Single and Dating? Here is where most singles are living in the US.
Dating in 2023 is no easy feat, and many are looking online to find love. There are more than 127 million single people 18 years and older living in America, according to U.S. Census data. That accounts for nearly 40% of the nation’s population, but many feel like they’re the only ones looking for a significant other.
Our new survey of more than 1,000 singles determines what is socially acceptable in this day and age when it comes to things like researching a person before going out with them and navigating the online dating world. We also used data to figure out which cities are home to the most singles across the country.
Dating in 2023
It’s not an easy time to date: more than half (56%) of singles feel dating is harder now than in previous years. More than 1 in 3 (35%) have gone on fewer dates because of inflation, and 26% are offering to split the bill more because of costs. More women (34%) than men (18%) are willing to do that.
Many people are having to turn to online options to find dates, but going out with a stranger comes with a whole new set of rules. Nearly half (49%) think it’s socially acceptable to stalk a date online before going out with them.
So, where are all these single people hiding? Census data shows a lot of cities with the most singles are out East! Richmond, Virginia ranked first followed by Pittsburgh (2nd), Buffalo (3rd), Newark (4th), and Cincinnati (5th).
Many cities in the top 20 are also from the Midwest. St. Louis ranked 8th, Detroit came in 9th, Madison in 10th, Milwaukee earned 18th, and Chicago ranked 20th!
Cities with the Most Singles
Across the United States, most single men are living in Minneapolis. Census data shows there are more than 101,000 men who have never been married living there. Atlanta is the 2nd city for bachelors followed by Newark and Pittsburgh.
We also looked specifically at divorcees. Most people who have been divorced are living out West or in Florida. Spokane has the most divorcees in the U.S., but four Florida cities are in the top 10. Jacksonville (2nd), Orlando (5th), St. Petersburg (7th), and Hialeah (8th) all are home to a high number of people whose marriages didn’t work out.
For Valentine’s Day 2023, more than 1 in 5 (22%) singles in America are hoping to find a date for the holiday. More men (25%) than women (17%) are anxious to be out with someone on February 14th. However, 75% admitted they think Valentine’s Day is overrated.
Nearly 1 in 4 (24%) women are planning to celebrate Galentine’s Day! That’s the unofficial holiday where women celebrate each other and their friends.
Should you research a date online?
When people are preparing for dates, singles are doing more than just dressing up. More than 1 in 3 (38%) admitted to stalking their date online. 51% of women versus 25% of men said they’ve looked up the person online. In fact, 29% spend more than 20 minutes researching a date!
Some have gone a step further and actually told their date that they looked them up online. Nearly 1 in 6 (14%) confessed to it, while 19% say a date has admitted to looking them up!
Others don’t just rely on Google searches when researching a potential partner. Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) have run a background check on their date.
Dating App Frustrations
75% find it hard to meet potential dates without looking online, so 67% have used dating apps. Of those who have used them, 69% do not like them, and 35% do not feel safe using them.
The main reason most (69%) people use these apps are for dates, but 15% admitted their main reason for swiping right or left is for hookups. 22% of men use dating apps mainly for hookups, compared to 7% of women.
How Americans Feel About Being Single
Nearly 1 in 3 (31%) people are not content with being single. Half admitted they miss being with someone physically. Others feel like all their friends are dating and married, and nearly 1 in 4 (23%) just don’t like being by themselves.
Nearly half (47%) of singles surveyed said that they are afraid of being alone forever. Nearly 1 in 3 (30%) have gone on dates to try and feel less lonely. It made 20% feel less lonely, but unfortunately, 31% ended up feeling lonelier. More than half (53%) of pet owners said the more dates they go on, the more they love their pets.
More than 2 in 5 (42%) have also felt judged for being single. 27% said immediate family judges them, but 27% also said they feel judged by friends! In fact, many singles do not like it when their family or friends try to play matchmaker. Nearly 4 in 5 (76%) do not trust them to set them up on blind dates.
Many singles aren’t settling for love. More than 2 in 3 (69%) are content with their singleness. 91% said they are enjoying their independence, 58% are saving more money, and 24% said they are going to therapy and becoming their best self before their next relationship.
Being single can be a mixture of freedom and frustration all at the same time. It’s okay to feel a combination of emotions if you have not found a significant other. Just know that you’re not alone in this journey and that hundreds of thousands of others are navigating the dating world too.
In December 2022, we surveyed 1,064 people who are single. 46% were female, 49% male, 4% non-binary/non-conforming, and 1% transgender. 72% were straight, 16% bisexual, 5% gay, 3% lesbian, and 4% marked other. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 83 with an average age of 35.
To determine the cities with the most singles we used 2021 U.S. Census data (the most recent available) of men and women 15 years and older who have never been married, are divorced or are widowed. We examined the 100 most populous cities in the country and ranked the cities on average per capita.
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When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing Thriving Center of Psychology