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Best Metros for Dating 2017

By: Chris Salviati
February 9, 2017

Renters look for many things when deciding where to live - jobs, affordability, and safety, for example. For single renters, there's one specific factor that might be most important - which metros have the best opportunities for dating?


Apartment List conducts an annual survey of renters, in which we collect data on renters' satisfaction with their cities across a range of dimensions. The results below are based on responses from over 13,000 renters nationwide collected from October 2016 through the first week of February 2017. Today's report focuses on the following question: "How would you rate your current city or neighborhood for opportunities to date and make friends?" Possible responses are as follows:

  • Very Unsatisfied
  • Somewhat Unsatisfied
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat Satisfied
  • Very Satisfied

We ranked metros by the percent of total respondents who rated themselves as "Somewhat Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied."

North Carolina and Texas renters are most satisfied with dating opportunities

First, we looked at the results for different metropolitan areas across the country. Overall, 48% of respondents in the 30 metropolitan areas we analyzed were satisfied with dating opportunities, but there was significant variation across metros.

The above map shows the share of satisfied respondents in 30 large metros across the nation. Those that are shaded green performed better than the average, while those shaded red performed worse. Individual marks are sized by population.

Cities in North Carolina and Texas seemed to perform exceptionally well. Raleigh, NC tops our list, with two-thirds of those surveyed having a positive outlook on their city; Charlotte, NC comes in slightly further down at number four.  In Texas, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston all made the top 10. Elsewhere on the East Coast, Boston, D.C., and Baltimore also ranked well, with each receiving positive responses from more than 55% of respondents.

On the other side of spectrum, only 28% of respondents in Riverside, CA are happy with their dating opportunities, making it the worst ranked metro that we looked at. Interestingly, a number of the nation's thriving tech hubs - Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco - also perform below average. Could the imbalance between males and females in these metros be a contributing factor?

Men generally more satisfied with dating opportunities than women

Next, we compared satisfaction rates between males and females. The following map shows the gap in the percent of positive responses between males and females. In the blue shaded metros, male respondents were more satisfied than females; in the orange shaded metros, the opposite is true.

Overall, it seems that men tend to view their dating experiences more positively than women: across all metros shown above, 51% of men rated themselves as satisfied, compared to 47% of women. Men have a more positive outlook of dating opportunities in 17 out of the 30 metros that we looked at. Interestingly, men seem happier in California and Florida, whereas women are more satisfied in NYC, Philly, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.

The difference biggest differences were seen in Raleigh and Austin. 94% of males in Raleigh gave positive responses, compared to only 53% of females. In contrast, the Austin dating scene seems to favor women - the share of positive responses in that metro was 18% higher for female respondents.

College-educated renters are more satisfied with dating opportunities

We also compared responses for people with a Bachelor's degree or higher to those with lower levels of education. In the map below, the metros where college-educated renters were happier are shaded in blue. In the orange shaded metros, the opposite is true.

Across the metros we analyzed, there seem to be better dating opportunities for those with higher levels of education: 53% of those with a Bachelor's degree or higher rated themselves as satisfied, compared to 45% of those without a Bachelor's degree. In Raleigh, for example, those with a college degree were satisfied 79% of the time, whereas only 52% of those without a college degree were satisfied - a 27% difference. This was also true in Denver, Portland, and Philadelphia, where at least 18% more college-educated renters were happy.

On the other hand, those without a college degree fared best in Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and Orlando. In Jacksonville, for example, 55% of those in the less educated group report being satisfied, compared to only 17% of those with a Bachelor's degree or higher.


Overall, 48% of those we surveyed in the 30 metros we analyzed reported positive levels of satisfaction with dating opportunities in their cities, while only 22% gave negative responses. This suggests that most renters are reasonably happy with their current situation. And no matter what your current relationship status is, we at Apartment List wish you the best!

The table below contains full data for the metro's we analyzed:

MetroOverall % SatisfiedMale % SatisfiedFemale % SatisfiedCollege % SatisfiedNo College % Satisfied
Atlanta, GA47.2%46.3%47.4%51%44.8%
Austin, TX55.8%42.9%61%55.3%56.9%
Baltimore, MD55.3%75%52.1%65.6%49.1%
Boston, MA58.7%64.7%56.9%55.8%62.5%
Charlotte, NC58.1%61.5%57.1%71.7%49.3%
Chicago, IL45.1%49.2%43.7%53.1%40.3%
Dallas, TX45.4%45%45.7%50%43.5%
Denver, CO44.9%48.1%43.6%56.8%35.8%
Detroit, MI43.3%70%38%43.8%43.2%
Houston, TX50.2%54.2%48.8%54.5%47.4%

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Chris is a senior housing economist at Apartment List, where he conducts research on economic trends in the housing market. Chris previously worked as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve and an economic consultant, and he has BA and MA degrees in economics from Boston University. Read More
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