How Ohio Ranks Among Best States To Date

Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Virginia may be for lovers, but Ohio is for daters: The state ranked 6th in’s look at the best and worst states for dating. And you thought we strictly stuck to Ohio sports betting. In first place was Washington, D.C., a hot spot for young, political aides looking to network, old crotchety senators and Matt Gaetz. In second place is North Dakota, which, oddly, Wallethub says is the third worst state for singles. Maybe our researchers and theirs should go on a date and hash things out.

As for Ohio, it’s right behind Alaska, where people date to avoid frostbite, and ahead of New York, where people move in with their dates to afford the rent.

Best and Worst States For Dating

Rank State Dating Index (51 max)
1 DC 48.33
2 ND 40.67
3 RI 37.70
4 WY 37.67
5 AL 36.33
6 OH 34.67
7 NY 33.33
8 NE 32.67
9 IL 32.33
10 MN 32.25
11 PA 32
12 VT 31.70
13 MI 31.67
14 ME 31.33
15 MA 29.33
16 NH 29.25
17 DE 29.15
18 MO 29.67
19 WV 28.33
20 AL 28.50
21 SD 28.33
22 HI 27.67
23 MD 27.33
24 OK 26.33
25 WI 26
26 CT 25.67
27 AZ 25
28 VA 24.70
29 MT 24.67
30 NC 24.33
T31 NM 24
T31 LA 24
33 WA 23.75
34 CO 23.67
35 KS 23.33
36 TN 22.67
37 UT 22
38 NJ 21.67
39 AR 21
40 GA 20.67
41 IA 19
42 ID 18.67
43 CA 18.50
44 OR 18.33
45 TX 18
46 FL 17.33
47 MS 17
48 IN 14.67
49 SC 12.67
50 KY 12.33
51 NV 11.67

Why Ohio? Why Not?

What’s Ohio got going for it as a dating mecca? Five things: 1) A lot of college students – in Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, Toledo, Youngstown, etc. 2) A lot of fun dating destinations such as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 3) A lot of sports. Going to a game can be a stress-free date that gets the blood pumping. A Browns fan may not want to be seen with a Bengals fan and an Ohio State fan may not want to be within smelling distance of a Michigan fan, but Ohio offers professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey and soccer, top golf tournaments, a huge number of college sports and a big high school sports scene. Not to mention a surplus of Ohio sportsbook promos

4) Ice cream. Ohio’s numerous dairy farms make for delicious, unique treats across the Buckeye State and what date doesn’t go better with ice cream. Unless you are lactose intolerant, in which case ice cream can really dampen the mood. 5) Rollercoasters. Another great dating option is an amusement park and Cedar Point has some of the best thrill rides in the country.

According to the U.S. census, Ohio has three of the top 50 cities with the most singles – No. 5 Cincinnati, No. 21 Toledo and No. 23 Columbus. Cincy ranks 7th in single men (quantity, not quality – that’s subjective) and 4th in single women, so there’s a lot going on there. Cleveland ranks 5th in single women and sixth in divorces, so there might be a lot of baggage floating in the city’s dating pool. Toledo ranks 10th in divorces, meaning there are a lot of single people in Ohio who’ve already made bad choices.

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There are close to 12 million people in Ohio, a little more than half are women and a little more than half are single. As 22% of the state’s population is under 18, that would mean that about 1/3 of adults are either looking for a partner or have resigned themselves to a life of solitude and spaghetti with chili on it. 36% of Ohio men have never been married, 30% of the women. 

Ohio is not a particularly diverse state with 81% of the population white, 13% Black, 3% Asian and 3% everything else. Nearly 92% of Ohioans have graduated from high school, a little higher than the U.S. average, and nearly 32% have a college degree, a little lower than the U.S. average. Per capita income is also lower than the U.S. average. Fortunately, it’s cheaper to live in Ohio than on the California coast.

When it comes to religion, the Pew Research Center says 73% of Ohioans are Christian, of which 53% are Protestant and 18% are Catholic. Jewish folks, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims are around 1% each, and 22% have no religion – except football. (Yes, we have Browns playoff chances here.)

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Using data from Google Trends, Statista, and Forbes Business, created weighted ranking by which to rate the state for dating. used Statista to find the percentage of single-person households in each state, Google Trends for the average search volumes of inquires “date ideas,” “first date activities near me,” and “florists near me” by state, and Forbes Business for data on the average annual income for a single person in each state and created the Dating Index.

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Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of

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