It only takes one person to make your online dating experience a runaway success.
But statistically speaking, your chances of meeting that one person go up as the number of potential matches increases. Business Insider asked Tinder to pull data on its top cities — the locales with the greatest number of active users.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago were the top three.
The reason why, however, is a little more intriguing.
Tinder’s in-house sociologist, Dr. Jess Carbino, told us that it’s not just because they’re the most populous cities in the country — it’s also because they’re home to highly educated young professionals.
Carbino explained that highly educated people are generally more likely to use online dating services because they delay marriage and childbearing until they have achieved the “traditional markers of adulthood.” Those markers include gaining independence from your parents, completing your education, and establishing financial security.
“While you’re in school, the opportunity to do that is diminished dramatically,” she said. “Most individuals — mainly men — don’t consider themselves to be marriageable until they have achieved a certain level of economic stability.” (If the idea that Tinder users are thinking about marriage strikes you as weird, note that Tinder found 80% of its users are looking for a meaningful relationship — presumably something that could lead to marriage.)
Here’s the full list of the top cities for Tinder users:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco/Bay Area
- San Diego
- Las Vegas
What’s more, Carbino said highly educated people are more likely to rapidly adopt new technologies and new ways of meeting people.
But these findings come with a twist: In Provo, UT, for example (population about 116,000), 51% of single people ages 18-24 have used Tinder. That’s not too dissimilar to the 60% of single women and 80% of single men ages 18-24 who have used Tinder in New York City (population about 8 million).
In an email to Business Insider, Carbino said this phenomenon likely has to do with the “higher degree of embeddedness individuals have in their communities, institutions, and social circles” in cities like Provo. In other words, using online dating is a way to widen the dating pool where it would otherwise be pretty small.