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Top 10 Cities for Dating

( - March 31, 2004) Is the city you call home THE place to find that special someone? Hooking that hottie is hard enough without the odds stacked against you, so AXE Deodorant Bodyspray teamed with the city study experts at Sperling's BestPlaces to find out "America's Best and Worst Cities for the Dating Game."

Land of the Longhorn
Texas, tops the 80 largest metro areas in the study, based on criteria that include percentage of singles ages 18-24 and dating venues per capita such as coffee shops and bars, among others.

The Top Ten best and worst cities for the dating game are:

1. Austin, TX
2. Colorado Springs, CO
3. San Diego, CA
4. Raleigh/Durham, NC
5. Seattle, WA
6. Charleston, SC
7. Norfolk, VA
8. Ann Arbor, MI
9. Springfield, MA
10. Honolulu, HI

The Top Ten Worst Cities to Hook Up In

1. Kansas City, MO
2. Wichita, KS
3. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
4. Detroit, MI
5. Louisville, KY
6. Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC
7. Atlanta, GA
8. Pittsburgh, PA
9. Houston, TX
10. Charlotte, NC

Interesting Facts from the Top Ten
"Large cities that everyone associates with socializing, like Los Angeles and Miami, did not rank particularly high, scoring lower in categories like coffee shops per capita and flowers bought as gifts," said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling's Best Places. "But cities like Austin (No. 1), Colorado Springs (No. 2) and Ann Arbor (No. 8) were not a complete surprise -- they are heavy-populated college towns and great places for young singles to get together."

1. Austin, TX: Taking home the grand prize, Austin scores relatively high in everything, from frequency of dating partners to the number of establishments to meet people. Austin also has the highest percentage of 18 - 24-year-olds and knows how to have fun as they spent more money out socializing than any other area

2. Colorado Springs, CO: Ranks in the 99th percentile for socializing at bars and also scores high in the dining out category

3. San Diego, CA: Scores high in the diversity index, which rates the likelihood of randomly meeting someone of a different race or ethnicity, and, of course, San Diego is off the charts when it comes to outdoor recreational opportunities

4. Raleigh/Durham, NC: Has a large 18 - 24-year-old population and a high amount of online daters in the area

5. Seattle, WA: No surprise, Seattle has the largest amount of coffee shops (great places for meeting people or gathering to rehash the previous night's activities)

6. Charleston, SC: Ranks second in the amount of lingerie shops per capita (behind Columbia, SC)

7. Norfolk, VA: Came in near the top due to the exceptional amount of flowers that were brought as gifts for a special someone

8. Ann Arbor, MI: Scores in the 98th percentile for percentage of singles and ranks high in the dining out category as well

9. Springfield, MA: Springfield scores high in many categories, among them are percentage of singles, health clubs per capita and bars per capita in the area

10. Honolulu, HI: Honolulu ranks first in the diversity index category, which rates the likelihood of randomly meeting someone of a different race or ethnicity, and scores the highest in the dining out category as well

Better Luck Next Time
Below are some of the reasons that large cities like Detroit, Atlanta and Houston bottomed out in the study.

-- Largest 18-24 population: Pittsburgh (overall No. 73 ranking) and Detroit (overall No. 77) are among cities with the lowest number of 18-24 year olds

-- Percentage of Singles: Charlotte, NC, (overall No. 71) is among the cities with the lowest percentage of singles

-- Latte, Anyone?: Wichita (overall No. 79) and Greensboro (overall No. 75) are among those cities that are home to the least number of coffee shops per capita, leaving few good places for young people to converge and trade stories after a fun night out

-- Remove Earplugs: Louisville (overall No. 76) scores low in the concert category; apparently the tour buses are not making a habit of stopping and rocking in Louisville

-- Necklaces and Bracelets and Rings, Oh My: Two of the cities where jewelry is least often bought as a gift are Detroit (overall No. 77) and Minneapolis (overall No. 78)

-- Ooh la la!: Houston (overall No. 72) is among cities with the least amount of lingerie shops per capita

-- Behind Bars: Atlanta (overall No. 74) is among the cities with the least amount of hot new bars, leaving young singles looking for places to meet potential hook ups

AXE's "America's Best and Worst Cities for the Dating Game" study was conducted using 24 distinct criteria including, among others: population density, percentage of singles, frequency of hooking up, dating venues such as coffee shops, bars, and intimate apparel stores and flowers and jewelry bought as gifts. The study is based on the most currently available figures from the Census Bureau (population characteristics and statistics), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (frequency of sexual partners), (online daters), and criteria from leading relationship experts who weighed categories in terms of dating importance.

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