In cities across America, when older singles meet, marriage can result. Which cities are the meetings most likely?
On Monday, December 5, 2016, I received an email with this subject line: “Best and Worst Cities for Singles.”
Of course, it got my attention. The email contained a report published by a personal finance website called WalletHub that ranked the 150 most populated U.S. cities, by where singles have the highest chance of finding a significant other.
I checked it out, thinking, wow, if I could provide a list like that, which would be beneficial to our Champs, I’d be thrilled.
However, the report lumped singles of all ages together, which meant the rankings might not be significantly applicable to our age 50+ group. But I determined that the WalletHub study presented findings that might be partially beneficial to our group.
While WalletHub ranked 150 cities on its website, only the 10 best and 10 worst cities for singles were in the email. The listings apply just to the specific cities, not to the surrounding areas or suburbs:
Best Cities for Singles
1. San Francisco, CA
2. Orlando, FL
3. Seattle, WA
4. San Diego, CA
5. Boston, MA
6. Austin, TX
7. Las Vegas, NV
8. Phoenix, AZ
9. Miami, OH
10. Los Angeles, CA
Worst Cities (of the top 150 cities)
141. Greensboro, NC
142. Fontana, CA
143. Laredo, TX
144. Chesapeake, VA
145. Moreno Valley, CA
146. Pembroke Pines, FL
147. Port St. Lucie, FL
148. Yonkers, NY
149. Hialeah, FL
150. Brownsville, TX
The email also included a brief section titled: Best vs. Worst, which compared cities in the top 150 on one of the 29 metrics used in the study. A few Best vs. Worst are listed here:
Garden Grove, Ca., has the lowest average restaurant meal cost, $12.80, vs. New York City, with the highest at $80.00.
Indianapolis has the lowest average price for a bottle of wine, $3.96, vs. Las Vegas, with the highest at $12.83.
Detroit has the highest share of single persons, 75.2 percent, vs. Fremont, Ca., with the lowest at 38.3 percent.
Orlando, Fla. has the most nightlife options per 100,000 residents, 263.18, vs. Moreno Valley, Ca., with the fewest, 13.22.
Portland, Ore., has the most cafés per 100,000 residents, 103.92, vs. Laredo, Texas, with the fewest, 3.52.
Gilbert, Ariz. has the highest share of households with broadband connection, 94 percent, vs. Detroit, with the lowest, 50 percent.
What can our age 50+ group gather from this WalletHub study?
Let’s take, for example, San Francisco, the top-rated singles city. My sister Christine, who was a property manager there, says the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is close to $3,000 a month. That’s very pricey for older singles living on a budget.
And what about driving and walking on those S.F. hills? Not exactly a good place for replaced knees, titanium hips and seniors trying to back into parking spaces. So, while S.F., according to this study, is the best place for singles, it might not even make the top 100 for age 50+ singles. Whereas, some outlying suburbs might rank higher.
And then there is Las Vegas ranked 7th best. No way would it rank that high for our age group, especially the ones who drink wine—with its highest average wine bottle cost of all the cities. Egad, I’d have to switch to drinking tea.
Indianapolis, on the other hand, has the lowest average price for wine. Must be a lot of two-buck-Chuck drinkers there. But, Indy ranks number 108, that’s not a good sign for older singles, even with the cheaper wine.
Orlando may be the best place for singles. It’s ranked number 2. Boosting that ranking is the most nightlife options per 100,000 residents. But, is our gender really into late-night action? I’ve been known to hit the sack at 9 p.m., more often than not. Orlando might slip to number 50 on the senior singles list, or it might rank a little higher for us.
Large inland cities in California didn’t fair too well: San Bernardino ranked 82, Fresno 85, Modesto, 95, Ontario 100, and Bakersfield, 112. And yet, I know of two couples who met in Fresno.
Greta’s aunt is 87 and has a boyfriend there. And, Greta and I know an unlikely couple who met in Fresno. Jai, originally from Cambodia, and Christian, from Graz, Austria, met while standing in line at the DMV in Fresno. Granted, they are several years younger than our group, but it goes to show what can happen when people are willing to strike up a conversation while waiting in a line—regardless of their age.
Gilbert, Arizona, is an interesting place; it may be the Internet dating capital of the USA with 94 percent of households having broadband connections. Perhaps, many senior long-distance relationships emanate from there.
Plus, it’s got the lowest one-bedroom rent in the list of 150 cities. Sounds like a potential place to meet a mate, but it falls in the rankings to number 103. Why so low?
In nightlife options, it’s ranked number 149—there’s not much to do in Gilbert at night. And it is number 146 in the percentage of single people. Not many singles there either. Gilbert’s probably not a senior singles haven after all. However, a long-distance relationship could result in a lover moving there.
If you look above at the 10 worst cities for singles, two are from Texas—Laredo and Brownsville, and three are from Florida—Pembroke Pines, Port St. Lucie and Hialeah. Probably not a lot of single seniors in those places. One could barely find a café in Laredo.
In the WalletHub list, the top 10 cities for singles are all large. The main reason: that’s where more singles live. But our generation may prefer to live in quieter, smaller, more affordable and less bustling cities.
If there is a lesson for singles 50+ from this study, it’s this: to meet someone, make the best of where you live by getting out and involved in activities you enjoy.
You never know when or where you might meet someone—could be in a DMV or a post office line. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation when you see someone interesting. At Costco, you could say, “Do you know what aisle the almond milk is in?” Be assertive, not aggressive.
And before moving to another city to improve your chances of meeting someone, check out where that city ranks in the list of 150. For the full report and to see where cities rank, visit: