The 10 Loneliest Places to Live on Valentine’s Day

Colin Holmes
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on February 11, 2019
4 min read
The Top 1 Loneliest States

Each year, a flock of Cupids pours over the country and takes aim at unsuspecting citizens inside dimly lit restaurants, dreamily appointed gazebos, and the backseats of 14-year-old station wagons.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, let’s be real), they often miss those of us who remain at home binge-watching romcoms in our basement.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone in being alone.

Millions of lonely hearts across the nation reserve tables for one during this Hallmark-sanctioned love month. (More breadsticks for you, amirite?)

So what parts of the country are least likely to be stricken by the love bug? Grab your coziest blanket, crank this song (trust us), and read on to learn the loneliest places to live on Valentine’s Day.

Factors we considered

We utilized the most recent US Census Bureau1 and Google Trends2 data to determine the loneliest places to live in America. Here are the factors used in our rankings:

  • The percentage of single individuals vs. married individuals age 20 and older in each state
  • A loneliness index informed by Google Trends data

We based our loneliness index on fifteen search queries that we divided into three categories—each of which we assigned a loneliness rating

Loneliness index category ratings

Index category
Lonely
Moderately lonely
Romantic

Category rating

1

2

3

If you’re interested in what phrases we included in our index and how we calculated our rankings, check out our methodology section.


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America’s top 10 loneliest places to live

#1: District of Columbia

The District of Columbia isn’t just home to our nation’s capital—it’s also home to our nation’s loneliest group of people. The US Census Bureau reports that 70% of DC’s adult population is single, which is more than 20% higher than any other region in the country.

It’s not all bad news, however. DC residents search for “best dating apps” more than any of the other queries on our list, so at least they’re looking for love!

District of Columbia’s loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

1

70.10%

Best dating apps

Moderately lonely

#2. South Carolina

Sliding into the number two spot is South Carolina. Nearly 49% of the Palmetto State’s population is single, and its most searched term was “I’m lonely” (a common trend among our top ten).

South Carolina’s loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

2

48.94%

I’m lonely

Lonely

#3: Arizona

Arizona may have joined the union on February 14, but its residents certainly aren't feeling the love. Although it has a singles rate only 0.05% lower than South Carolina, Arizona’s total number of unmarried residents is nearly double.

So if you’re looking for love, you might find it in beautiful, sunny Arizona.

Arizona’s loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

3

48.89%

I’m lonely

Lonely

#4: Illinois

It doesn’t seem like the Windy City’s home state is blowing many kisses since it ranks as the fourth loneliest place to live in America.

However, Kate MacLean, PR generalist for online dating service Plenty of Fish, reports that a lot of Chicago residents are at least searching for a soulmate—Chicago has one of the highest concentrations of the site’s users in the country.

The top users of Plenty of Fish: Texas, Illinois, Georgia, Nevada

Illinois’s loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

4

48.52%

I’m lonely

Lonely

#5: Vermont

Vermont’s the next place on our list that seems to expect a lonely Valentine’s Day. In fact, “loneliness” is Vermont’s most searched term from the phrases in our loneliness index.

Vermont’s loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

5

48.09%

Loneliness

Lonely

#6: Michigan

Although Michigan’s surrounded by giant freshwater lakes, the water might get a little saltier this time of year (😢): the Great Lakes State is the sixth loneliest place to live in America.

Michigan’s percentage of single adults comes in just below 48%, putting the dating pool at about 3.5 million people. So there are plenty of options for Michiganders who are still looking for a Valentine’s Day date!

Michigan's loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

6

47.82%

I’m lonely

Lonely

#7: Alaska

Alaska boasts a population density of about 1.1 people per square mile,3 so it should come as no surprise that its most searched term from our index was “loneliness.”

With so much open space, singles need to go to great lengths to find love in Alaska. But hey, at least it’s easier than finding it in DC (the loneliest place to live on our list).

Alaska's loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

7

47.58%

Loneliness

Lonely

#8: Maine

Maine is the only state in the nation with a single-syllable name—so it seems all too appropriate that it’s home to so many single people.

Maine’s percentage of singles is 46.82%, which means almost 500,000 people are legally unattached.

Maine's loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

8

46.82%

Loneliness

Lonely

#9: Oklahoma

Oklahoma ranks as the ninth loneliest place to live in America. And based on its most-searched term from our loneliness index, we’d say Sooners are probably okay with that.

Oklahomans googled “Anti Valentines Day” more than any other phrase from our list, so we’d say it’s a good place to live if you’re looking for something unromantic to do on February 14.

Oklahoma's loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

9

46.51%

Anti Valentines Day

Lonely

#10: Kentucky

Last but not least, the tenth loneliest place to live is Kentucky.

“I’m lonely” is the most searched phrase here, so a whole lot of people seem to feel blue in the Bluegrass State.

Oklahoma's loneliness data

Rank
Singles (%)
Most searched query
Index category

10

46.20%

I’m lonely

Lonely

Methodology

We ranked each state based on two factors: each state’s percentage of singles and a loneliness index. The percentage of singles was taken from the 2017 US Census Bureau estimates and includes anyone that’s not currently married and is twenty years old or older.

The Census Bureau's youngest age group for this data ranges from 15 to 19 years old. We opted not to include this subset since it started at such a young age and nearly 98% are single.

The loneliness index was determined based on search queries using Google Trends. We divided these queries into “loneliness index categories” and assigned each category a rating from one to three (of course, one is the loneliest number).

The percent of singles made up 60% of the final score and the loneliness index made up the remaining 40%.

The following list includes our chosen search queries sorted into their assigned loneliness index categories:

Loneliness index

Category 1: Lonely

  • “I’m lonely”
  • “Loneliness”
  • “Anti Valentines Day”

Category 2: Moderately lonely

  • “How to find love”
  • “Best dating apps”
  • “Matchmaker”
  • “Speed dating”
  • “Dating advice”

Category 3: Romantic

  • “Date ideas”
  • “Honeymoon destinations”
  • “Wedding ideas”
  • “Romantic getaways”
  • “Valentines Day”
  • “Relationship advice”
  • “Open relationship”
The Top Google Searches

Complete rankings for the loneliest states in America

Rank
State
Percentage of Singles
Loneliness Rank
Final Score (out of 10)

1

District of Columbia

70.10%

2

3.6

2

South Carolina

48.94%

1

3.29

3

Arizona

48.89%

1

3.29

4

Illinois

48.52%

1

3.27

5

Vermont

48.09%

1

3.25

6

Michigan

47.82%

1

3.24

7

Alaska

47.58%

1

3.23

8

Maine

46.82%

1

3.2

9

Oklahoma

46.51%

1

3.19

10

Kentucky

46.20%

1

3.18

11

New Hampshire

44.41%

1

3.11

12

Montana

43.77%

1

3.08

13

Iowa

42.83%

1

3.04

14

New York

52.09%

2

2.88

15

Nevada

50.90%

2

2.83

16

Rhode Island

50.63%

2

2.82

17

Florida

50.46%

2

2.82

18

Massachusetts

49.71%

2

2.79

19

California

49.44%

2

2.77

20

Connecticut

49.03%

2

2.76

21

Pennsylvania

48.55%

2

2.74

22

Hawaii

47.32%

2

2.69

23

New Jersey

46.82%

2

2.67

24

Arkansas

46.22%

2

2.65

25

Colorado

45.59%

2

2.62

26

Washington

45.40%

2

2.61

27

Louisiana

53.34%

3

2.56

28

New Mexico

52.76%

3

2.53

29

Wyoming

42.54%

2

2.5

30

Mississippi

51.84%

3

2.5

31

Idaho

41.15%

2

2.44

32

Alabama

49.14%

3

2.39

33

Maryland

49.08%

3

2.39

34

Georgia

48.81%

3

2.38

35

Delaware

48.79%

3

2.38

36

Ohio

48.41%

3

2.36

37

Missouri

47.27%

3

2.31

38

West Virginia

47.14%

3

2.31

39

North Carolina

47.04%

3

2.31

40

Oregon

46.94%

3

2.3

41

Tennessee

46.65%

3

2.29

42

Indiana

46.53%

3

2.29

43

Texas

46.28%

3

2.28

44

Virginia

45.78%

3

2.26

45

Wisconsin

45.46%

3

2.24

46

South Dakota

44.38%

3

2.2

47

Minnesota

43.64%

3

2.17

48

North Dakota

43.47%

3

2.16

49

Kansas

42.90%

3

2.14

50

Nebraska

42.18%

3

2.11

51

Utah

38.14%

3

1.95

Loneliness index: Each state’s most Googled search query

State
Top Query
Loneliness index category
Loneliness rating out of 3 (1=loneliest)

Alabama

Honeymoon Destinations

Romantic

3

Alaska

Loneliness

Lonely

1

Arizona

I'm lonely

Lonely

1

Arkansas

How to Find Love

Lonely - Moderate

2

California

Best Dating Apps

Lonely - Moderate

2

Colorado

Best Dating Apps

Lonely - Moderate

2

Connecticut

Matchmaker

Lonely - Moderate

2

Delaware

Romantic Getaways

Romantic

3

District of Columbia

Best Dating Apps

Lonely - Moderate

2

Florida

Matchmaker

Lonely - Moderate

2

Georgia

Relationship Advice

Romantic

3

Hawaii

Matchmaker

Lonely - Moderate

2

Idaho

Best Dating Apps

Lonely - Moderate

2

Illinois

I'm lonely

Lonely

1

Indiana

Honeymoon Destinations

Romantic

3

Iowa

Anti Valentines Day

Lonely

1

Kansas

Relationship Advice

Romantic

3

Kentucky

I'm lonely

Lonely

1

Louisiana

Relationship Advice

Romantic

3

Maine

Loneliness

Lonely

1

Maryland

Open Relationship

Romantic

3

Massachusetts

Best Dating Apps

Lonely - Moderate

2

Michigan

I'm lonely

Lonely

1

Minnesota

Honeymoon Destinations

Romantic

3

Mississippi

Wedding Ideas

Romantic

3

Missouri

Relationship Advice

Romantic

3

Montana

Loneliness

Lonely

1

Nebraska

Honeymoon Destinations

Romantic

3

Nevada

Matchmaker

Lonely - Moderate

2

New Hampshire

Loneliness

Lonely

1

New Jersey

Matchmaker

Lonely - Moderate

2

New Mexico

Open Relationship

Romantic

3

New York

Matchmaker

Lonely - Moderate

2

North Carolina

Relationship Advice

Romantic

3

North Dakota

Valentines Day

Romantic

3

Ohio

Romantic Getaways

Romantic

3

Oklahoma

Anti Valentines Day

Lonely

1

Oregon

Open Relationship

Romantic

3

Pennsylvania

Matchmaker

Lonely - Moderate

2

Rhode Island

Best Dating Apps

Lonely - Moderate

2

South Carolina

I'm lonely

Lonely

1

South Dakota

Valentines Day

Romantic

3

Tennessee

Honeymoon Destinations

Romantic

3

Texas

Relationship Advice

Romantic

3

Utah

Date ideas

Romantic

3

Vermont

Loneliness

Lonely

1

Virginia

Relationship Advice

Romantic

3

Washington

Best Dating Apps

Lonely - Moderate

2

West Virginia

Valentines Day

Romantic

3

Wisconsin

Relationship Advice

Romantic

3

Wyoming

Matchmaker

Lonely - Moderate

2

Sources

Colin Holmes
Written by
Colin Holmes
Colin Holmes is no stranger to moving: he’s done so five times in the last five years, and he’s used his expertise to help over 185,000 readers plan their moves in the last year alone. As a former journalist and documentary interviewer, Colin brings a wealth of research experience to Move.org.