If you’re looking to meet the right person, you might head to your local bar, ask your friends to invite you and their favorite single pals over for dinner, or sign up for one of the myriad dating apps available these days. But it might behoove you to take a big step back and consider the city in which you’re looking for love. It matters more than you think.
Let’s start with the obvious: It’s wise to choose a location that attracts people who fit your personality. “You’re likely to find more techie types in San Francisco, whereas you’ll meet more creative men in Los Angeles,” says Laurie Davis Edwards, love coach and founder of Eflirt.com.
Whether you’re moving for work or just taking a vacation in hopes of finding your one true love, head to one of these U.S. cities.
1. New York City, New York
With almost 1 million OkCupid users alone, it’s no surprise New York is a top contender for singles. Bumble also found that members in New York had a higher percentage of matches based on location, education level, and the sheer number of singles. In fact, the Daily Beast found that over 56 percent of the city (of about 8.5 million people) is single.
2. Boston, Massachusetts
Coffee Meets Bagel found that the city had the most equal number of single men and women, and most of the singles shared a big trait: intellect. A poll of its users found that about half had bachelor’s degrees, a third had a master’s degree, 7 percent had an MD, JD, or MBA, and 6 percent had a PhD. And if you prefer to look online for love, this is the place to do it. More highly educated people tend to delay marriage and are also more inclined to use online dating to find a partner.
3. Charleston, South Carolina
The rapid influx of young creatives to Charleston is making it a great place to meet a partner. In fact, a study by Forbes found that Charleston is quickly outpacing the nation in tech growth by a hefty 26 percent. And the locals are active in the dating scene: Charleston Magazine found that 70 percent of the single population go on at least one date a month with a new person in the city, with 27 percent going on two or three.
4. Chicago, Illinois
On Bumble, Chicago sees one of the largest percentages of matchmaking swipes than any other city in the U.S. Badoo, one of the largest dating websites in the world, also found Illinois (and specifically Chicago) to be one of the chattiest places in the U.S.—with users more likely to reach out to their matches and bring the connection to life. For Tinder, Chicago ranked number seven in the top 10 cities where users have made the most matches. “We found that it’s easier for our [Bumble] users to date in larger cities like Chicago, and men and women are more likely to swipe right. Plus, the city boasts a large dating culture and has residents who are more willing to date a wider range of people,” Alex Williamson el-Effendi said.
5. San Francisco, California
In Trulia’s single study, San Francisco ranked the highest in eligible single men (meaning they’re not married or never have been, work more than 40 hours per week, are between 20 and 40, and have at least a college degree). The Bay Area’s progressive use of technology also makes men more likely to use dating apps, according to Dawoon Kang, cofounder of Coffee Meets Bagel. “If you’re looking for men, San Francisco has them! Over 65 percent of our single members in that area are men,” Kang said. “Plus, it’s a good place to go if you’re not religious—27 percent of members aren’t—and crave diversity—the city has a great mix of people.”
6. Austin, Texas
Ranked number three on Trulia’s report as the best place to find single men, Austin’s quirky vibe, relaxed atmosphere, and low unemployment rate (just 3 percent) make it an easy place to date. Plus, Austin residents are known to work hard and play harder. Many of the city’s young and educated residents are spending their hard-earned dinero at the city’s many popular watering holes downtown. “If there are fun activities, restaurants, coffee shops, and more, finding a fun place to connect with someone will be easier,” Cabrino said.
7. Washington, D.C.
One of the most educated cities in the U.S., Washington, D.C., is the place to be if you’re looking for a mate who’s career-driven, passionate, and intelligent. According to a study by Coffee Meets Bagel, at least 55 percent of members in the D.C. area have a bachelor’s degree, with over 41 percent holding a master’s and above. But this group is also very choosy; the city ranked one of the highest for picky mates by Bumble. “Singles come to D.C. because they are serious about establishing their careers and their lives. They have clarity and confidence to voice their needs and opinions. They know who they are and what they want. They are ready and on their dating purpose of finding a serious relationship and a partner,” House said.