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.
Oh, you’re married? Cool. Chances are you probably live in the Western United States.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that states that had higher percentages of married couples were in the West, like California, Washington and Oregon. Quality Health, a relationship and wellness health organization, outlined the cities that have the most married couples. The list is topped by Gilbert, Arizona; Naperville, Illinois; Plano, Texas; Simi Valley, California and Corona, California — four of which are all considered a part of the West.
But those cities may not be the best for your marriage. Creditdonkey.com released a study of the best cities for newlyweds, basing their search on which cities had the most married couples, a low divorce rate, a decent credit score and a good work week. Atlanta, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Jose, California and Buffalo, all topped the charts.
“She likes the coast, he likes the Midwest,” the study said. “She prefers warm weather, but he wants a mix of weather patterns. No one said compromise was easy, especially when it comes to deciding on where a couple new to marriage should live. “
You may want to be careful with where you’re getting married, though. Some cities can be pretty expensive.
Research has also been done about where the most divorced couples in the United States live. The U.S. Census Bureau looked at what cities had the highest divorce rates, and the results were published in Business Insider. The city with the highest divorce rate is Las Vegas, which isn’t too surprising given the high amount of marriages the city also allows (more than 120,000).
Tampa, Miami and Portland also have high rates of divorce — floating between 10 and 15 percent for those cities for both males and females. Detroit, which is known for having a high amount of singles according to the aforementioned Facebook services, has a 9.6 percent divorce rate for men and a 12.4 percent rate for females.
But interestingly, New York and Los Angeles, which are two of the more single-filled cities, rank low on the divorce list. Los Angeles’ divorce rate is at 7 percent for men and 10.2 percent for females, while New York’s is 6.2 percent for men and 9.3 percent for women.
So even though those cities have few divorced couples, there’s still a lot of room for people to find love.
WidowedComment on this story
There are more than 14 million widows in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with many of them (about 11 million) being women. And it’s not a resting trend, as even the newly married are finding themselves without loved ones. Lois Collins of Deseret News National explained what you shouldn’t say to them, and that it may just be best to offer emotional support for young widows in times of tragedy.
It seems widows are finding comfort in cities, though, despite hard times. Researchers have especially looked at single seniors — most of whom are widows — and where they’ve been spending their days. The U.S. News and World Report published a list of the best cities with the most single seniors in the country, and it’s topped by Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Florence, South Carolina; Vineland, New Jersey; Jackson, Mississippi; and Springfield, Massachusetts, all of which are on the East Coast.