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Debunking the Data Behind Those “Top Cities for Singles” Lists

Can you really quantify affairs of the heart?

The personal finance website NerdWallet recently crunched some numbers to create a list of the top cities in America for love-seeking singles. The site relied on city-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau about marriage status, median income, and the number of date-friendly businesses, such as restaurants and bars, along with a city’s walkability measure and the average cost of dinner and a movie. Boston claimed the No. 1 spot, while Minneapolis came in at No. 10. Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Atlanta, and Seattle all found spots in between.

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Married People Are Happier—Maybe Because We Make Singles Hate Themselves

A new study finds marriage prevents unhappiness as we age. But is our society working to make singles sadder?


In what might be the most depressing study about marriage on record, Michigan State University scientists found that married people aren't any happier than they were when they were single—but tying the knot may protect them against slowly growing unhappier. The long-ranging study relied on thousands of participants to find that single people's happiness gradually declines over the years, while married people's satisfaction just levels off.

Happiness averages like these tend to erase the more complicated demographic details—satisfaction surely fluctuates based on the age and income at which people marry, along with why they get married, how many times they do it, whether they stay that way, and whether their marriages are actually functional. But let's say this data really does show that matrimony generally staves off unhappiness later in life. Is it any wonder, given how our society treats aging singles?

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