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Single in Tampa? Sorry

Life is getting tougher for singles in the Tampa Bay area, according to a survey by Forbes.com.

By KEVIN GRAHAM
Published July 26, 2005


Singles Scene
How do you meet new people?
Online
Work
Bars/Clubs
Church
Through friends

Cities for singles

Top 5
1. Denver-Boulder
2. Boston
3. San Francisco
4. Raleigh-Durham
5. Washington-Baltimore

Bottom 5
36. Tampa
37. Providence
38. Kansas City
39. Norfolk
40. Greensboro

 

Tampa's singles scene just keeps getting worse, according to Forbes.com's fifth annual ranking.

The city fell to 36th overall this year, down from 25th in 2004. It dropped in five of six categories Forbes.com used to rank the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

When it comes to the number of singles, based on U.S. Census data, Tampa ranked dead last - a repeat of last year.

Culture showed the only improvement, climbing from 33rd last year to 30th this year.

"It's not a personality test," said Lacey Rose, staff writer for Forbes.com and author of the list. "We're not promising that you're going to find your soul mate in these cities. We're just telling you where you can have the best quality of life while you're single."

Forbes.com also ranked cities by job growth, nightlife, cost of living and coolness, defined by Rose as the diversity of "creative workers" that include musicians, artists and teachers.

"I'm disappointed," said Teresa Gelston, founder of Verve, a collective of young professionals working to make the Tampa Bay area a better place to live, work and play. "I thought we had made a lot of progress in the last year."

"We are getting attention nationally from other states and other communities about our efforts in developing the creative class and our creative initiatives here," said Paul Wilborn, Tampa's Creative Industries manager.

One thing that worries Wilborn, he said, is keeping young professionals.

"We're still losing a lot of our smart, young graduates," he said. "I'm not quite sure how to explain the numbers."

Rose said that slight changes in the way Forbes.com conducted this year's study played a part in some of the rankings. For example, the survey took into account entry-level salaries for the first time, she said.

"That really hurt a place like Tampa," Rose said.

Forbes.com also eliminated the "public opinion" category this year, so the rankings could be based purely on numbers.

The only other two Florida cities on the list also dropped in the rankings this year. Miami, 2004's 10th best city for singles, is now 23rd. Orlando, 20th last year, is now 31st. Cost of living also played a role in their decline on the list, Rose said.

[Last modified July 26, 2005, 19:30:33]


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