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Want to get married — or stay single? Move to these states

Published: Friday, Aug. 22 2014 3:50 p.m. MDT

Single? In a relationship? Married? Your relationship status may depend a lot on the city that you're living in.

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Your relationship status may depend a lot upon where you’re living.

Facebook’s data team researched the cities where people are forming and breaking off relationships across the country through the social network. The data showed an interesting connection between where people live and the relationships they say they have on Facebook.

Forming an "inverse correlation" between relationship formation rates and the number of people that are coupled, the findings may actually be a self-fulfilling prophecy, according to the study. If your city is filled with single people, you’re more likely to stay single. If your city is filled with those in relationships, you're more likely to remain or seek to be coupled.

But part of where you live can act as motivation too, the study said. People can now use the data to determine where the best places to live are based upon their own personal desire — to marry or to remain single.

Here are the best and worst cities for the relationship status — or not — you seek to have:

Single or it’s complicated

The top five cities filled with single people include Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Memphis, the Facebook research found, although it also differs based upon gender.

For males, the best cities to find a single woman would be Memphis, Jacksonville, Fort Worth, Charlotte, and Richmond, according to Facebook.

But for females, the top cities to find a single male would be San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and San Jose, Facebook’s research found.

“If you're looking to find somebody, cities like Colorado Springs and El Paso have the highest rate of relationship formation,” Facebook explained. “If you're just looking to hang out with single people, San Francisco, Washington, New York, and Los Angeles have plenty of single people and low rates of relationship formation.”

But there’s an important thing to remember when looking at the data, Slate’s Amanda Hess pointed out. Living in or moving to a city with a high amount of singles doesn't always guarantee you are going to get into a relationship with someone in that state, especially because people tend to mimic pre-existing attitudes and cultural norms of the areas they live in — which leads us to the question that Hess tackled for City Lab: Is your city making you single?

It may just be. Hess wrote that since so many singles are sliding into cities like Los Angeles or New York on a consistent basis, the best states for singles may also be the worst. People who keep coming into the cities don’t want to form long relationships, which causes the amount of singles to stay high, Hess wrote.

“Like a shelf stocked full with fancy mustards, too many potential mates makes it harder to settle on just one,” Hess wrote. “The surplus of singles in New York and L.A. means only that the single person’s wasteland is that much more vast.”

In a relationship

Facebook’s data found that the cities with the most formed relationships are Colorado Springs, El Paso, Louisville, Fort Worth and San Antonio — so it seems the South is really where all the relationships are. While those cities might have a lot of pairs, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where couples will do well in other ways.

A study by creditdonkey.com looked at what cities are best for young couples based on the housing market, employment opportunities and the community of young couples. The study found that Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Seattle, Denver, Indianapolis, Boston, Portland, Oregon, Columbus, Ohio, and Tampa are great cities for young couples because they are affordable for those in new jobs and serve as home to a good amount of young couples.


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