Forbes magazine used to (and might still) publish an annual list of “best cities for singles.” To me, it wasn’t very useful, as they didn’t break down the singles by age group or sexual orientation.
My feeling in the U.S. is that in most of the country there aren’t many social avenues for singles out of college. Then there are the smaller cities that tend to be a bit more transient and welcoming to young singles: Denver/Boulder, Austin, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco. In those places my feeling is that one can have a nice extended social life into one’s twenties and early thirties, but after that it gets a little grim. I’m unsure about places like Houston, Miami, Chicago, and Atlanta for people in their twenties and early thirties, but I think they follow a similar pattern for older singles. After 35, only New York City and Los Angeles seem truly viable if one does not want to feel left out. Sadly these are incredibly expensive cities to live in, which is tough for people living alone.
Or am I being too pessimistic? I’d love for readers to weigh in on their current city and how comfortable they feel there if single and childless. I’d be interested in international cities, too.