The best cities in Britain to be single, based on average salary and the cost of a first date

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The “best” place to be single in the UK is somewhere you might not expect.
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Shutterstock/Henryk Sadura

Being single can be expensive.

There’s the cost of first dates, looking good, staying in shape, and, for those that can afford to, renting alone.

Thames cruise company Bateaux London has analysed data from the Office of National Statistics to establish exactly which UK city is the best place to be single.

The analysis compared the average cost of variables associated with being single.

They included the percentage of the population that is single – the higher the better – and the percentage of those aged between 20 and 30 years old – assuming a younger population is more likely to be single and not married.

In addition, the survey looked at average salary, as well as date-related costs like a three-course meal, a pint of beer, a coffee, or a cinema trip. It also factored in rents and gym membership. All the data are pinned to prices last year.

For each category all cities were ranked from best to worst and awarded a point score of between 1 and 22 for the position they finished in – the higher the better the city is considered for singletons, the lower the worse. They were all then awarded a percentage rating based on how they performed.

Scroll down to see how the UK’s biggest cities rank in terms of being single, listed in ascending order from “worst” to “best.”


22. London — 29.2%. England’s capital scored highest overall for salary, but is expensive and has a lower proportion of eligible singles — making it apparently the worst place in Britain to be single.

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Shutterstock/Zoltan Gabor

Average salary: £34,967

Meal out: £55

Pint of beer: £4.50

Coffee: £2.64

Gym membership: £46.50

Cinema ticket: £12.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £1,682


21. York — 40.15%.

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Shutterstock/Shahid Khan

Average salary: £24,175

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £3.35

Coffee: £2.42

Gym membership: £34.33

Cinema ticket: £9.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £720


20. Brighton — 43.07%.

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Shutterstock/Vladislav Gajic

Average salary: £25,116

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £4.25

Coffee: £2.42

Gym membership: £36.14

Cinema ticket: £9.44

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £907


19. Oxford — 45.26%.

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Shutterstock/Alexey Fedorenko

Average salary: £29,476

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £4.25

Coffee: £2.60

Gym membership: £38.14

Cinema ticket: £10.50

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £1,075


18. Cambridge — 45.99%.

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Gordon Bell/Shutterstock

Average salary: £30,886

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £3.83

Coffee: £2.62

Gym membership: £38.71

Cinema ticket: £10.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £1,046


17. Bristol — 47.45%.

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Getty Images

Average salary: £27,983

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £3.80

Coffee: £2.72

Gym membership: £28.56

Cinema ticket: £9

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £853


16. Leeds — 47.45%.

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Shahid Khan/Shutterstock

Average salary: £26,015

Meal out: £45.00

Pint of beer: £3.50

Coffee: £2.66

Gym membership: £24.14

Cinema ticket: £10

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £656


15. Sheffield — 48.91%.

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Shutterstock/Neil Mitchel

Average salary: £24,269

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £3.00

Coffee: £2.55

Gym membership: £28.42

Cinema ticket: £9.89

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £593


14. Edinburgh — 48.91%.

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Brendan Howard/Shutterstock

Average salary: £28,048

Meal out: £48.00

Pint of beer: £4.00

Coffee: £2.54

Gym membership: £31.42

Cinema ticket: £10.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £718


13. Chester — 51.09%.

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Shutter stock

Average salary: £25,436

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £2.90

Coffee: £2.50

Gym membership: £32.80

Cinema ticket: £9.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £585


12. Norwich — 52.55%.

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Helen Hotson/Shutterstock

Average salary: £22,604

Meal out: £45.00

Pint of beer: £3.50

Coffee: £2.54

Gym membership: £32.00

Cinema ticket: £9.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £586


11. Reading — 53.28%.

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Shutterstock/Leonid Andronov

Average salary: £31,852

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £3.65

Coffee: £2.54

Gym membership: £25.44

Cinema ticket: £9.65

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £885


10. Glasgow — 56.2%.

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Shutterstock/CappaPhoto

Average salary: £26,096

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £3.50

Coffee: £2.55

Gym membership: £28.53

Cinema ticket: £9.45

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £610


9. Manchester — 57.66%.

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Stacey MacNaught / Flickr

Average salary: £26,436

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £3.50

Coffee: £2.68

Gym membership: £26.42

Cinema ticket: £9.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £720


8. Hull — 59.12%.

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Shutterstock/ Phil MacD Photography

Average salary: £21,533

Meal out: £45.00

Pint of beer: £3.10

Coffee: £2.45

Gym membership: £24.50

Cinema ticket: £9.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £433


7. Nottingham — 63.5%.

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Lucian Milasan/Shutterstock

Average salary: £24,304

Meal out: £45.00

Pint of beer: £3.00

Coffee: £2.58

Gym membership: £26.89

Cinema ticket: £10.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £559


6. Cardiff —63.5%.

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Flickr/Fred Bigio

Average salary: £24,643

Meal out: £40.00

Pint of beer: £3.20

Coffee: £2.45

Gym membership: £25.53

Cinema ticket: £6.75

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £636


5. Newcastle — 64.23%.

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The Tyne Bridge and Millennium Bridge, Newcastle, during the 2012 Olympics.
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Getty/Stu Forster

Average salary: £25,151

Meal out: £50.00

Pint of beer: £3.50

Coffee: £2.62

Gym membership: £22.42

Cinema ticket: £8.50

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £582


4. Birmingham — 64.23%.

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Shutterstock/Kris Kuzniar

Average salary: £25,843

Meal out: £40.00

Pint of beer: £3.50

Coffee: £2.28

Gym membership: £22.42

Cinema ticket: £8.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £663


3. Southampton — 64.96%.

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Ocean Village Marina in Southampton.
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Shutterstock/Peter Sterling

Average salary: £26,982

Meal out: £40.00

Pint of beer: £3.10

Coffee: £2.59

Gym membership: £20.91

Cinema ticket: £10.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £698


2. Liverpool — 66.42%.

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Silvan Bachmann/Shutterstock

Average salary: £23,995

Meal out: £42.50

Pint of beer: £2.90

Coffee: £2.55

Gym membership: £21.79

Cinema ticket: £9.00

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £602


1. Belfast — 67.15%. Northern Ireland’s capital won out because of low rents, cheap dining options and a particularly high proportion of single people.

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Shutterstock/Henryk Sadura

Average salary: £24,012

Meal out: £40.00

Pint of beer: £4.00

Coffee: £2.33

Gym membership: £23.77

Cinema ticket: £6.75

Rent for one-bed in city centre: £520