by Elizabeth Goodman Artis for SHAPE.com
All the single ladies!What are the attributes that make a city female-friendly? Ample outdoor spaces, well-paying jobs, healthy food, single guys, a great cupcake shop or three, a non-creepy sex toy store (to name a few).
We poured over lists and statistics and crunched the data-then compiled this quick list of U.S. cities with enough key features to appeal to the XX chromosome crowd, whether in search of a soulmate or happily single.
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1. San Francisco: Yes, climbing all those hills practically guarantees a killer butt, but San Francisco also rated No. 2 on the American Human Development Index, a scale that measures information on women's educational attainment, life expectancy, and median earnings (meaning female inhabitants are well educated, live long, and make money).
San Francisco also rated 10th in a Gallup-Healthways poll of fittest cities, has the second lowest obesity rate in the country, and boasts one of the easiest urban areas to escape to when you tire of the trolleys: Mount Tamalpais State Park, which has 6,300 acres of wild grasslands, chaparral, redwoods, and wildflowers only 20 miles north of the city.
How's the dating scene? In 2004 the research firm Teasley published findings that ranked San Francisco as the best place to find a rich, single man in the United States, as measured by the city's single male "Golden Ratio" of 140 percent, and specifically accounting for the large percentage of gay males (which is considerably less than people tend to believe at about 15 percent). Oh, and one more thing: San Fran has the highest number of cupcake shops per capita in the U.S.
2. Portland, Oregon: Known as a little slice of hippie/hipster heaven, Portland has a lot going for it-beyond food trucks and tattoos. It's widely recognized as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States (which of course saves money on gas, burns calories, and helps the environment).
There are 38.6 gyms and fitness centers per million people in the area, but if you want to take your workout outdoors, this is a good place to be: Encased in rain forest with a famously outdoorsy culture, Portland is an urban hiker's paradise.
On a more somber note, its female citizens are also least likely to die of breast cancer.
3. San Diego: This laid back So-Cal city has LA's sunny, temperate climate but not nearly the traffic congestion-it has the shortest average commute time of the 10 largest U.S. cities (about 25 minutes on average). What to do with all that extra time? Meet a dude-it's been ranked as the third best city for dating.
Not single? You and your guy can happily reduce both of your risks for all major diseases by indulging in a seriously healthy diet: San Diego residents eat an average of about 34 servings of fruit and vegetables a week.
4. Boston: It's ranked third on the AHDI-that measure that calculates education, life expectancy, and median earnings for women. Boston also has a terrific public transportation system, but if you own a car, you can get from downtown Boston to Middlesex Fells Reservation, a 2,500-acre swath of hills, ponds, meadows, wetlands, and hemlock groves, in a mere 16 minutes.
While there are no actual statistics to back it up, Boston is as good a place as any to meet a Harvard grad-or a janitor with a genius level IQ.
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5. Washington D.C: Of all the major U.S. cities, Washington D.C. has the smallest gender pay gap; women earn 91 percent of what men do annually. And women can spend that extra cash at one of the city's many farmer's markets-it boasts the highest number of farmers' markets per capita. Plus, D.C. is awash in time-saving conveniences, like professional organizers, certified personal trainers, and restaurants with takeout.
If you live there you will also be very fit; women in D.C. are more likely to exercise consistently-possibly in one of the city's myriad parks, including the 800-acre Great Falls Park and 1700-plus acre Rock Creek Park.
Did your city make the list? What city do you think should be on it? For more cities where it's great to be a single lady, click here!