Clearly, this woman lives in Boise, Idaho (Credit: Thinkstock)
Is 2015 your year for being single and ready to mingle? Then get thee to Boise, Idaho, and get the hell of out Yonkers, New York. At least, that's the wisdom being imparted by WalletHub, a finance site that's just released its rankings of the best and worst places to be single.
WalletHub determined its rankings by factoring in two different metrics: Romance & Fun and Economics of Dating. The Romance & Fun ranking was based on the percentage of single people in the city; gender balance; the amount of restaurants and cafés per capita; the number of shopping centers, parks, attractions, and wellness centers/spas; accessibility; crime rate (how depressing is that?); and the amount of online and mobile dating opportunities (I guess they checked Tinder?). The Economics of Dating ranking was based on factors including the cost of eating out, going to the movies, and buying alcohol; living expenses; income; unemployment; job growth rate . . . and, um, the cost of getting a haircut.
Without further adieu, here are the study's key findings:
•The best city to be single is (wait for it) Boise, Idaho.
If you’re thinking WTF (I was too—I seriously almost fell asleep reading the city’s Wikipedia entry), let’s explore Boise’s numbers. It ranked 8 in Economics and 22 in Fun, which was enough accumulated to land it the top spot. The fun ranking is rather astounding—when you think of fun, would Boise ever come to mind? Even after naming 21 other places?—but hey, maybe there's more going on there than we know. Plus, you can't deny the city is cheap.
•What was ranked the least fun city? Laredo, Texas. Out of the 150 largest U.S. cities studied, it also came in at #139 overall. What can be determined from this? Don’t live in Laredo, Texas.
•Minneapolis is the 9th best city to be single and the 10th most fun. This sounds exceedingly accurate, as Minneapolis is a very interesting city. There is a large amount of corporate headquarters located there (so yes, plenty of hot men in suits, if that’s your thing), but it's nowhere near as expensive as many other major cities (it’s ranked 55th in the Economics category), which ensures having a comfortable life is relatively affordable. The same can’t be said for the two cities I was single in on this list, Los Angeles and New York.
•Speaking of which, being single in Los Angeles is, shall we say, challenging. Roughly 99% of single people in the city are hot (OK, I determined that number from the unscientific method of walking around and checking out all the good-looking single people, but whatever). Since looks have been scientifically proven as the most important factor in dating, hotness weighs heavily in landing dates—and there's a hell of a lot of competition here. No matter how good looking you are, I can assure you someone is hotter in L.A. It’s also a city focused on the entertainment industry, so work and sex are more important than settling down to raise a family. All of which justifies the city's dismal ranking of #124 on the list.
•New York City is another place where it’s not fun to be single. First of all, like Los Angeles, there are too many damn attractive people and a lot of emphasis (though not as much) placed on looks. But the real secret why it’s hard to be single in New York? Because although it’s a city of 8.406 million people, it’s really just a small town.
While that sounds mathematically impossible, let me give you an example from my own life. My fiancée grew up a five-minute walk from where I did in Manhattan. His best friend’s husband used to hang with one of my best friends in high school. My point? Literally everyone who grew up here is connected to someone—think 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon. And like being in a small town, everyone in New York comes with a reputation. People are vicious. I don’t know if life is like this in other cities firsthand, but if you are attracted to another single New Yorker, there is a 75% chance (again my own unscientific research figure) that you or someone you know hooked up with that person at some point. So the city's ranking of #144 makes a good bit of sense.
•Pulling up the rear on the list is poor Yonkers, New York (#150). What can be determined from this? Don't live in Yonkers, New York.
So what can singles take away from this list overall? 1/ Don't look at this list, because if you think about it, it's kind of ridiculous. And 2/ If you must look at this list, just remember not to move to Yonkers or Laredo.
But you probably already knew that.