Where Are the Single People in Your City?

People often ask me, “Where can I meet other single people?” It’s a good question because if you grow your pool of singles it increases the odds that you can find someone with the characteristics you want. Fortunately, there’s some data to help us find better dating odds.

For example, this graphic from Pew Social Trends shows that San Jose, California has 141 single men for every 100 single women. You can hover your cursor over different regions on the map to see the balance of singles in your area of interest.

Although information about nationwide trends is helpful, there can be variability within cities. For example, in the New York City/Newark region, there are 109 single men to every 100 single women. But NYC is made up of distinctive neighborhoods and if we look at a map from visualizing.nyc, we can see there are 17% more single women than single men and in the Upper East Side by Central Park the imbalance is even greater with 60% more single women to single men. Walk about a mile to Hell’s Kitchen and the odds change to 35% more single men than single women.

This data helps inform heterosexual singles, but what about people who are looking for a partner of the same sex? The data for LGBT singles related to this question is far from perfect and it’s a good example of challenges I encountered while writing The Science of Happily Ever After. Sometimes data about LGBT relationships was available, but sometimes there was not enough data for me to reach a sound conclusion.

Let’s start with this map of Gay Marriage in America from the NY Times. It’s somewhat helpful for locating regions with higher rates of gay marriage, but we have to make an inferential leap. We  have to assume that higher rates of gay marriage are strongly correlated with higher rates of gay singles in the area. This might be true, but we would have to find this data to support our theory.

Another approach would be to look for polling data about people who identify as LGBT. This Gallup chart below shows a breakdown of the percent of people who identify as LGBT by city, which includes singles as well as married couples. For a mapped representation see the Movement Advancement Project. Finally, for a neighborhood approach one could look at OUTgoing for a map showing past and present gay nightlife across the city.

The takeaway here is that different cities and even different neighborhoods can differ widely in the number of eligible singles available depending on your preferences. So if you’re a heterosexual woman living on the Upper East Side of New York City wondering where all the good men have gone, they have probably not gone extinct. There may be good men in San Jose wondering where all of the good women have gone.