Get up-to-speed on the country's singles scene
There are likely two reasons why you’re looking at an article about metro areas with the fastest growing populations of single residents. That’s assuming you’re not a demographer. You’re either single and so desperate for a date that you’d consider moving to a new city, or you’re in a relationship but remain curious about what all those single people are doing.
Either way is fine with us. We’re not here to judge.
Our findings are purely data driven, simply measuring how fast and how large a city’s unmarried population has grown. And no, we didn’t count children. We stuck around the median marrying age of 27.5 and looked at residents between the ages of 20 and 34. That’s how the U.S. Census breaks it down.
While the Top 10 Best Cities for Singles focused on places offering the highest concentrations of singles in cities where residents use dating sites and visit art galleries, bars and go dancing more than the average American, the fastest growing markets for singles looks purely at metro areas where the percentage of single residents has risen the most between 2005 and 2013. The infographic below shows where these cities are located and how quickly that demographic has grown.
Salinas, Calif., experienced a 38 percent increase in singles between the ages of 20 and 34, the largest increase in the country, according to our analysis. Located south of Santa Cruz, Salinas anchors a region known for agriculture. It includes one of the highest concentrations of undocumented residents, which may be one reason to explain the increase. But we asked community leaders in several cities if they could explain why their population of single residents has seen such a dramatic increase. They could only venture a guess.
Take, for instance, Spartanburg, S.C., where the amount of single residents ages 20 to 34 went from 55 percent in 2005 to more than 77 percent in 2013.
"It could be just people choosing not to get married," says Patty Bock, economic development director for Spartanburg. "Since 2009 I have noticed a strong focus on our downtown and areas close to downtown. I certainly have noticed a lot more single people moving into these areas. I think that's because there's an attraction to downtowns these days. People are navagating to more urban environments."
Makes sense, doesn't it?
So while we can only speculate on why these cities have the fastest growing segments of singles, it's a starting point. Take a look at the infographic and see what you can gather. We included other data about singles, including how the median marrying age has risen.