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Cities with the most singles 65 and over

A man walks down a brick path in autumn holding a cane behind him.

Kara Miller |

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Written by: Colleen Kilday

 The number of Americans age 65 and older is expected to exceed 80 million by 2040, more than doubling the number of seniors from 2000, according to the Administration for Community Living. With such a trend comes various risks that warrant societal intervention. Due to retirement and the accompanying loss of social networks, as well as spousal loss, seniors are especially susceptible to loneliness. Approximately 58% of women age 75 and older are widowed compared to 27.9% of men, owing to gender differences in average life span.

According to the National Institute on Aging, chronic loneliness is not only bad for mental health but physical health as well. In fact, a 2018 AARP study on loneliness determined that lonely seniors incur an average of $134 more in Medicare costs every month than more socially connected seniors. Cumulatively, this represents an annual spend of $6.7 billion. Therefore it is crucial that seniors maintain social networks during their golden years, and many American cities have enriched their communities with plenty of opportunities to do so.

Using data from the 2021 American Community Survey five-year estimates, Because Market looked at the 10 cities in the U.S. with the highest number of singles aged 65 and over. Census data does not specify people in nonmarriage relationships; they are included as single people. Cities in this analysis are limited to places with populations of people 65 and over of at least 5,000.

A picture of Petersburg, Virginia in winter time.

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#10. Petersburg, Virginia

In total, there are 3,669 people over 65 in Petersburg and 65.9% are single. 73.8% of women over 65 in Petersburg are single with 5.7% having never married, 20.8% being divorced, and 37.3% widowed. 53.5% of men over 65 in Petersburg are single with 17.5% having never married, 22.9% being divorced, and 13.1% widowed.

Rich in historical significance, Petersburg is an independent city fit for its higher-than-average senior population. The town is on the National Register of Historic Places and features a well-preserved Old Town Historic District. Because the town is more affordable than the average American city, senior residents are able to make the most of their retirement or Social Security income. The cost of living is 10% below the national average. Organizations within the city also host events exclusively for single seniors, such as galas for those who would otherwise be alone during the holidays.

A summer day in Hartford, Connecticut.


#9. Hartford, Connecticut

In total, there are 9,378 people over 65 in Hartford and 67.2% are single. 76.6% of women over 65 in Hartford are single with 22% having never married, 25.8% being divorced, and 28.8% widowed. 53% of men over 65 in Hartford are single with 18.2% having never married, 22.9% being divorced, and 11.9% widowed.

Hartford has done well to accommodate its nearly 10,000 senior singles. The city offers four senior centers in addition to many other senior resources, including clinical care. In fact, senior residents may enjoy a better quality of health in Connecticut, as the state is ranked fourth in America's Health Rankings' 2022 Senior Report based on criteria including clinical care quality, physical environment, and social factors. Additionally, college tuition is waived for all residents 62 and older, allowing senior citizens to earn degrees tuition-free.

People walking along the coast in Detroit, Michigan.

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#8. Detroit, Michigan

In total, there are 61,390 people over 65 in Detroit and 67.4% are single. 75.9% of women over 65 in Detroit are single with 15.1% having never married, 23.8% being divorced, and 37% widowed. 55.4% of men over 65 in Detroit are single with 18.7% having never married, 22.6% being divorced, and 14.1% widowed. 

As one of the states that do not tax Social Security, Michigan features several cities ideal for senior residents, though Detroit outranks them all. The Detroit Area Agency on Aging advocates for the city's 139,000 senior residents, ensuring their interests are represented at all levels of government. The city also has a healthier air quality than the average American city, with just 10 unhealthy air quality days annually compared to the national average of 16. The city's well-renowned hospitals are considered some of the best in the state, offering senior residents top-quality health care.

People walk along a dirt path overlooking a busy lake in Cleveland, Ohio.

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#7. Cleveland, Ohio

In total, there are 35,857 people over 65 in Cleveland and 67.6% are single. 74% of women over 65 in Cleveland are single with 15.8% having never married, 23.5% being divorced, and 34.7% widowed. 58.8% of men over 65 in Cleveland are single with 19.3% having never married, 25% being divorced, and 14.5% widowed.

In 2015, a group of 34 organizations in Cleveland conducted a wide-ranging survey to find ways to accommodate the city's aging population. The result was a three-year action plan to transform Cleveland into an "Age-Friendly City." Now, the city boasts various services for seniors covering areas including health, finances, social services, and more. Residents can also enjoy the city's close proximity to Lake Erie in addition to plenty of attractions such as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland's reputable health facilities offer senior citizens and their loved ones greater peace of mind during their golden years. Additionally, the cost of living in Cleveland is 27% lower than the national average.

A gloomy day in Bessemer, Alabama.


#6. Bessemer, Alabama

In total, there are 3,493 people over 65 in Bessemer and 67.8% are single. 72.9% of women over 65 in Bessemer are single with 9.5% having never married, 24.9% being divorced, and 38.5% widowed. 60.2% of men over 65 in Bessemer are single with 12.4% having never married, 27.2% being divorced, and 20.6% widowed.

Bessemer is a small Birmingham suburb named after Alabamian steel-manufacturing process inventor Henry Bessemer. The city's climate is senior-friendly, with little snowfall and warmer-than-average temperatures year-round. The general cost of living in Bessemer is 14% lower than the national average, a trend also reflected in the city's senior resources. In fact, the average monthly cost of assisted living in Bessemer is $525 lower than the national average.

A bird's eye view of Trenton, New Jersey on a sunny day.

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#5. Trenton, New Jersey

In total, there are 7,367 people over 65 in Trenton and 67.9% are single. 78.9% of women over 65 in Trenton are single with 18.1% having never married, 25.2% being divorced, and 35.6% widowed. 53.5% of men over 65 in Trenton are single with 15.9% having never married, 22.7% being divorced, and 14.9% widowed.

New Jersey's state capital, Trenton offers residents close proximity to Philadelphia and New York City without the accompanying high costs. In fact, Garden State retirees also enjoy no taxes on Social Security income and a cost of living 5% lower than the national average. Additionally, the state has earned a reputation for its support of its senior population. In the 2020 Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard, an analysis that assesses states' quality of services and support for its senior citizens, New Jersey ranked in the top quartile for affordability, quality of life and care, and support for family caregivers.

A historical street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on a sunny fall day.

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#4. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

In total, there are 3,690 people over 65 in Harrisburg and 68% are single. 71.9% of women over 65 in Harrisburg are single with 11.4% having never married, 19.7% being divorced, and 40.8% widowed. 63.3% of men over 65 in Harrisburg are single with 16% having never married, 32.9% being divorced, and 14.4% widowed.

Located alongside the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg offers its senior residents tax benefits, affordability, and quality health care. Pennsylvania is one of just 15 states to offer its senior residents no taxes on pensions or Social Security income. Health care is robust; there are 346 physicians per 100,000 residents, significantly higher than the national average (210 per 100,000). Pennsylvania also offers financial support for those requiring assisted living but unable to afford it on their own. The Harrisburg area also features many museums and parks in addition to a variety of shopping and dining options.

A park in Spring in Euclid, Ohio.

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#3. Euclid, Ohio

In total, there are 5,634 people over 65 in Euclid and 68.6% are single. 77% of women over 65 in Euclid are single with 16% having never married, 23.9% being divorced, and 37.1% widowed. 54.5% of men over 65 in Euclid are single with 20.9% having never married, 21.4% being divorced, and 12.2% widowed. 

Euclid is a quieter alternative to the senior-friendly but bustling nearby city of Cleveland. With fewer than 50,000 total residents, the population enjoys a close-knit community atmosphere. The Cleveland suburb has taken proactive measures to ensure senior citizens can enjoy high-quality living thanks to its senior department. Senior-oriented initiatives include transportation services for those 60 and older and pharmacy delivery. Additionally, the town hosts many events every day, ensuring its residents stay connected with one another during their golden years.

A bird's eye view of West Hollywood, California on a clear sunny day.

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#2. West Hollywood, California

In total, there are 3,692 people over 65 in West Hollywood and 68.6% are single. 71.9% of women over 65 in West Hollywood are single with 24.9% having never married, 20.6% being divorced, and 26.4% widowed. 65.1% of men over 65 in West Hollywood are single with 34.6% having never married, 24.2% being divorced, and 6.3% widowed.

Located within Los Angeles County, West Hollywood is a senior-friendly locale of Tinseltown. The city became one of AARP's Age-Friendly Communities in 2016 and has implemented an action plan to accommodate its aging population. Titled the Aging in Place/Aging in Community Initiative, the program has been so successful that the city received an award for aligning with the California Master Plan for Aging. Additionally, senior residents have over 400 senior living options to choose from in the area.

Plus, West Hollywood is only a short 30 minute drive from Glendale, California which is one of the most popular walkable cities for seniors.

A bird's eye view of Pontiac, Michigan on a sunny day.


#1. Pontiac, Michigan

In total, there are 5,194 people over 65 in Pontiac and 73.1% are single. 84.4% of women over 65 in Pontiac are single with 6.6% having never married, 36.8% being divorced, and 41% widowed. 54.7% of men over 65 in Pontiac are single with 12.6% having never married, 29.3% being divorced, and 12.8% widowed.

Pontiac is a small town located about 20 miles outside Detroit. Its governing county of Oakland offers all-encompassing senior services ranging from companion animal initiatives to hotlines for those feeling lonely. The city's senior residents can rest assured that the local population takes their health seriously. According to America's Health Rankings, residents have a higher-than-average flu vaccination rate and are more likely to remain physically active during their lifetime.