaten in despair, but the Gallup index measures emotional and physical health, in addition to healthy behavior. Cities with tons of people in healthy, happy relationships aren’t the ones that’ll score lowest in general wellbeing.

5. Houston, TX
Love doesn't last long in this town, with the average failed marriage lasting only 17.1 years, compared to a national average of 19.4. And, with a gonorrhea infection rate second only to San Antonio, we can surmise that heartbreak here sometimes leaves a mark.

4. Riverside, CA
This California city ranks absolute last on the Gallup Well-Being Index, which doesn’t exactly speak to a population full of happy lovebirds.

3. New York, NY
New Yorkers are known for always trying to move up in the world and achieve better than they already have; the same might be true for their love lives, as the city is one of the hottest markets for dating services. And yet most residents don’t seem to be living the healthy life of settled nesters: The Big Apple ranked only 100 out of 152 in wellbeing.

2. Miami, FL
Despite the gorgeous beaches, Miamians are even less happy than New Yorkers, ranking toward the bottom of the national list. There are also almost as many dating services in this Southern city as in its more populous Northern cousin, indicating that many people are on the lonely prowl.

1. Chicago, IL
The Windy City may be known for jazz and basketball, but it’s also the heartbreak capital as far as we can tell. Although marriages tend to last longer here before ending in divorce, the city is stocked with many dating services, ranks in the bottom half of American cities in terms of wellbeing, and blows us away with its venereal statistics: Out of every 100,000 people in Chicago, more than 150 of them will have gonorrhea.

In the end, no city is perfect, and no statistic can accurately predict whether, when and where you’ll find love. But we’re strangely touched by the fact that some of the loneliest cities in the country are also many of its finest - showing us that however much misery might love company, spending time with our non-romantic loved ones in some of the nation’s greatest cities means we might not end up so miserable after all.

Read the full study at http://www.creditdonkey.com/heartbreak.html

Allison Kade is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a diamond jeweler comparison and financial education website. Write to Allison Kade at allisonk@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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