2016’s Best & Worst Cities for Singles - How Does Worcester Rank?
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
About 109 million, or 45 percent, of the U.S. adult population are single.
See How Worcester and All the Cities Rank Below
"The only problem with being a member of such a large unmarried group, informally known as “America’s Singles Club,” is that your prospects need to live within a drivable or walkable distance — unless you and your future beau can tolerate a completely or partially virtual relationship," writes WalletHub in its new study.
Worcester ranks #62 in the U.S. while Boston is #5 in the country.
"With your love life in mind, our data team compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities based on 29 key indicators of a location conducive to a healthy single-but-looking disposition. Our data set ranges from “share of single population” to “number of online dating opportunities” to 'nightlife options per capita.' Continue reading below for the winners, expert dating advice and a full description of our methodology."
In order to identify the best cities for singles, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities across three key dimensions: 1) Dating Economics, 2) Romance & Fun and 3) Dating Opportunities.
We evaluated those dimensions using 29 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the most favorable conditions for singles.
Finally, we calculated the overall score for each city based on its weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to rank the cities accordingly.
In determining our sample, we considered only the city proper in each case and excluded cities in the surrounding metro area.
Dating Economics - Total Points: 25
Restaurant-Meal Costs: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Average Beer & Wine Price: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Movie Costs: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Taxi-Fare Cost: Half Weight (~ 1.00 Points)
Average Monthly Fitness-Club Fee: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Beauty-Salon Costs: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Haircut Costs: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Average Party-Ticket Price: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Median Annual Household Income: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted by the cost of living.
Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Note: This metric was measured using the rent of a one-bedroom apartment (adjusted by the median annual household income).
Job Growth Rate: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Overall Well-Being Index: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (~ 2.00 Points)
Romance & Fun - Total Points: 25
Number of Restaurants per Capita: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
Number of Cafés per Capita: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
Number of Attractions: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
Note: “Attractions” include, for instance, museums, cultural performances and zoos.
Number of Parks per Capita: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
City Accessibility: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
Walkability: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
Number of Nightlife Options per Capita: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
WalletHub “Weather” Ranking: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
Crime Rate: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
Number of Shopping Centers per Capita: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
Number of Wellness & Spa Centers per Capita: Full Weight (~ 2.27 Points)
Dating Opportunities – Total Points: 50
Share of Single Population: Double Weight (~ 12.50 Points)
Singles Gender Balance: Double Weight (~ 12.50 Points)
Online Dating Opportunities: Full Weight (~ 6.25 Points)
Note: This metric was measured using the percentage of households with a broadband connection.
Mobile Dating Opportunities: Full Weight (~6.25 Points)
Note: This metric was measured using the percentage of adults who own a smartphone.
“Most Active Tinder Users” Ranking: Double Weight (~ 12.50 Points)
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Council for Community and Economic Research, Numbeo, Eventbrite, Esri's Updated Demographics - 2016 estimates (Market Potential: GfK MRI), Department of Housing and Urban Development, Trust for Public Land, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Walk Score, Gallup-Healthways, Tinder and WalletHub research.
Related Slideshow: 20 Most Hipster Places in Worcester
The Dive Bar
As hipster as it gets, The Dive Bar is "a real place…full of real people…who are drinking REAL beer!" With its cool vibes, craft beer, and cash-only bar, this establishment is the antithesis of all things pretentious. Its website even warns, "If you're looking for a bar with a couch and throw pillows or sugared rims...Stick to your lychee martini or your pale yellow, tasteless, fizzy “beer” with the multimillion dollar ad campaign." So check your mainstream tendencies at the door, check out the chalkboard beer menu, and check in with friends on the bar's back patio as you talk about the latest indie music or your new vegan lifestyle.
Promising "Enlightenment in every cup," this cafe uses local, organic, and sustainable ingredients in its coffee and tea. Acoustic Java is the perfect place to sit down with coffee and a good book - and if you finish that book, don't worry! Used books are sold right beside the cafe's delicious cinnamon rolls. And, for the "acoustic" half of Acoustic Java, stop in on Friday nights to enjoy live music from singers who are so new, they don't even exist yet.
This establishment won 2012's "Best of Worcester Living" award, but don't let the mainstream media attention fool you. The cafe is "NU" and fresh, and all the ingredients are "nude" in the sense that they're free from artificial junk. The coffee is organic and fair trade certified, while the juices and smoothies are made with real, fresh fruit. Make sure to take advantage of the half price refills - paying full price is so last year.
We all know that you read The Great Gatsby before it was a movie. But if you still want to see the Roaring 20's come to life, stop by Nick's for a cross between a German pub and a vintage jazz club experience. The bartenders are craft drink makers, and the live music and interesting architecture is sure to give you a unique bar experience.
Although hipsters usually avoid definitions, the Abbey's website makes a point to define the terms "artisan" and "craftsman" to show how it celebrates "the Artisan Craftsman in all aspects of our establishment." The Abbey's beers are carefully curated, and rare beers are regularly brought in. The atmosphere is cozy but cool, and the food is sure to satisfy.
Beatnik's is a little quirky, a little funky, and a lot hipster. It has live music and a low-key vibe, and it usually draws in those people who are loving life in their 30s. The first Tuesday of every month is an evening Indie Art Market, where local artists sell handmade paintings, jewelry, photography, and more! So drop by for a chance to buy art that is as unique as your hippie persona!
Diner, bar, club - this place has it all. When you walk in and turn left, the "Rock 'n' Roll Diner" serves burgers and chili late into the night. Turn right, and you enter an old factory room that has been transformed into a bohemian bar. And finally, go upstairs to chill out in an eccentric concert room and listen to live music. This eclectic mixture certainly proves that "If the word funky was invented for anything, it was invented for Ralph's."
Do hipsters eat pizza? If it's Corner Grille pizza, then the answer is absolutely, "yes!" You can order a "Tipsy Goat" or "Cave Man" pie, or sip iced tea for two out of a mason jar. With the unique atmosphere, cool location, and delicious food, pizza is definitely the new tofu.
Lucky Dog Music Hall
Coldplay who? Support your favorite local bands at the Lucky Dog Music Hall! The cold beers and chill atmosphere set the mood for some killer tunes. And if you want an autograph from one of the artists, we guarantee you'll never have to push through a wall of security guards to get it. Plus, the Stones played here in 1981.
This coffee shop has an old-school European vibe, and its hand-run espresso machine makes the coffee as authentic as it gets. If it's a nice day, catch some rays at the cafe's outdoor seating. And at night, the live music and later hours are sure to keep you caffeinated and content.
These two establishments share one mission: "To be a community venue that showcases creativity, while providing a comfortable and de-stressing atmosphere." Electric Haze is a bar/live music venue with a sleek and sophisticated atmosphere. Hookah is available at both locations.
These two establishments share one mission: "To be a community venue that showcases creativity, while providing a comfortable and de-stressing atmosphere." Spiritual Haze was created with a social mission base, and it features a hookah lounge and smokeshop. Spiritual Haze in particular boasts over 100 different flavors ranging from "Incredible Hulk" to "Scooby Snack."
This "watering hole" is "hip...eclectic...colorful" - and the perfect place to grab a bite on Shrewsbury Street! The international cuisine at Flying Rhino has many healthy options, and the vibrant but casual atmosphere is ideal for those few hipsters who (sheepishly) admit to the occasional bar game-watch. Don't worry, we won't tell your hipster friends that you're secretly a Sox fan.
At this hip sushi place, all the fish left the ocean because it's too "current." Master Chef Wilson Wang promises that his sushi is everything hipsters love - fresh, unique, and creative. Baba is ahead of the trend for modern Japanese cuisine, so if you're looking for a sophisticated place to match your sophisticated intellect, come on by!
Michael's Cigar Bar
Didn't you hear? Former jailhouses are the hip new smoking lounges. Located within Worcester's historic jailhouse, Michael's is all about the leather and laid-back vibe. They're open 365 days a year because they know that committing halfway is only for the pretenders and phonies of the world.
French hipsters make American hipsters look mainstream. So ditch your kale salad, dump your filtered tap water, and drop by the Paris Cafe to enjoy some coffee and a nice, warm baguette. This hidden gem is cozy and cute, and the Parisian vibe will definitely make you feel like the worldly intellectual you are.
Creatures of the night flock to Vincent's. The bar is small and dark, and the walls are a homage to the sacred art of...taxidermy. Who needs picture frames when you have stuffed animal heads?! This place has one of the coolest vibes in Worcester, and its jukebox and photobooth are the stuff of legend. And don't even think about leaving without trying their infamous meatball sandwich.
Described by some as "the perfect dive bar", dollar drafts are available of hipster favorite PBR, plus an eclectic jukebox featuring tunes you can brag about knowing before they started playing. Babe Ruth drank there, enough said. The Hotel Vernon is too cool to have a working phone number or current Facebook page or website, so you'll have to check it the old fashioned way and just get down there. 16 Kelley Square.
Photo: Lisa L/Yelp
Plenty of vegan and vegetarian options available at EVO, and that pleases many a hipster. They also have great steaks and a full bar, for the non-vegan hipster. EVO has been voted the best place to be seen, and one of the best places to meet interesting people in Worcester. See you there.
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