Another interesting article:
Atlanta tops our annual ranking of America's best places to live on your own.
For the first time ever, Atlanta tops our list of the best cities for singles. The capital of Georgia and home of Coca-Cola earns the top slot because of its hopping nightlife, relatively high number of singles and sizzling job growth.
To those who know "Hotlanta," the ranking should come as no surprise. In the eight years that we have been ranking America's largest urban areas in terms of their friendliness to the nation's 74 million single adults, only once did Atlanta place outside the top 10.
To determine which U.S. cities are most comfortable for soloists, we ranked the 40 largest urbanized areas in mainland America in seven different categories: number of singles, nightlife, culture, cost of living alone, job growth, online dating activity and coolness. To determine a city's cool factor, we partnered with Harris Interactive, who conducted a poll, asking, "Among the following U.S. Cities, which one do you think is the coolest?"
Last year's winner, San Francisco, came in second this year, scoring particularly high in coolness (third out of 40) and culture (fourth). Overall, the coolest city was New York, while Midwestern fly-over cities like Indianapolis (40th) and Columbus, Ohio, (35th) did poorly on the Harris poll.
Overall, New York ranked as only the eighth-best place for would-be lovers. In addition to its top score in coolness, the Big Apple was ranked as the city with the best nightlife and the third-best cultural resources. But young singles need to eat as well as party, and New York scored dead last in the cost-of-living category. The city also placed a mediocre 29th in terms of job growth. Economic factors have always kept New York out of the top spot on our list.
The nation's second-largest city, Los Angeles, came in 16th this year, a precipitous drop from its third-place finish in 2007. Blame the cost of living in sun-drenched SoCal and a lackadaisical online dating culture.
Jacksonville, Fla., ranked dead last this year, scoring poorly in all categories except online dating, where it ranked seventh. Providence, R.I., last year's loneliest city for singletons, fared better, tying with Memphis, Tenn., and Cincinnati, Ohio, for 33rd place. Religious Salt Lake City, a perennial at the bottom of our list, comes in 39th this year. Mormonism's hometown is penalized for its lack of available singles (39th), dismal nightlife (39th) and its square image (coolness: 38th).
Some surprises: Orlando, Fla., which had never placed in the top 10 before, came in ninth place. Minneapolis-St. Paul hadn't made the top 10 since 2002 but came in third this year. The Twin Cities scored well in culture (ninth) and online dating (sixth) and ranked surprisingly high in coolness (eighth). Perhaps some respondents thought the Harris poll was asking about the weather.
Our rankings are meant to be a guide for young, ambitious singles who, in an age of techno-mobility, can live and work wherever they want. Our methodology focuses on career-minded, "never-marrieds" under the age of 35. Older singles, divorcees, widows and widowers might find slightly different criteria more relevant to them.