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The Best & Worst Metros for Dating 2021

February 5, 2020

As Valentine’s Day approaches, there’s no better time to highlight the metros across the country with the best dating scenes. By analyzing survey data from over 11,000 single renters across the US, Apartment List has determined the best and worst metros for dating. 

For all you singles out there looking for love, maybe it’s time to follow cupid’s arrow and give one of these cities a try!

Provo, Utah Ranks as the Top Metro in the US For Dating

If you had to guess a Utah metro to be ranked at the top of this list, Salt Lake City likely comes to mind. However, you’ll need to travel 45 miles south of the state’s capital to find our top spot: Provo, Utah. 

Nearly half (47.5%) of Provo survey respondents reported being satisfied with Provo’s dating scene. That’s the highest score by far! 

Provo is home to scenic mountain views and the esteemed Brigham Young University. So, it’s no surprise single renters are flourishing. 

Looking for date ideas? Why not try a hike, day on the slopes, a hot air balloon ride, and even a whitewater excursion! 

Residents have also voted Provo as one of the best college cities in the country.

best metros for dating 2020

Richmond and Raleigh Round Out the Top 3

Coming in second place is Richmond, Virginia. With a booming music scene, hip restaurants, and a plethora of beautiful historic sites, it’s easy to see why 44.2% of Richmond singles are satisfied with the metro's dating opportunities. 

Richmond is also home to two universities, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond. The popular colleges add plenty of bright-eyed singles to the mix. 

Taking bronze is Raleigh, North Carolina. This year, 42% of single renters reported being satisfied with dating opportunities in Raleigh. That catapulted the metro from last year’s 28th place ranking. 

With its robust tech scene, Raleigh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The influx of young professionals entering the area every year mixed with the 22,000 students attending local North Carolina State University is likely one of the reasons for the increase in dating satisfaction.

Best Metros for Dating - Top 10

MetroDating Satisfaction %Share Satisfied
Provo, UT47.5%1
Richmond, VA44.23%2
Raleigh, NC42.19%3
Bridgeport, CT39.39%4
Knoxville, TN37.93%5
Pittsburgh, PA37.08%6
Denver, CO36.59%7
Houston, TX36.22%8
Chattanooga, TN36%9
Grand Rapids, MI35.71%10

Three Florida Metros Rank in the Bottom Three

North Port, Deltona, and Lakeland, FL land as the three lowest-ranked metros for dating satisfaction. Of the 86 metros surveyed, North Port, Deltona, and Lakeland were the only metros on our list with a dating satisfaction score lower than 10%. 

Aging populations and renters migrating to larger Florida metros like Orlando, Miami, and Tampa might be worsening the dating pool. 

Outside of these Florida metros, mostly metros in the Northeast round out the bottom 10. It appears the brutal winters in Buffalo and Syracuse aren’t optimal for a lively dating scene. Both metros report satisfaction rates of 12%.

Worst Metros for Dating - Bottom 10

MetroDating Satisfaction %Share Satisfied
North Port, FL5.41%86
Deltona, FL7.14%85
Lakeland, FL8.57%84
New Haven, CT10%83
Buffalo, NY11.76%82
Syracuse, NY12%81
Harrisburg, PA12%80
Worcester, MA13.33%79
Spokane, WA14.81%78
Birmingham, AL14.81%77

Men are Most Satisfied with Dating in San Diego, While Women Rank Columbus First

We decided to take the dating satisfaction scores one step further. We broke it down by gender, revealing some interesting insights. In general, men report much higher scores than women. 

For example, the top-ranking metro for dating satisfaction among men had an overall score of 53.19%. For women, the top-ranking metro only had a score of 40%. 

Men are loving the dating opportunities in sunny San Diego. On the other hand, women prefer the smaller college-town vibe in Columbus, Ohio. 

Where else are men and women the most and least satisfied with dating opportunities? Let’s take a look.

Best Metros for Dating - Male vs. Female

MenDating Satisfaction %RankingWomenDating Satisfaction %Ranking
San Diego, CA53.19%1Columbus, OH40%1
Denver, CO52.08%2Houston, TX32.26%2
Houston, TX42.86%3Boston, MA32.05%3
Virginia Beach, VA42.86%4Atlanta, GA31.33%4
St. Louis, MO42.86%5Denver, CO30.1%5
Miami, FL42.59%6Cleveland, OH29.41%6
Washington, DC42.19%7Washington, DC29.26%7
Boston, MA41.77%8Philadelphia, PA28.74%8
Charlotte, NC41.67%9Minneapolis, MN28.57%9
Milwaukee, WI40.91%10Charlotte, NC28.21%10

College-Educated Singles Most Satisfied with Dating in Denver, Non-college-Educated Rank Richmond #1

Does having a college degree change how singles view a city's dating scene? It appears that the two groups have different tastes. 

For college-educated singles, trendy metros with strong job markets make up the top 10. Denver takes the first spot for college-educated singles.

For non-college educated singles, Eastern metros dominate the top 10. Richmond comes in at the top, with Raleigh and Columbus at #2 and #3. 

Interestingly enough, two Connecticut metros appear at the bottom for both groups. For college-educated singles, Hartford was the lowest-ranked metro. For non-college-educated people, New Haven was ranked at the bottom.

Best Metros for Dating - Education Level

College-EducatedDating Satisfaction %RankingNon-College-EducatedDating Satisfaction %Ranking
Denver, CO47.13%1Richmond, VA40.74%1
Richmond, VA45.45%2Raleigh, NC37.5%2
Pittsburgh, PA42.86%3Columbus, OH36.96%3
San Diego, CA42.68%4Charlotte, NC34.62%4
Raleigh, NC41.67%5Washington, DC34.44%5
Boston, MA41.06%6Salt Lake City, UT33.33%6
Cleveland, OH40%7Cincinnati, OH33.33%7
Houston, TX39.77%8Nashville, TN32.35%8
Omaha, NE37.04%9Houston, TX31.71%9
Milwaukee, WI36.17%10Miami, FL31.31%10

Haven’t seen your hometown mentioned yet? Find your city in the table below to see how renters feel about dating opportunities in your area.

Best Metros for Dating - Full Data Set

RankingMetroOverall Dating Satisfaction %Male Satisfaction %Female Satisfaction %College Satisfaction %Non-College Satisfaction %
1Provo, UT47.5%--------
2Richmond, VA44.23%----45.45%40.74%
3Raleigh, NC42.19%----41.67%37.5%
4Bridgeport, CT39.39%--------
5Knoxville, TN37.93%--------
6Pittsburgh, PA37.08%----42.86%29.27%
7Denver, CO36.59%52.08%30.1%47.13%23.08%
8Houston, TX36.22%42.86%32.26%39.77%31.71%
9Chattanooga, TN36%--------
10Grand Rapids, MI35.71%--------


The data is based on results from the Apartment List renter survey between February 15, 2019 and December 31, 2019. The results above are based on responses from over 20,000 renters. Renters who are married or in a long-term committed relationship were excluded from the study. 

We asked renters: “How would you rate your current city or neighborhood for opportunities to date?” Possible responses were as follows: Very Satisfied, Somewhat Satisfied, Neutral, Somewhat Unsatisfied, Very Unsatisfied.

Rankings are based on the share of renters who reported being very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with opportunities to date. The minimum sample size for each metro was 25. 

Gender satisfaction breakdowns are included for cities 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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Justin Chaplin
Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More

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