If you’re single, the best place to live is probably Colorado Springs or El Paso

Since college, I was single in central CT and then NYC. Both were hell in their own right. In central CT, I rocked eHarmony for a bit. I met a cool girl who was doing med school at Yale — this is a major fucking trap, because med school students don’t really have a ton of time to get serious, but I figured I’d give it a go. We had a solid first date and then I hesitated a little on re-contacting her (nerves, self-esteem, etc.) By the time I did, lo and behold she had gotten serious with someone. I think she lives in San Diego now, or did 2-3 years ago. That’s a Sliding Doors moment, eh? NYC was brutal. Everyone constantly complains about being single and begrudgingly attends weddings and baby showers for their friends. This is your life in your mid-to-late 20s, single, in New York. Watch Girls. Although they haven’t attended a ton of weddings on that show, it’s still a fairly accurate portrayal of the dynamic of “single friends” vs. “together friends.”

So I had these experiences, but I also love random studies that tell you “the best place to live if your specific condition is X or Y.”  Well, Facebook Data Science got into the game recently and noted this, via its user data:

The top five cities (among the top 50 population centers) by percentage of single people are:

1. Detroit, MI

2. Los Angeles, CA

3. New York, NY

4. Miami, FL

5. Memphis, TN

OK, so if you want a wide selection — of people that use Facebook and are single, at least — move to Detroit, LA, NYC, Miami or Memphis (with the exception of potentially LA and Miami, those are all very different places).

But then, of course, there’s a chart way to look at it:


If you want a high relationship formation possibility, Facebook’s data says you should move to El Paso, TX or Colorado Springs, CO — this is partially explained by the idea that people might move to a larger city like NYC, LA or Miami in part to be single (early-career focus, moving with friends, etc.) In smaller cities like El Paso, more people are probably forming relationships because it’s the normative thing to do. That’s one theory.

If you were interested in these data points about singles and the percentage by gender in terms of the other gender, here you go:

Most single females per single male:

1. Memphis, TN

2. Jacksonville, FL

3. Fort Worth, TX

4. Charlotte, NC

5. Richmond, VA

Most single males per single female:

1. San Francisco, CA

2. San Jose, CA

3. Seattle, WA

4. Salt Lake City, UT

5. San Diego, CA

That’s funny about SD, because I considered moving there (very briefly) at one point when I was single, and someone told me “Don’t. It’s called Man Diego. You’ll never find a girl there.” Navy town, you know?

It should be noted this survey is based on anonymized data from just two months — October and November 2013 — so perhaps some of it can be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s still interesting.

Ted Bauer