The news: If it feels like you and everyone you know have been single for a long time, don't worry: You're not alone.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 125 million American adults — more than half the adult population — are single. That's a staggering increase in singledom from 1976, when 37.4% of the population was unhitched. And it looks like the number is only going to get bigger.
So if you're single and ready to mingle, where should you go? While singles seem to be on the rise throughout the country, there are some states where you're more likely to meet other unmarried people. Thankfully, CityLab's Richard Florida (with help from the Martin Prosperity Institute's Charlotta Mellander) has the goods on which states have the most single people — and the result is pretty surprising:
While Hollywood rom-coms and TV sitcoms have convinced us pretty well that New York is the best place to fall in love, the state doesn't top this list — instead, the honor is shared by Louisiana and Rhode Island. On the other end of the spectrum, the Midwest seems to have a higher percentage of married people, although singles still make up a significant portion of the population.
Things are even more interesting when you look at the big metro areas:
New York City barely makes the top-10 list for highest percentage of singles, just squeezing by in ninth place. Much like how Louisiana reigned in first place on the state list, New Orleans is in the top slot here. As for the bottom 10, the South and the Midwest dominate the list again.
What does this mean? It's important to keep in mind that the word "single" is used here in the legal sense, meaning people counted as single are unmarried, not necessarily free of any romantic relationships. Still, that there's such a huge unmarried population out there means there are probably lots of other singles out there looking for love.
And if you're really serious about finding your soul mate, New Orleans might be a good place to start.