Match Game

By Published on .

If you're looking for Mr. or Ms. Right, your best shot is to head to a coast and move to a city. That's where you'll find most of the 2.9 million singles who make $100,000 a year or more. They're concentrated — to no one's surprise — along the West Coast from the San Francisco Bay southward to Los Angeles and San Diego, and on the East Coast along the I-95 D.C.-Boston corridor, extending south to central Virginia and northeast to Maine.

Singles follow an age-related migration pattern, says demographer Susan Mitchell, author of American Generations, and senior market analyst with Mintel International. Younger singles flock to centers of education and employment, and consequently three of the four states — Florida, California, New York and Texas — that account for 31 percent of all nonfarm jobs are on one coast or the other. Later, for singles 55 and up, climate is a big factor.

American Demographics used data from Easy Analytic Software Inc. to identify counties where people are both single and well-heeled. Of course, major metro areas aren't the only centers where affluent singles are located. Women may be able to hit the proverbial marital jackpot in more remote reaches of, say, Nevada. With a total population of 45,000, Elko County in northern Nevada is one of a cluster of three counties that draw an unusual concentration of never-married 25- to 34-year-old males. According to R. Keith Schwer at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, the gold and silver mines in Nevada's Humboldt, Elko and White Pine counties, lure young men who are out to make a fortune. Elko's 1,380 mining jobs average $59,000 a year.

Alaska, with five of the country's top 10 counties for well-off singles, draws men to the high-paying fishing and petroleum industries, says Pat Walsh, who along with Jane Haigh and Kelly Lammers wrote Catch and Release, a book on the pros and cons of Alaskan men. Welders and equipment operators can easily earn over $50 per hour, notes University of Alaska-Fairbanks economist Hans Geier. And it's not unheard of for a crab fisherman who owns his boat to bring in $1 million in a year, he adds. Even federal employees earn 25 percent more in untaxed hardship pay.

Elsewhere, it's not always easy to explain why affluent singles turn up in one place or another. A chain of counties between Louisville and Lexington, Ky., are shaded green, indicating the concentration of prosperous women, ages 25 to 34, leaving area experts perplexed. Men, ages 25 to 34 in Louisville or Lexington, may well have a better chance of finding a mate somewhere along Interstate 64, which links the two cities. But why Shelby County, which is mostly farmland, or Scott, known for manufacturing Toyota motor cars, would be magnets for young, affluent women is unclear.

It's also not always clear that a town with a high proportion of wealthy singles is necessarily a good place to seek a mate. Pitkin County, Colo., home to Aspen, and Arlington County, Va., a D.C. suburb, show up in the top five counties for wealthy 25- to 34-year-olds. But they're not among the top five metro areas for well-to-do members of, a Dallas-based online dating service, which has 2 million profiles in its database.

That's because cities are the best hunting grounds. “Major metropolitan markets by sheer population volume will rise up to the top,� says Vice President of Romance Trish McDermott. Since dating is a numbers game, it makes sense to look where the numbers run in your favor.

Incidentally, McDermott says, when it comes to a potential partner's income, men are less choosy than women. data indicate that most men earning $100,000 or more don't specify the income they're seeking in a partner, while women in the same income bracket do. Among women, 70 percent of those ages 25 to 34 and 81 percent of those in the 35 to 54 age range insist that their partners meet certain earnings requirements.

As for older singles, individuals age 55 and up who are widowed or divorced and looking for a match in the same age group won't find good hunting in the heartland. The map of divorced and widowed singles 55 and older shows that the Midwestern states lose their singles, and end up with a proportion of married households higher than the national average of 52 percent. The older singles turn up in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. The latter two states are especially appealing because of an absence of state income taxes, notes Paul Coomes, economics professor at the University of Louisville. All the more to spend on a date.


Coast to Coast Top counties for sugar daddies or mommas:
WOMEN (25-34) MEN (25-34) WOMEN (35-54) MEN (35-54) WOMEN (55+) MEN (55+)
Arlington, VA Arlington, VA Pitkin, CO Pitkin, CO Sarasota, FL Sarasota, FL
New York, NY Alexandria City, VA Marin, CA San Miguel, CO Pinellas, FL San Juan, WA
Alexandria City, VA Pitkin, CO New York, NY Valdez-Cordova, AK Martinsville City, VA Martin, FL
District of Columbia New York, NY Santa Fe, NM Marin, CA Martin, FL Monroe, FL
Pitkin, CO Summit, CO Arapahoe, CO Wrangell-Petersburg, AK Indian River, FL Indian River, FL
Middlesex, MA San Francisco, CA Boulder, CO Blaine, ID Manatee, FL Charlotte, FL
San Francisco, CA Eagle, CO Falls Church City, VA Powhatan, VA Kerr, TX Sherman, OR
Washtenaw, MI District of Columbia Teton, WY Anchorage, AK Clifton Forge City, VA Lee, FL
Norfolk, MA San Miguel, CO Juneau, AK Aleutians East, AK Bedford City, VA Curry, OR
Fulton, GA Santa Clara, CA King, WA Prince of Wales, AK Charlotte, FL Mohave, AZ
Close to Home The best places to find eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in your neck of the woods:
WOMEN (25-34) MEN (25-34) WOMEN (35-54) MEN (35-54) WOMEN (55+) MEN (55+)
Chesterbrook, PA West Concord, MA Chesterbrook, PA West Concord, MA Great Neck Plaza, NY Southampton, NY
Brookline, MA Brookline, MA Great Neck Plaza, NY Chesterbrook, PA Heritage Village, CT Wildwood Crest, NJ
Heathcote, NJ Cayuga Heights, NY Narberth, PA Springs, NY Essex Village, CT Falmouth, MA
Narberth, PA Edgewater, NJ Ridgefield, CT Brookhaven, NY Falmouth, MA Lido Beach, NY
Tarrytown, NY Manorhaven, NY Northport, NY Collinsville, CT Dennis, MA Essex Village, CT
WOMEN (25-34) MEN (25-34) WOMEN (35-54) MEN (35-54) WOMEN (55+) MEN (55+)
Vinings, GA Vinings, GA Sandy Springs, GA El Lago, TX Highland Beach, FL Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL
North Bethesda, MD Wrightsville Beach, NC Tysons Corner, VA Wrightsville Beach, NC Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. FL Highland Beach, FL
Oakton, VA Arlington, VA Oakton, VA Huntington, VA Bay Harbor Islands, FL Treasure Island, FL
Tysons Corner, VA North Bethesda, MD Cahaba Heights, AL Doral, FL Palm Beach, FL Bal Harbour, FL
Wrightsville Beach, NC Merrifield, VA Highland Park, TX Miami Lakes, FL Aventura, FL Melbourne Beach, FL
WOMEN (25-34) MEN (25-34) WOMEN (35-54) MEN (35-54) WOMEN (55+) MEN (55+)
Larkspur, CA Hermosa Beach, CA Sausalito, CA Marina Del Rey, CA Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
Hermosa Beach, CA Marina Del Rey, CA Tamalpais, CA Sausalito, CA Lake San Marcos, CA Yountville, CA
Marina Del Rey, CA Manhattan Beach, CA Strawberry, CA Laguna Beach, CA Sedona, AZ Sedona, AZ
Sausalito, CA Park City, UT Marina Del Rey, CA Tamalpais, CA Del Monte Forest, CA Pahrump, NV
Manhattan Beach, CA Aspen, CO Mill Valley, CA Hermosa Beach, CA Sonoma, CA Winchester, NV
WOMEN (25-34) MEN (25-34) WOMEN (35-54) MEN (35-54) WOMEN (55+) MEN (55+)
Shorewood, WI Lisle, IL Shorewood, WI Okauchee Lake, WI Indian Head Park, IL Indian Head Park, IL
Lisle, IL Ann Arbor, MI Birmingham, MI Lake Fenton, MI Kenwood, OH Sandusky South, OH
Birmingham, MI Keego Harbor, MI Shaker Heights, OH Grafton, OH Farmington, MI Osage Beach, MO
Ann Arbor, MI Evanston, IL Middletown, WI Tri-Lakes, IN Mariemont, OH Beachwood, OH
Oak Park, IL Fitchburg, WI Yellow Springs, OH Harrison, MI Nichols Hills, OK Northfield, IL
Source: Easy Analytical Software Inc.
Note: Places selected as homes to wealthy singles have a disproportionately high percentage of residents with household income of $100,000 or above and a high percentage of singles.

Living Single

Singles with household incomes of $100,000+.

Female 1.85 million
Male 1.04 million
Female 25-34 190,000
Male 25-34 199,000
Female 35-54 1.04 million
Male 35-54 617,000
Female 55+ 579,000
Male 55+ 219,000
Single/Never married 1.22 million
Widowed/Divorced/Separated 1.67 million
Females with children 425,000
Males with children 220,000
Females without children 1.42 million
Males without children 820,000
Source: Mendelsohn Media Research

Our Town

The top five metro areas for affluent singles.

  1. New York
  2. San Francisco
  3. Los Angeles-Long Beach
  4. San Jose
  5. Chicago


Gold Diggers

Singles with an income greater than $100,000 tend to vary by gender on the importance of a potential partner's income level.

Percent of singles in the $100,000+ bracket who specify the income they desire in a partner:


Who Wants Kids?

Single women 35 to 54 who have joined online dating service and earn $100,000+ per year want children less than their male counterparts.


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