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Best States for Single Seniors

Find someone to grow old (or older) with, with tips from Seniorly. We’ve run the numbers on the best states for single seniors looking for love.

By Stephen Anderson · Updated Dec 1, 2022
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The ideal dating scenario for most people is that you find someone you can grow old with. But what if you’re not exactly young to begin with? That’s the situation that millions of older Americans find themselves in.

In fact, about 43 percent of Americans 65 and older are single. While they certainly aren’t all actively looking for love, for those who are, dating at that age can be a challenge. We wanted to understand where older singles are the most likely to have success in their dating lives, so we analyzed information for all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 10 different metrics.

Here’s a look at our key findings:

  • Idaho is the best state for older adults looking to find love; Mississippi is the worst.
  • D.C. has the highest percentage of single older adults, including those divorced, widowed, or never married; Utah has the lowest.

Best and worst states for single seniors

Our analysis determined that the best state overall for single seniors is also one of the smallest — Idaho. Idaho’s score was due to its mostly good scores across all categories, including scoring in the top 10 for four of the 10 categories. Minnesota was a close second, though, just a few points off Idaho’s score.

At the other end of the spectrum, our analysis found that the worst state for single seniors is Mississippi, which, despite having a high ratio of older adults who are single, ranked near the bottom in most other categories, coming in the bottom five for three of the 10 categories.

Best States for Single Seniors Overall Scores

Note: Lower scores are better

Idaho

162

Minnesota

165

Wisconsin

180

Vermont

192

Utah

194

Washington

196

Oregon

198

Michigan

200

New Hampshire

207

Iowa

208

Wyoming

210

Colorado

216

Connecticut

226

Nebraska

232

Kansas

233

North Dakota

234

Delaware

236

Montana

239

Nevada

239

Rhode Island

242

Arizona

243

Hawaii

248

Maine

251

Indiana

252

Florida

254

Pennsylvania

259

Illinois

264

Alaska

266

South Dakota

268

West Virginia

268

California

269

Virginia

271

Maryland

272

New Jersey

274

Ohio

275

Massachusetts

278

New Mexico

284

Arkansas

290

Missouri

299

New York

300

Oklahoma

301

Georgia

308

Texas

308

North Carolina

309

Kentucky

310

Tennessee

319

Alabama

320

South Carolina

327

Louisiana

343

District of Columbia

354

Mississippi

363

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plenty of fish?

Dating is largely a numbers game, and the more available and interested people near you, the better your chances are. For older adults, that means places where there are more people in your age group who are also single, whether they’ve never been married or they’re divorced or widowed.

And for straight seniors, it means thinking about the gender balance of men to women in the age group. Women tend to live longer than men, which means that in every state, there are more older women than older men.

Taking these three factors into account — the percentage of adults 65 and older who are single, average life expectancy (from birth), and the ratio of women to men — our analysis found that Hawaii was the No. 1 overall state in this category. California was second, while Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington round out the top five.

South Carolina had the worst score in this category, followed by Tennessee, and Mississippi.

Having a good time

Dating can be expensive, especially when you’re trying to save money. In fact, the average American spends about $8,000 per year on things like food service, recreation, and clothing — all crucial components of having a good time on a date.

To determine which states give older daters the best chance of being able to afford a good time, we ranked them according to per capita spending on date-related items, the percentage of seniors living below the poverty line, and the share of older adults with more than $50,000 in household income.

Utah came out on top in those three metrics, followed by Minnesota, Idaho, Maryland, and Delaware, while Maine, Louisiana, and Kentucky comprised the bottom three. (It’s important to note here that our analysis did not take the COVID-19 pandemic into account because restrictions and guidelines on in-person interactions are very different even from city to city.)

Finding the right one

Everybody has a unique set of characteristics they’re looking for, but being able to devote time to building a connection is important, as is the health of potential partners as well as access to tools that make communication easier. These X factors can often be deal-breakers in relationships.

To determine which older adults are most likely to find potential partners and relationships with longevity, we compared data on how many older adults have free time (meaning they’re not working and they’re not expected to take care of their grandchildren), the rate of common sexually transmitted infections among older adults, and the share of older adults with broadband internet at home. 

On those metrics, Idaho and Michigan were tied for first, with Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin rounding out the top five. On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska and D.C. were tied for last place.

Conclusion

Finding love at any age isn’t exactly easy, but for older adults, there are added difficulties. However, as we can see, some states are better than others when it comes to the average older adult’s ability to find other singles and see where it goes.

About the data

Information in this story came from a variety of sources:

Population-related data was gathered from publications by the U.S. Census Bureau via data.census.gov, health-related data came from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and spending data came from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

For all 10 categories, each state was assigned a numerical value based on its ranking among the other states. Those values were then added together and ranked such that lower scores equate to older singles having a better chance to find love.

The following information came from the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • Percentage of older adults who are single
  • Ratio of women to men
  • Percentage of older adults with annual income below the poverty line
  • Percentage of older adults with annual household income over $50,000
  • Percentage of older adults whose grandchildren live in their home
  • Percentage of older adults with broadband access at home
  • Percentage of older adults in the labor force

Information on life expectancy by state came from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DC Health Matters, while information on sexually transmitted infections among older adults was gathered via a custom query of the CDC’s Atlas Plus database.
Finally, numbers on per capita spending for date-related items came from a custom query of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis consumer spending database.

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written by:
Stephen Anderson

Stephen Anderson

Stephen has been a digital marketing, sales, and operations leader. A strategist at heart, he has built high performing solutions for brands large and small across challenging industries such as Insurance, Travel, and Personal Finance. As Seniorly's Chief Strategy Officer, Stephen draws on this experience to help families and senior living communities connect with the best possible outcomes. Originally from the north east, Stephen enjoys playing on the mountains and beaches of California with his wife, son and daughter.
View other articles written by Stephen

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