The years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have been tough for people in the dating market.
Many of the places where people normally socialize and meet partners, such as entertainment venues, bars and restaurants, or even meeting friends, have been unavailable or restricted during the pandemic. Figuring out where and how to safely meet up with a date presented logistical challenges, with many people choosing video calls as a substitute. And while online dating and apps have been common for years, usage and engagement on these platforms skyrocketed during the pandemic as few alternatives were available.
Today, nearly two-thirds of singles looking for a partner report that dating has become more difficult since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And while the proportion of adults seeking a relationship hasn’t changed much in that time, nearly a third of those who have recently stopped dating cite COVID-related concerns as the reason. At a time when loneliness and isolation were high, romantic companionship became harder to come by.
COVID-related challenges in the dating scene have come at a time when more and more people are delaying or forgoing marriage. The proportion of unmarried people increased steadily in the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century. In 1950, 20% of women and 26.4% of men had never married; today the figures are 30.6% and 36.6%, respectively. Over time, increases in educational attainment and women’s labor force participation rates have made marriage an economic necessity, while the liberalization of social attitudes has made other romantic and family arrangements more acceptable.
However, marriage and long-term commitment remain a goal for many single adults. For these individuals, the difficulties in finding a partner extend beyond the disruptions to dating in COVID and the long-term shifts in attitudes towards marriage. For people in many parts of the country, the pool of available partners is limited by demographic factors.
For example, the proportion of adults who are single – defined here as neither married nor living with a single partner – varies widely across states. Utah has the lowest proportion of single US adults at 25.2%, while southern states such as Mississippi (40.1%), Louisiana (39.1%) and Alabama (37.1%) have the highest. Some states are also gender imbalanced. The Northeast and Southeast have a higher proportion of female residents, while the states in the Upper Plains and Mountain West are more male. In states where the single population is low and gender unequal, many singles find a shallower dating pool.
People looking for the best places to meet a romantic match should look for high singles count and gender balance. Singles may also want to look out for a high concentration of food and entertainment businesses to meet others and go on dates, and low divorce rates can signal good prospects for a successful relationship. With these measures combined, California and New York offer many of the best big cities to fall in love with. The two states combined have seven of the top 10 cities to love, with California being home to each of the top 4 cities.
The data used in this analysis comes from the US Census Bureau. To determine the best places to move to if you want to fall in love, Porch’s researchers calculated a composite score based on percentage of single adults, sex ratio of single adults, divorce rate, and number of foods and Food based entertainment businesses per capita.
Here is a summary of the data for Pennsylvania:
- Composite score: 57.2
- Percentage of Single Adults: 33.6%
- Male share of adult singles: 44.5%
- Divorce rate: 10.1%
- Food and entertainment businesses per 10,000: 51.6
For reference, here are the stats for the entire United States:
- Composite score: N / A
- Percentage of Single Adults: 33.2%
- Male share of adult singles: 44.8%
- Divorce rate: 11.1%
- Food and entertainment businesses per 10,000: 53.4
For more information, detailed methodology and full results, see the original report on Porch’s website: https://porch.com/advice/best-cities-to-fall-in-love/