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Video: Top cities to find a mate

TODAY
updated 3/12/2007 10:19:35 AM ET 2007-03-12T14:19:35

Sure, a GPS can take you turn-by-turn to the nearest Thai restaurant, but it's worthless if you're hungry to locate a mate — for that you need Men's Health.

Men's Health pored through reams of research and stacks of studies to uncover the coordinates for the best places to meet your match.

In order to find the latitude and longitude for love, the magazine crunched the numbers for 101 cities, analyzing their ratio of single men to women, percentage of divorced men (never married is more likely to stay married), the physical shape of the suitors (a fit man won't a widow make), the percentage of men who open their wallets wide to charity (they'll give in a relationship, too), the percentage of guys who've graduated from college (you want a brain to go with that brawn), and finally, the availability of chemistry-building activities (sharing in high-adrenaline sports produces a mutual boost in attraction).

THE CRITERIA
Singles Ratio
: Like winning the MegaMillions, finding a mate is a numbers game — though thank god, one with much, much better odds. That's why we scanned U.S. Census data to determine which cities have the best ratio of single women to single men. It's simple logic: The deeper the dating pool, the more likely you'll come up with a catch. Next, we looked at. . .

Divorce rates: Research shows what the tabloids have already taught us: If you've been divorced once, odds are good that your second marriage will fail, too. To avoid being number two, you want a city where there's an ultra-low percentage of divorced men. Speaking of being in it for the long haul. . .

Fitness level: A long, satisfying relationship is an endurance event, which is why if a guy isn't in great physical shape, you'll probably end up crossing the finish line alone. For that reason, we considered statistics on exercise frequency — at the gym and at home — weight-training, and cardio activities (all from Claritas research).

Philanthropy: How do you know if a guy is going to give everything he's got to the relationship? By looking at how much he's already giving to things that are close to his heart, namely his favorite charities. No wonder research shows that women find philanthropic men sexier than their more selfish peers. To gauge a city's giving spirit, we examined IRS data (calculated by Philanthropy.org) on what percentage of people's discretionary income they donate to charity.

Education level: Smart is sexy. A well-educated mate will pretty much guarantee that your most important sex organ — your brain —i s always stimulated. So we assessed the relative intelligence of the various cities by analyzing Census data for the percentage of people with bachelors degrees.

Attraction: Forget the bars, the cafes, and the clubs — research shows that if you want to turn heads, you need to hang out where there are high-adrenaline activities, such as mountain biking or kayaking. In the study, people who rode a rollercoaster were more attracted to strangers they saw after they disembarked than those they met before they did the loopity loop.

TOP FIVE CITIES
San Francisco, Calif.: Between the Golden Gate Bridge — easily the country's most romantic span--and the fog-shrouded summer mornings, San Fran sets the mood for finding a mate. And find one you will, what with the city's top-ranking ratio of highly educated (and in shape) singles crowding the cable cars and walking the Wharf.

STATS: 99th out of 101 in percentage of people who completed a bachelor's degree, 97th in fitness level, and 95th in chemistry, i.e. opportunity for adrenaline-pumping activities.

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Minneapolis, Minn.: Sure, the winters are bitter, but that's about the only excuse not to exercise--running and bike paths weave around the 24 lakes and along the Mississippi River, no doubt explaining the high fitness ranking. The city is also home to the University of Minnesota, one of the biggest college campuses in the country, so chances are the guy jogging by you has a reading list that includes more than the Sunday comics.

STATS: 98th out of 101 in ratio of single men to single women, 94th in fitness level, and 93rd in education level

San Jose, Calif.: Not only did it have the best ratio of single men to women, but as the hub of Silicon Valley, San Jose is a magnet for men looking to flex their mental muscle. What's more, with over 300 sunny days a year, the city gives guys a built-in incentive to stay in shape and balance work with play (it was tops in fitness level and chemistry-building activities).

STATS: 101st out of 101 in singles ratio, fitness level, and chemistry (but 23rd out of 101 in philanthropy, bringing down its overall score)

Arlington, Texas: It may be in the shadow of Fort Worth and Dallas, but Arlington shines in the dating department. With a high philanthropy ranking, the men there invest more of their disposable income in charities than most, and with the low divorce rate what they don't give to a good cause is probably going toward box seats for the Rangers rather than alimony to an ex.

STATS: 97th out of 101 in divorce rate, 90th in philanthrophy, and 81st in fitness level

Raleigh, North Carolina: Serious science is carried out in this corner of the Research Triangle, including, it seems, successful chemistry experiments. If you want to mix with smart, successful singles, catch a Duke game at one of the city's bars or spend the day milling around a museum.

STATS: 95th out of 101 in divorce rate, 99th in education, and 94th in chemistry

BOTTOM THREE
Buffalo, New York: It can be hard to make a love connection when you're faced with frozen car doors and almost 100 inches of snow each year. Judging by Buffalo's dismal score for chemistry-building activities, it looks like single men spend more time shoveling out their driveways than going out on the town.

STATS: 4th out of 101 in chemistry, 8th in singles ratio and education

Charleston, West Virginia: Given their last-place finish in fitness and chemistry-building activities, the folks here are probably busy lifting forks not weights. Oh sure, there's some Southern charm to Charleston, just not the kind that's likely lead to lasting love--the number of people who wanted a marriage do-over is seventh highest.

STATS: last out of 101 in fitness and chemistry, and 5th in education

Toledo, Ohio: You can find about 1,000 manufacturing plants in the city of Toledo pumping out products from spark plugs to chemicals. It's great for the city's economy, but lousy for the education rating: factories outnumber colleges in the area 160 to 1. This isn't to say love can't bloom on the banks of Lake Erie, but with a dearth of chemistry-building activities to choose from, it might be a while.

STATS: 6th in education, 8th in divorce rate, and 14th in chemistry

Here's the complete list of 101 cities which Men's Health analyzed.

(GRADED FROM A TO F)

F Buffalo, NY

F Charleston, WV

F Toledo, OH

F El Paso, TX

F Cleveland, OH

F Bangor, ME

F Miami, FL

F Tampa, FL

F St. Petersburg, FL

F Cheyenne, WY

F Rochester, NY

F Corpus Christi, TX

D- Tucson, AZ

D- New Orleans, LA

D- Billings, MT

D- Birmingham, AL

D- Louisville, KY

D- Spokane, WA

D Modesto, CA

D Newark, NJ

D Detroit, MI

D Hartford, CT

D Fresno, CA

D Albuquerque, NM

D Pittsburgh, PA

D Fort Wayne, IN

D Jacksonville, FL

D St. Louis, MO

D Memphis, TN

D+ Providence, RI

D+ Las Vegas, NV

D+ Cincinnati, OH

D+ Milwaukee, WI

D+ Oklahoma City, OK

D+ Orlando, FL

D+ Baltimore, MD

D+ Tulsa, OK

D+ Wilmington, DE

D+ San Antonio, TX

D+ Lubbock, TX

D+ Little Rock, AR

C- Baton Rouge, LA

C- Jackson, MS

C- Philadelphia, PA

C- Bakersfield, CA

C- Greensboro, NC

C- Richmond, VA

C- Phoenix, AZ

C Burlington, VT

C Des Moines, IA

C Fargo, ND

C Montgomery, AL

C Wichita, KS

C Sioux Falls, SD

C Kansas City, MO

C Lexington, KY

C Indianapolis, IN

C Norfolk, VA

C Sacramento, CA

C Manchester, NH

C Nashville, TN

C+ Boise City, ID

C+ Columbia, SC

C+ Omaha, NE

C+ Columbus, OH

C+ Grand Rapids, MI

C+ Jersey City, NJ

C+ Yonkers, NY

C+ Aurora, CO

C+ Riverside, CA

C+ Anaheim, CA

C+ Lincoln, NE

C+ Portland, OR

C+ Chicago, IL

C+ Colorado Springs, CO

B- Los Angeles, CA

B- Madison, WI

B Durham, NC

B Atlanta, GA

B Honolulu, HI

B Fort Worth, TX

B Houston, TX

B+ Oakland, CA

B+ Anchorage, AK

B+ New York, NY

B+ Dallas, TX

B+ Charlotte, NC

B+ San Diego, CA

B+ Austin, TX

B+ Fremont, CA

A- Salt Lake City, UT

A- St. Paul, MN

A- Boston, MA

A- Washington, DC

A- Denver, CO

A- Seattle, WA

A- Raleigh, NC

A- Arlington, TX

A San Jose, CA

A Minneapolis, MN

A+ San Francisco, CA

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