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Best Metros for Dating 2018

February 7, 2018

Curious what city holds the key to your heart? The light of your life? A love whose beauty you can just stair at?

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, Apartment List compiled our 2018 list of the best metros for dating, using survey responses from nearly 11,000 singles nationwide.

For single renters looking to move in search of Cupid’s arrow bringing them a butter-half they will a-door, read on to find the metros where love is in the air!

Madison, Charleston and Denver are the best metros for dating

RankBest Metros for DatingShare Satisfied
1Madison, WI63%
2Charleston, SC60%
3Denver, CO58.2%
4Austin, TX56.6%
5Raleigh, NC55.6%
6Washington, DC54.5%
7Charlotte, NC54%
8Rochester, NY52.8%
9Durham, NC52.3%
10Palm Bay, FL52%

Madison, Wis., Charleston, S.C., and Denver earn the top three spots for dating satisfaction. Overall, metros with plenty of young, educated workers and newer tech hubs, earn high marks for dating. In Denver, Austin and Washington, D.C., love has no ceiling because there are more partners from which to chews.

Additionally, college towns such as Madison, Wis., Raleigh, N.C., and Durham, N.C., rank high for dating opportunities. Looking to move somewhere to find your perfect match or someone you fence-y? Consider the Carolinas -- home to four of the top 10 metros for dating -- where many of our apartment hunters seem to find someone to shower with love!

Syracuse, Bridgeport and New Haven are the worst metros for dating

RankWorst Metros For DatingShare Satisfied
70Syracuse, NY14.8%
69Bridgeport, CT20.7%
68New Haven, CT25%
67Albuquerque, NM25%
66Hartford, CT28%
65Oxnard, CA28%
64Port St. Lucie, FL29.6%
63Memphis, TN30.4%
62Dayton, OH31.8%
61Sacramento, CA32.2%

Syracuse, N.Y., earns the lowest marks for dating, with only 14.8 percent of renters expressing satisfaction with their dating lives. The Connecticut metros of Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford earn four of the bottom 10 spots for dating. While the Northeast has the highest concentration of the worst metros for dating, metros in the South (Memphis, Tenn., Port St. Lucie, Fla.), the West (Oxnard, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., Sacramento, Calif.) and the Midwest (Dayton, Ohio) also make the list.

Dating rankings are often correlated with general satisfaction with a metro, with a correlation of 57 percent between the two categories, but this is not always the case. Some cities, including Minneapolis, Phoenix and Oxnard, Calif., earn much higher overall marks compared to their marks for dating. On the other hand, cities such as Nashville, Tenn., Salt Lake City and Detroit earn higher dating rankings than overall rankings.

Men are most satisfied with dating in Columbus, Women rank Denver No. 1

RankMenShare SatisfiedWomen
1Columbus, OH65.4%Denver, CO60.7%
2Charlotte, NC64.7%Austin, TX55.5%
3San Diego, CA62.2%Washington, DC54.6%
4Austin, TX62.1%Charlotte, NC50%
5Orlando, FL60.6%Tampa, FL49.7%
6Washington, DC54.4%San Antonio, TX49.4%
7Minneapolis, MN53.3%Houston, TX49.1%
8Dallas, TX52.6%Boston, MA49%
9Los Angeles, CA52.6%Dallas, TX48.4%
10Kansas City, MO52.2%Minneapolis, MN47.5%

For the 29 metros with sufficient data, Apartment List ranks dating satisfaction separately by gender. For single men, Columbus, Ohio, Charlotte, N.C., and San Diego rank highest.

For single women, Denver, Austin and Washington, D.C., earn top spots. Overall, women are beary happy with dating opportunities in Texas, with Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas ranked in the top 10. Five cities -- Charlotte, Austin, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and Dallas -- make the top ten list for both women and men.

Men are more satisfied with dating than women in nearly two-thirds of metros

Overall, it seems that men tend to view their dating experiences more positively than women: nationwide, 46 percent of men rated themselves satisfied, compared to 41 percent of women. This pattern does vary at the metro level. Men are more satisfied than women with dating opportunities in 18 of the 29 metros studied. In six metros, including Atlanta, Baltimore and Las Vegas, there is less than a two percentage point gap between men and women’s satisfaction. Many of the locations where women are more satisfied with dating than men are tech hubs that attract young workers, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Denver, Portland and Seattle. Perhaps women are more satisfied because of the greater share of educated men to date -- and sweep them off their feet

The satisfaction gap between men and women is greatest in Orlando, Fla. where 61 percent of men are satisfied with dating, compared to just 38 percent of women. Columbus, Ohio, comes in second with 65 percent of men expressing satisfaction with dating, compared to 46 percent of women. Men are also far more satisfied with dating than women in Southern California metros such as San Diego (18 percent gap), Riverside (17 percent gap) and Los Angeles (10 percent gap). This is in contrast to the Northern California metros of San Jose and San Francisco, where women are more satisfied with dating opportunities than men.

College educated singles are more satisfied than those without a degree in about two-thirds of metros

Singles with a bachelor’s degree are most satisfied in Raleigh (64 percent), Charlotte (64 percent) and Denver (63 percent). Those without a degree are most satisfied with dating opportunities in San Jose (63 percent), Nashville (57 percent) and Virginia Beach (55 percent).

Nationwide, there seem to be better dating opportunities for those with higher levels of education: 46 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher rated themselves as satisfied, compared to 40 percent of those without a bachelor’s degree. This is not always the case though, as those without a bachelor’s degree were more satisfied in 13 out of 41 metros studied, including Portland, Columbus, Nashville and San Jose. In three metros -- Atlanta, Durham, N.C., and Phoenix -- singles with and without college diplomas express similar levels of satisfaction.

While the educational satisfaction gap is interesting, we don’t know what’s driving these results, as there’s no clear set of characteristics of metros with the biggest or smallest gap. For example, Boston and San Jose, two metros with a whole watt of very educated workforces appear at opposite ends of the spectrum. In Boston, 59 percent of college grads are satisfied with dating, compared to 31 percent of those without a degree. In San Jose, 29 percent of college grads are satisfied with dating, compared to 63 percent of those without a degree.


Overall, 42 percent of those we surveyed nationwide reported positive levels of satisfaction with dating opportunities in their metros, while only 30 percent gave negative responses. This suggests that many singles are reasonably happy with dating options. For those unhappy with opportunities for finding love in their current metro, we’d suggest following your heart to Madison, Wis., Charleston, S.C., or Denver.

Whether your Valentine’s Day is spent with your significant other, on a first date or eating a box of chocolate with your BFFs, we at Apartment List wish you the best, because home is where the hearth is!

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

MetroDating RankOverall % SatisfiedFemale % SatisfiedMale % SatisfiedCollege % SatisfiedNo College % Satisfied
Madison, WI163%--------
Charleston, SC260%--------
Denver, CO358.2%60.7%51%62.6%53.2%
Austin, TX456.6%55.5%62.1%58.5%54.8%
Raleigh, NC555.6%----63.6%46.7%
Washington, DC654.5%54.6%54.4%57.4%48.8%
Charlotte, NC754%50%64.7%63.6%46.5%
Rochester, NY852.8%--------
Durham, NC952.3%----52.2%52.4%
Palm Bay, FL1052%--------


Data is based on results from the Apartment List renter survey between February 14th, 2017 and January 17th, 2018. The results above are based on responses from over 10,000 renters. Renters who are married or in a long-term committed relationship are excluded from the study. Renters were asked: “How would you rate your current city or neighborhood for opportunities to date and make friends?” Possible responses are as follows: Very Satisfied, Somewhat Satisfied, Neutral, Somewhat Unsatisfied, Very Unsatisfied.

Rankings are based on the share of renters who report being very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with opportunities to date and make friends. The minimum sample size for each metro was 25. Gender satisfaction breakdowns are included for metros with a minimum of 20 responses for both men and women. The metro rankings incorporate ratings from both heterosexual and LGBTQIA respondents.

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Sydney is a Senior Research Associate at Apartment List, where she conducts research on economic trends in the housing market. Sydney previously worked on a U. Read More
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