If you're a senior, and by that we mean anyone over 55, who's single and like to mingle, there are places in this country that make meeting a like minded partner easier than others. Obviously, love can come at anytime and anywhere, but why not hedge your bets?
According to the latest Census Bureau figures, there are more than 30 million Americans age 55 and older who are currently single for one reason or another. Some have never married. Others are divorced, separated or widows and widowers. It doesn't really matter. If you're alone, and not in a romantic relationship, then this article is for you, provided of course that's what you're looking for.
With some help from the Census Bureau and U.S. News, we've put together a list of metropolitan areas that have the most single people who are age 55 and over.
It may not be a favored vacation destination or appear on places to visit when traveling to the U.S., but Pittsfield, Massachusetts has the distinction of being the only metro area in America where the majority of the 55-and-older population (52%) is single. Second is Florence, South Carolina where 49% of the 55 and older crowd is single. The rest of the cities on this list average a single over 55 population of at least 45%.
Just because a city has a large single population doesn't mean dating will be easy, especially for women. Unfortunately for women, single women significantly outnumber single men in every city on our list. And that's primarily because of widowhood. Women simply live longer than men.
For example, while there are 40,672 single men age 55 and older in the Memphis, Tennessee, there are 87,432 single women in the same age range. That's a ratio of more than two to one. Good for men. Not so good for women. In fact, U.S. News interviewed one woman who is 66 and can only name two single men. She says she's been dating since her divorce eight years ago and still hasn't met a steady boyfriend. Memphis isn't even the worst place for women ratio wise. In Columbus, Ohio, there are 20,779 single women age 55 and older in Columbus, but just 8,791 single men.
The key to dating for any age group is finding a place to meet new people. For older singles, an area with nearby colleges, such as Jackson, Mississippi or Springfield, Massachusetts allows plenty of opportunities to take a course and meet new people in class or at the library. Sometimes you can even get a break on tuition prices. For example, people 60 and older qualify for half-price tuition at Tulane University's School of Continuing Studies in New Orleans.
Another popular strategy is to look up people from your past. Sometimes you can form new relationships with people you knew in high school or college, typically during reunions or visits to their hometown.
Many people 55 and older are also turning to online dating to meet new people. Websites including eHarmony and Match.com are reporting an uptick in older participants. The number of people between ages 50 and 65 who use Match.com to search for potential partners has increased 89% in the last five years. A quarter of all Match.com members are now in that age range. Even healthwise, medical studies show that people who are in a relationship tend to be healhier and live longer than those who aren't.
The appeal of online dating is that the old standby, hanging out in bars, has been co-opted by a much younger demographic. However, if you prefer to meet someone face to face and in person, here are some cities you may want to consider:
- Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 52.4% of the over 55 population is single. Single women: 14,237; Single men: 7,869
- Florence, South Carolina, 49.1% of the over-55 population is single. Single women: 18,409; Single men: 7,516
- Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, N.J, 47.3% of over-55 population is single; Single women: 11,285; Single men: 6,044
- Jackson, Mississippi, 47.3% of the over-55 population is single; Single women: 39,034; Single men: 16,329
- Springfield, Massachusetts, 47% of the over-55 population is single; Single women: 57,928; Single men: 28,194
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida, 46.9% of the over-55 population is single; Single women: 474,305; Single men: 224,768
- Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, California, 46.3% of the over-55 population is single; Single women: 9,778, Single men: 6,304
- Memphis, Tennessee, 46% of the over-55 population is single; Single women: 87,432; Single men: 40,672
- New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana. 46% of the over-55 population is single; Single women: 88,957; Single men: 45,637
- Columbus, Georgia, 45.9% of the over-55 population is single; Single women: 20,779; Single men: 8,791