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13 Great Cities for Older Singles

If you're looking for love, these spots might be where to find it

​You can find lots of lists of the best places to retire, often based on the quality of health care or low cost of living. But if you're single and over 50, you might also want to know which cities may boost your chances of finding a partner or just be more conducive to dating.​

spinner image A happy senior couple buying fruit outdoors on market in town.

Places that offer older adults more opportunities to find someone to share a meal, snuggle up, take in the sights, go dancing, stroll or have a cocktail may rate higher for those who are single and looking to make connections. ​

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"In many cities, there may be a lot of people aging in place, but with no place to meet each other,” says Pepper Schwartz, a social psychologist, professor and host of Lifetime's Married at First Sight. “What you're looking for are cities or towns that have both population and opportunity.”​

Ryan Frederick, founder of SmartLiving 360, a real estate development advisory firm that works with entities across the country and author of Right Place, Right Time: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Home for the Second Half of Your Life, says a good way to find the places with opportunities is to “look for areas that are growing and follow the millennials and Gen Zers. Where they are is not a bad spot for older folks because they tend to live where the economy is growing, where the cost of living may be more reasonable."​

Those younger generations are building families, starting companies and creating an optimism that tends to be infectious. But it's important to look beyond data, too — while the number of seniors concentrated in a particular city might mean a larger dating pool, a place where a high percentage of the overall population is older “might not be as dynamic,” Frederick says.​

To spotlight some of these cities, we examined scores from AARP's Livability Index, factored in the number of older adults living in each place, examined city sizes and locations, and took into consideration access to health care and amenities to satisfy the needs of those 50-plus. In this list, “adults” are those 18 and older and “seniors” are 65 and older.​

Though this list is a good place to start, choices are based on individual interests and circumstances: Consider your own lifestyle and what you like to do in order to meet the kind of person you'd date. Do you prefer big-city lights or the small-town life? Do you hike, run, bowl, knit, watch films? Keeping all that in mind, here are 13 great places for older singles.​

spinner image A gay couple in New York City
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AARP's Livability Score

This score rates the overall livability of a selected neighborhood, city, county or state on a scale from 0 to 100. It is based on the average score of seven livability catgories — housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity — which also range from 0 to 100. We score communities by comparing them to one another, so the average community gets a score of 50, while above-average communities score higher and below-average communities score lower. 

1. New York, New York

Population: 6,664,770 adults; 1,222,270 seniors​

AARP livability score: 63​

Possibly a cliché, but the amazingly diverse Big Apple truly has everything — walkability, public transportation, cultural venues, sports events, street festivals. “It's full of places to congregate,” Schwartz says, and “there is a culture of getting out and about rather than being in your apartment.​

And, according to AARP's livability index, New York ranks in the top 10 most livable large cities in the nation. It has myriad initiatives devoted to improving the living standards of its older residents including those to increase healthy and affordable housing options, to add Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, to better caregiver support and to improve transportation. The Age-Friendly Neighborhoods Initiative offers information on health services, cost of living and transportation options, as well as interactive neighborhood maps. In 2022, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order to create New York’s first Master Plan for Aging. Its goal is to “ensure our aging New Yorkers have access to quality long-term care in healthy, livable communities where they can thrive.” ​

2. Denver, Colorado

Population: 565,889 adults; 81,488 seniors​

AARP livability score: 61​

Denver gets high marks in access to and quality of health care, preventive health care and transportation. The Mile High City is known as a place for those pursuing an active outdoor lifestyle, but there are plenty of museums, music venues (including a symphony), restaurants and opportunities to catch pro sports. There are also several suburbs known for their large number of retirees.​

3. The Villages, Florida

Population: 78,775 adults; 64,761 seniors​

AARP livability score: 51​

The Villages is a master-planned age-restricted community. It's located in central Florida, about an hour north of Orlando. “There are a gazillion activities going on here 24-7. A thousand clubs — golf, volleyball, pickleball, painting rocks, a ukulele club … it seems like every village has a singles club,” says Christine Martin, 61, a software developer for a company in New Jersey, who moved to The Villages in March 2020. She met a great group of women friends in a singles group. She also joined a bowling league and met a guy who recently moved there, too. “He's handy and he helped me install cabinet hardware,” Martin says. “I wasn't looking for anything, and they say that's how it always happens."​ ​

spinner image Freedom bridge in Pittsburgh city Pennsylvania downtown aerial view
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4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Population: 256,704 adults; 44,486 seniors​

AARP livability score: 59​ calls Pittsburgh a “notoriously senior-friendly town.” Located in western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh boasts affordable housing and plenty of museums, golf courses (over 70 public and private courses in and around the city), gyms, movie theaters, walkable neighborhoods, lots of great city parks and free public transit for older adults. (Go BankingRates included Pittsburgh as number 4 on its list of affordable U.S. cities in the Northeast where a person could retire on $3,000 a month.) There are myriad hiking and biking trails outside the city. And if you're looking for companionship (and more), there are several singles social groups for those 50 and over listed on (Meetup is an online service where groups can post in-person and virtual events for people with similar interests.)​

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5. Sun City, Arizona

Population: 38,484 adults; 29,451 seniors​

AARP livability score: 45​

Technically, Sun City is not a city but a retirement community in Maricopa County (in the Phoenix metro area). But if you're looking to meet people who were old enough to stay up to watch the moon landing, then this is a good spot. There are a lot of outdoor activities in and around the 21 square miles of Sun City, where the sky is mostly clear year-round and the temperature ranges from 43-106 degrees. Within the community, there's the singles social club, which schedules potlucks, game nights, billiards and golf get-togethers. There's bowling, jewelry-making and pickleball — every kind of club you can imagine.​

6. Madison, Wisconsin

Population: 213,534 adults; 29,597 seniors​

AARP livability score: 64​

Money magazine in 2020 named Madison the number 1 place to retire in America. The state’s capital, and a college town, is located between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona and is not just affordable — it has bustling restaurants, great natural sights along the lake shore, an orchestra, contemporary art museum, cultural events and 38 retirement communities. The university allows residents over 60 to audit courses for free.​

spinner image Woman running on the bridge over the Potomac River between Washington DC and Arlington VA
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7. Arlington, Virginia

Population: 115,921 adults; 19,392 seniors​

AARP livability score: 67​

Actually Arlington, Virginia, is a county and not a city — the smallest county by land size, about 26 square miles, in the United States. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in places to go and things to do. With Washington, D.C., in its backyard, Arlington has access to world class restaurants, theater, music, museums and sporting events. Travel by bus and Metro is easy. There's kayaking on the Potomac, biking on the C&O Canal towpath and through Rock Creek Park, and hiking trails all around. There are dozens of groups for people of every sexual orientation interested in everything from travel and camping to board games, religious activities, bowling, running, dancing, tennis, philosophy and more.​

8. Palm Springs, California

Population: 42,077 adults; 15,163 seniors​

AARP livability score: 48​

Not just Palm Springs but “the whole Coachella Valley” is a great place for singles, Schwartz says. She cites the beautiful weather, lots of outdoor activities and places to go for dinner and drinks. “On Friday and Saturday nights a lot of people are out dancing at The Nest. It's hot.”​

Located about a two-hour drive west of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a great place to be active with its more than 100 golf courses and walking and hiking trails, as well as museums, street fairs, festivals and shopping.​ ​

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9. Arlington, Massachusetts

Population: 36,398 adults; 7,409 seniors​

AARP livability score: 65​

About six miles northwest of state capital Boston, Arlington has both an urban and suburban feel. It’s an easy place to walk or bike around, with lots of shops, restaurants and museums, and access to parks. Settled in 1635 under the name Menotomy, the town is also full of history, including its claim to fame as the birthplace of Samuel Wilson, aka “Uncle Sam.” The Senior Space Arlington Community Center offers activities, and retirees have access to the nearby Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement.​

While named Arlington one of the top 10 places to retire in the Boston suburbs, it also named it as one of the best places in the area for young professionals. That’s a good mix, as Ryan Frederick pointed out. ​ ​

spinner image Sarasota, Florida, USA skyline on the bay at dawn.
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10. Sarasota, Florida

Population: 384,469 adults; 166,305 seniors​

AARP livability score: 56​

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Sarasota as one of the best Places to Live in 2023 (9th) as well as one of the best places to retire (11th), one of the fastest-growing places (3rd) and one of the safest places to live in the U.S. (7th). ​

The accolades don’t lie. The town boasts Gulf Coast beaches, an orchestra, a repertory theater, an opera house and performing arts venues, as well as shopping and a thriving food scene. There are plenty of walkable neighborhoods, and the weather’s not too shabby.​ ​

11. San Jose, California

Population: 768,104 adults; 129,820 seniors​

AARP livability score: 58​

Located in Silicon Valley, San Jose has both a strong job market for young professionals (according to a recent U.S. News & World Report survey) and is a great place to retire. In addition, it was ranked number 2 of 383 metro areas on the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index, which looks at health risks tied to well-being across 10 categories. ​

The city boasts plenty of places to see and be seen: a downtown walking district, a zoo, a municipal rose garden, parks and trails, museums, a performing arts center, a football stadium, and a soccer stadium. There is a Senior Citizens Commission and myriad programs for active adults. Nearby Stanford University offers free courses online and has a continuing studies department.

​​12. Portland, Maine

Population: 57,451 adults; 10,452 seniors​

AARP livability score: 64​

Portland, Maine’s largest city, offers a great quality of life, with a small-town feel, picturesque streets and access to Casco Bay. And, despite some high housing costs, it’s known as a budget-friendly place to live. At least 15 percent of the city's population is 65 and older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. ​

Historical buildings line the cobblestone streets of the city’s Old Port area, which has become a popular tourist destination with shops and restaurants. With plenty to do and see, if you’re looking for someone to explore with you, a group in nearby Brunswick offers connections for singles over 55. ​

spinner image Couple sunbathing on lawn below blooming Crab Apple Tree.
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13. Des Moines, Iowa

Population: 161,356 adults; 25,656 seniors​

AARP livability score: 62​

Des Moines is having a moment: One of the most affordable U.S. cities of its size in which to live, it also is the fastest-growing city in the Midwest. There are parks and farmers markets, museums and a zoo, a symphony orchestra, opera house, concert venues, and access to trails for biking, hiking and walking. ​

And there are plenty of local apps, websites and speed-dating events as well as restaurants, bars and nightclubs where adults can meet and mingle.​

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