Looking for jobs galore, cheap beer and highly educated, unattached young people? Head for the mountains! The Denver-Boulder metro area is America's best place for singles.
The Mile High City edged out larger metros like Boston and Washington, D.C., thanks to its booming job market, relatively low cost of living and large university population.
To determine the best city for singles, Forbes.com ranked the 40 largest U.S. metropolitan centers in six different areas: nightlife, culture, job growth, number of other singles, cost of living alone and coolness.
Each metropolitan area is assigned a ranking of one to 40 in each category, based on quantitative data. Those ranks are then averaged, and readers' preferences are incorporated to determine the final rankings.
: The number of singles is based on the percentage of a metro's population above the age of 15 that has never been married. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
: Nightlife is based on the number of restaurants, bars and nightclubs in each standard metropolitan area. Last year we tweaked our formula to give a higher weighting to restaurants, with less importance given to bars and nightclubs. This year we went back to our old formula. Data provided by AOL CityGuide.
: Our cultural index is determined by the number of museums, pro sports teams and live theaters, as well as the university population, in each metro. Data provided by AOL CityGuide and Montréal International.
: Our proprietary cost of living alone index is determined by the average cost of a metro area's apartment rent, a Pizza Hut pizza, a movie ticket and a six-pack of Heineken. The majority of the raw data was provided by Arlington, Va.-based ACCRA.
: Job growth rankings are determined by the projected percentage of job growth over the next five years for each metro. Data provided by Washington, D.C.-based Woods & Poole Economics.
: Coolness is determined by an area's diversity and its number of creative workers (i.e., those whose jobs require creativity, such as artists, scientists, teachers and musicians). Richard Florida and Kevin Stolarick — both of Catalytix and Carnegie Mellon University — and Gary Gates of the Urban Institute provided the data.
Buzz Factor: Buzz factor is determined by the outcome of an interactive poll in which we asked our readers to give each city a thumbs-up, a thumbs-down or a shrug.