02.07.10

Best (And Worst) Cities to Find Love

Valentine’s Day is Sunday, but Cupid plays favorites with where he aims his arrows. The Daily Beast measures America’s 104 largest cities, to find the best, and worst, places to find a mate.

In every major city there are massive amounts of single people out there, says Janis Spindel. But it’s tough to find love. She should know: she makes her living from that fact, running a top matchmaking firm.

Forget the romantic notion of destiny. The clinical way to defy the mate-hunting odds, as Spindel can testify, boils down to one thing: location. With Valentine’s Day approaching, The Daily Beast thought it would quantify that part of the love equation, by examining and then ranking the 104 largest American cities, according to which are most conducive to finding, and keeping, a spouse.

We entered every U.S. city with more than 200,000 people into our computers, then dumped in data surrounding five criteria:

  • Singles ratio: The larger the percentage of singles, 18-and-over, according to U.S. Census data, the bigger the relative pool for finding the perfect mate.
  • Social life: Using Citysearch, we determined a social life quotient—how many restaurants and bars there are per over-21 adult, as a proxy for meeting opportunities.
  • Emotional Health: Studies show that happy people are more open to love. So we ranked cities based on the the Gallup-Healthways Emotional Health Index, based on thousands of questionnaires where respondents described how much they smile and laugh, whether they are treated with respect, whether they find enjoyment, get stressed, feel happy, etc. Cities in milder climes tended to fare better here, skewing those cities higher on rankings.
  • Marriage ratio: Is a given city marriage-minded? To determine, we measured the percentage of people who got married in 2008, as a percentage of overall marriage-aged population. Greensboro, North Carolina, for instance, ranked in the top quintile for the percentage of singles, but it ranked toward the bottom for marriages, earning a D.
  • Divorce ratio: It’s one thing to get married. True love means you stay married. So we measured 2008 divorces as a percentage of marriage-aged population. Stockton, California, which received an A grade for marriages, finishing in the top quintile, also received an F for divorces, ranking third from last on our list. Riverside, California, meanwhile, notched an A in both categories, placing it seventh overall.

These rankings are universal, designed to be neutral in relation to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or age. The only thing that matters is if you’re looking for love. If so, read below to see how your city fared.

#1, Long Beach, CA
Singles B
Social life: B
Emotional health: A+
Marriage: B
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Ristorante daVinci

#2, Anaheim, CA
Singles: A
Social life: A
Emotional health: C
Marriage: A
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Anaheim White House

#3, Santa Ana, CA
Singles: A
Social life: A
Emotional health: C
Marriage: A+
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Ambrosia Restaurant

love-cities---seattle

#4, Seattle, WA
Singles: A
Social life: B
Emotional health: A+
Marriage: C
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Assaggio Ristorante

#5, Miami, FL
Singles: B
Social life: A+
Emotional health: B
Marriage: D
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Chef Adrianne's Vineyard & Wine Bar

#6, New Orleans, LA
Singles: A
Social life: A
Emotional health:D
Marriage: A+
Divorce:D

Romantic hotspot: Cafe Amelie

#7, Riverside, CA
Singles: D
Social life: C
Emotional health: B
Marriage: A
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Mario's Place

#8, Irving, TX
Singles: C
Social life: A
Emotional health: A
Marriage: C
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Jericho Cuisine

love-cities---austin

#9, Austin, TX
Singles: A
Social life: D
Emotional health: B
Marriage: D
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Trio

#10, Garland, TX
Singles: D
Social life: A
Emotional health: A
Marriage: D
Divorce: A+

Romantic hotspot: Desperados Mexican Restaurant

#11, Scottsdale, AZ
Singles: B
Social life: A
Emotional health: A
Marriage: C
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Roy's Restaurant

love-cities---honolulu

#12, Honolulu, HI
Singles: C
Social life: C
Emotional health: A+
Marriage: A+
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Hoku's

#13, San Diego, CA
Singles: A
Social life: C
Emotional health: B
Marriage: C
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Cafe Chloe

#14, Norfolk, VA
Singles: A+
Social life: B
Emotional health: D
Marriage: D
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Club Soda

#15, Chula Vista, CA
Singles: A
Social life: D
Emotional health: B
Marriage: B
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Mistral Restaurant

#16, Orlando, FL
Singles: C
Social life: A+
Emotional health: B
Marriage: C
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Ming Court

love-cities---boston

#17, Boston, MA
Singles: C
Social life: A
Emotional health: B
Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Terramia Ristorante

#18, Chandler, AZ
Singles: C
Social life: B
Emotional health: A
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Ninja Japanese Restaurant

#19, Laredo, TX
Singles: A
Social life: F
Emotional health: B
Marriage: C
Divorce: A+

Romantic hotspot: Favarato's Restaurant and Bar

#20, Boise, ID
Singles: B
Social life: C
Emotional health: B
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Milky Way

#21, Portland, OR
Singles: D
Social life: B
Emotional health: A
Marriage: F
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Iorio Restaurant

#22, Chesapeake, VA
Singles: B
Social life: C
Emotional health:
B Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Daikichi Sushi Bistro

love-cities---san-francisco-1

#23, San Francisco, CA
Singles: D
Social life: B
Emotional health: A+
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Il Cantuccio

#24, Glendale, CA
Singles: F
Social life: B
Emotional health: A
Marriage: C
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Aoba Japanese restaurant

#25, Cleveland, OH
Singles: A+
Social life: A+
Emotional health: F
Marriage: D
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Gusto! Ristorante Italiano

#26, Virginia Beach, VA
Singles: A
Social life: D
Emotional health: A
Marriage: C
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Swan Terrace

#27, Sacramento, CA
Singles: A
Social life: B
Emotional health: C
Marriage: B
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: HoiCin Cantonese Restaurant

#28, Charlotte, NC
Singles: A+
Social life: D
Emotional health: B
Marriage: D
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Cajun Queen

love-cities---san-francisco

#29, Tampa, FL
Singles: B
Social life: A
Emotional health: D
Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Mise en Place Restaurant

#30, San Jose, CA
Singles: B
Social life: D
Emotional health: A
Marriage: A+
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: La Foret Restaurant

#31, Plano, TX
Singles: F
Social life: A
Emotional health: A
Marriage: F
Divorce: A+

Romantic hotspot: Gregory's Bistro

#32, Atlanta, GA
Singles: B
Social life: A+
Emotional health: D
Marriage: F
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Wisteria

#33, Fort Worth, TX
Singles: F
Social life: C
Emotional health: A
Marriage: D
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Riscky's Steakhouse

#34, Houston, TX
Singles: D
Social life: B
Emotional health: B
Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Arturo's Uptown Italiano

#35, Glendale, AZ
Singles: B
Social life: A
Emotional health: F
Marriage: C
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Hoffman's At 57th

#36, Arlington, VA
Singles: A+
Social life: F
Emotional health: A+
Marriage: B
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Tallula

#37, Pittsburgh, PA
Singles: C
Social life: A
Emotional health: C
Marriage: B
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Grand Concourse

#38, Spokane, WA
Singles: B
Social life: C
Emotional health: B
Marriage: F
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Latah Bistro

#39, Milwaukee, WI
Singles: A
Social life: C
Emotional health: F
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Sanford Restaurant

#40, Wichita, KS
Singles: A
Social life: F
Emotional health: B
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Bartelli's Pizzeria

#41, Arlington, TX
Singles: F
Social life: C
Emotional health: A
Marriage: C
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Cacharel Restaurant

#42, San Bernardino, CA
Singles: B
Social life: B
Emotional health: F
Marriage: D
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Trevor's Rustic Inn

#43, Fresno, CA
Singles: A
Social life: F
Emotional health: F
Marriage: A
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Manhattan Restaurant

#44, Cincinnati, OH
Singles: C
Social life: A
Emotional health: F
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Barresi's Italian American Restaurant

#45, Newark, NJ
Singles: B
Social life: A+
Emotional health: F
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: El Merengue Restaurant

#46, Minneapolis, MN
Singles: D
Social life: B
Emotional health: C
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Restaurant Alma

#47, Denver, CO
Singles: D
Social life: A
Emotional health: C
Marriage: A
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Deja Vu

#48, St. Paul, MN
Singles: D
Social life: C
Emotional health: C
Marriage: C
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Trattoria da Vinci

#49, Baltimore, MD
Singles: C
Social life: B
Emotional health: C
Marriage: C
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Gertrude's

#50, Greensboro, NC
Singles: A
Social life: D
Emotional health: C
Marriage: D
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Green Valley Grill

#51, Durham, NC
Singles: F
Social life: B
Emotional health: A
Marriage: C
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Metro 8 Steakhouse

#52, Omaha, NE
Singles: C
Social life: C
Emotional health: B
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Lo Sole Mio

#53, Des Moines, IA
Singles: D
Social life: C
Emotional health: B
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Skip's

#54, Henderson, NV
Singles: C
Social life: B
Emotional health: C
Marriage: B
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Todd's Unique Dining

#55, Toledo, OH
Singles: A+
Social life: C
Emotional health: F
Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Mancy's Steaks

#56, Richmond, VA
Singles: C
Social life: A
Emotional health: D
Marriage: D
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: La Petite France

#57, El Paso, TX
Singles: B
Social life: F
Emotional health: C
Marriage: B
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: The Magic Pan Restaurant

#58, New York, NY
Singles: C
Social life: D
Emotional health: D
Marriage: A
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: La Sirene

#59, Nashville, TN
Singles: D
Social life: D
Emotional health: B
Marriage: C
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Sole Mio

#60, St. Louis, MO
Singles: A
Social life: C
Emotional health: F
Marriage: D
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Sidney Street Café

#61, Albuquerque, NM
Singles: C
Social life: F
Emotional health: A
Marriage: C
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Antiquity Restaurant

#62, Washington, DC
Singles: B
Social life: D
Emotional health: C
Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Zaytinya

#63, Raleigh, NC
Singles: C
Social life: B
Emotional health: D
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Porter's Tavern

#64, Los Angeles, CA
Singles: D
Social life: D
Emotional health: C
Marriage: B
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Naraya

#65, Las Vegas, NV
Singles: D
Social life: A
Emotional health: D
Marriage: D
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Rosemary's Restaurant

#66, Lubbock, TX
Singles: A
Social life: F
Emotional health: C
Marriage: D
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Cafe J

#67, Dallas, TX
Singles: F
Social life: B
Emotional health: F
Marriage: B
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Old Warsaw Restaurant

#68, Kansas City, MO
Singles: B
Social life: C
Emotional health: D
Marriage: D
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: The Capital Grille

#69, Mesa, AZ
Singles: F
Social life: D
Emotional health: A
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: T C Eggington's

#70, Hialeah, FL
Singles: D
Social life: C
Emotional health: D
Marriage: D
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Atlantic Restaurant

#71, St. Petersburg, FL
Singles: C
Social life: D
Emotional health: D
Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Alfresco

#72, Tucson, AZ
Singles: C
Social life: F
Emotional health: C
Marriage: D
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Vivace Restaurant

#73, Bakersfield, CA
Singles: D
Social life: F
Emotional health: B
Marriage: C
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Frugatti's Italian Eatery

#74, San Antonio, TX
Singles: B
Social life: F
Emotional health: F
Marriage: B
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Omni La Mansion del Rio

#75, Baton Rouge, LA
Singles: D
Social life: B
Emotional health: D
Marriage: D
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Juban's Restaurant

#76, Oakland, CA
Singles: C
Social life: C
Emotional health: C
Marriage: C
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Zza's Trattoria

#77, Tulsa, OK
Singles: C
Social life: D
Emotional health: C
Marriage: C
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Ti Amo Italian Ristorante

#78, Aurora, CO
Singles: D
Social life: C
Emotional health: C
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: The Summit

#79, Buffalo, NY
Singles: D
Social life: B
Emotional health: D
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Left Bank

#80, Chicago, IL
Singles: F
Social life: D
Emotional health: B
Marriage: D
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Avenues

#81, Fort Wayne, IN
Singles: B
Social life: F
Emotional health: D
Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Casa Mare

#82, Birmingham, AL
Singles: D
Social life: A
Emotional health: D
Marriage: C
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Ocean

#83, Akron, OH
Singles: C
Social life: B
Emotional health: F
Marriage: F
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: New Era Restaurant

#84, Madison, WI
Singles: F
Social life: F
Emotional health: A
Marriage: F
Divorce: A+

Romantic hotspot: Porta Bella

#85, Philadelphia, PA
Singles: B
Social life: D
Emotional health: F
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Bistro Romano

#86, Oklahoma City, OK
Singles: F
Social life: C
Emotional health: C
Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Bourbon Street Café

#87, Jacksonville, FL
Singles: B
Social life: F
Emotional health: F
Marriage: A+
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Bistro Aix

#88, Colorado Springs, CO
Singles: F
Social life: F
Emotional health: A
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Walter's Bistro

#89, Jersey City, NJ
Singles: F
Social life: B
Emotional health: F
Marriage: C
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Casa Dante

#90, Indianapolis, IN
Singles: B
Social life: D
Emotional health: F
Marriage: D
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Circle City Bar & Grille

#91, Reno, NV
Singles: F
Social life: C
Emotional health: D
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: La Strada

#92, Louisville, KY
Singles: C
Social life: D
Emotional health: D
Marriage: F
Divorce: B

Romantic hotspot: Lilly's

#93, Columbus, OH
Singles: F
Social life: C
Emotional health: D
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: The Refectory

#94, Lincoln, NE
Singles: F
Social life: F
Emotional health: B
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Oven

#95, Anchorage, AK
Singles: D
Social life: F
Emotional health: C
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

Romantic hotspot: Mixx Grill

#96, North Las Vegas, NV
Singles: F
Social life: B
Emotional health: D
Marriage: D
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Pip's Cucina & Wine Bar

#97, Modesto, CA
Singles: F
Social life: F
Emotional health: C
Marriage: A
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Appetez

#98, Detroit, MI
Singles: C
Social life: D
Emotional health: F
Marriage: B
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Rattlesnake Club

#99, Phoenix, AZ
Singles: D
Social life: D
Emotional health: F
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Different Pointe of View

#100, Winston-Salem, NC
Singles: F
Social life: D
Emotional health: B
Marriage: D
Divorce: C

Romantic hotspot: Sweet Potatoes

#101, Corpus Christi, TX
Singles: D
Social life: F
Emotional health: D
Marriage: B
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Luciano's Italian Restaurant

#102, Stockton, CA
Singles: F
Social life: F
Emotional health: C
Marriage: A
Divorce: F

Romantic hotspot: Cocoro

#103, Memphis, TN
Singles: C
Social life: D
Emotional health: F
Marriage: C
Divorce: D

Romantic hotspot: Mollie Fontaine Lounge

#104, Lexington, KY
Singles: F
Social life: F
Emotional health: F
Marriage: F
Divorce: A+

Romantic hotspot: Arirang Garden

Clark Merrefield coordinated these rankings, with assistance from Tali Yahalom and Jaimie Etkin.