Best Cities for Single Young Professionals

For single young professionals in the U.S., finding the perfect city is like choosing a Netflix show – there are endless options, but deciding on one can feel overwhelming. You’ve got places like Austin, where the job market is as hot as the barbecue; Boston, where the dating scene requires as much strategy as a Red Sox game; or New York City, where the cost of a studio apartment requires a kidney sale on the black market. 

It’s all about striking a balance between a paycheck that lets you live beyond a diet of instant noodles and a social life that doesn’t solely revolve around your cat (although we at RentHop really love our cats and would die to spend time with them day and night). To help you balance your career and love life, we set out to rank the 100 largest cities for single young professionals in the U.S.

Here are our findings:

  • Minneapolis is the best city for single young professionals. The city boasts a total score of 74.39, thanks to relatively affordable housing options (median rent at $1,525), a low unemployment rate, and over 30% of the young population.
  • St. Paul ranks as the third-best city for single young professionals. The Twin Cities as a whole is a great hub for young professionals to find love and a successful career. 
  • New York City ranks as the worst city for single young professionals, scoring 34.73. The city has one of the most expensive rental markets in the world, making it less ideal for young professionals.
  • Austin ranks as the best city for single young professionals in Texas and the 16th best for the U.S. The city enjoys a high dating score and a good job environment, with a 3% unemployment rate.
  • San Francisco is California’s best city for single young professionals, thanks to a high career score. However, the city has very high living costs, with the current median rent at $3,167.


These Are the Top 10 Cities for Young People Looking for Success and Love

1. Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis stands out as the best city for single young professionals. The city dazzles with a total score of 74.39 and is celebrated for its affordable living costs and a robust career landscape with a low 1.9% unemployment rate. Some useful information for young professionals looking to rent in Minneapolis – the median rent is currently $1,525 per month.

2. Madison, WI

With a total score of 73.98, Madison secures the title of the second-best city for young professionals looking for opportunities and companionship. The median rent currently sits at $1,550, making it an appealing option for those who just started their career. The city performs exceptionally well on the dating front, #1 in dating opportunities, thanks to a large young population. The University of Wisconsin is a major driver for the young population in the city – over 34% of the population in Madison are between 20 and 34 years of age, and the majority of the population (61.9%) are single.

3. St. Paul, MN 

Similar to its Twin City counterpart, St. Paul is very favorable for 20- to 34-year-olds looking for a promising career and relationships. While the income levels are lower compared to Minneapolis, with a median income of $51,189, St. Paul is more affordable, therefore earning itself 85 points in the cost of living category. Renters can expect to spend an average of $1,167 a month on housing.

4. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh stands out as an affordable option for young professionals. The city ranks #28 in the cost of living category, with a median rent of $1,395. What makes Pittsburgh even more favorable is the dating opportunities – more than 32% of the population is between 20 and 34 years of age, and 68% of the population is single.

5. Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati ranks as a Midwest gem with a total score of 68.56. Thanks to affordable groceries, dining options, and rental inventory, the city is the fifth most affordable city in our index this year. Renters can expect to spend an average of $1,250 a month on housing.

6. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta has experienced major growth in the past decade and has some of the highest concentrations of Fortune 500 companies across different industries. The city scores 68.22 in our rankings this year, with a relatively high median nonfamily household income of $62,223 and great dating opportunities. Around 31.5% of Atlantans are between 20 and 34 years old, and a whopping portion, 69.38% of its population, is single.

7. Denver, CO

Denver attracts Millennials and Gen Z thanks to the vibrant outdoor culture and entertainment options. The median nonfamily household income in the city has increased from $38,345 to $66,903 in the past decade. While the cost of living has also gone up, Denver remains accessible to young renters. The median rent in Denver currently sits at $2,000/month.

8. Lincoln, NE

Lincoln is another great option for young professionals who are looking for a more affordable place to live. The city shines with the lowest median rent, $1,100 per month, among the top 10 cities on our list, boasting a score of 85.14 in cost of living.

9. Seattle, WA

One of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the U.S., Seattle has attracted many young professionals in the past decade. Around 33% of its population are between the ages of 20 and 34, and combined with a lively scene of entertainment options and dating opportunities, the city ranks #6 in the dating opportunities category. While Seattle currently has a higher than national average unemployment rate, the high-paying tech jobs remain a key driver for young professionals prioritizing careers.

10. Columbus, OH

Rounding out the list is another Midwest city, Columbus. The city stands out as one of the more affordable places for young professionals, with a median rent of $1,360. It’s worth noting that Columbus is a great option for those looking to buy. On average, it takes just 4.21 years for a Columbus family to save up for a down payment, compared to 5.02 years in Cincinnati.


New York Ranks as the Worst City For Single Young Professionals

While New York City remains the largest city in the country by population, it ranks as the worst city for single young professionals. The city scores only 21.71, making it the worst in the cost of living category, as the median rent remains high at $4,000 monthly. This results in many young professionals splitting an apartment with roommates to reduce the overall financial burden. NYC also has a smaller population between 20 and 34 years old among the most populated cities, just 23.4%, compared to 33.82% in Boston.

Los Angeles, the second-largest U.S. city, takes the 81st place in our index this year. While LA is slightly more affordable housing-wise than New York for young professionals looking to rent, it remains one of the most expensive cities. The median rent currently sits at $2,750.

Top 10 Cities by Career Score


Top 10 Cities by Dating Opportunities



To find the best cities for single young professionals, the RentHop team compared the top 100 most populated cities in the U.S. based on (1) career, (2) cost of living, and (3) dating opportunities. The index covers the following metrics:

Career Score (40 points)

  • Job opportunities based on the most recent metro unemployment rates released by the BLS (16 points)
  • Median Nonfamily Household Income released by the Census Bureau (24 points)

Cost of Living (40 points)

  • Median rent, based on over 1.65 million for-rent listings in the RentHop database in the past 180 days (20 points)
  • Cost of groceries using Numbeo data (12 points)
  • Cost of dining out for two people using Numbeo data (8 points)

Dating Opportunities (20 points)

  • Percentage of Population Between 20 and 34 years (8 points)
  • Percentage of Single Population (8 points)
  • Interest in Dating, measured by Google searches that include dating apps (2 points)
  • Access to the Internet (2 points)

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