Many people who live in New York City describe it as a lonely place. Even though the city has a population of almost 9 million people, it can seem like you are alone in the ocean. I lived in NYC while I attended grad school and it did feel kind of lonely. I think it's in part because of the hustle and bustle. Everyone is in their own world. Plus, without a car (this was before ride-sharing), it was much more difficult to connect with people in other boroughs. I lived in Lower Manhattan and while I knew people who lived in Brooklyn or the Bronx, seeing them regularly took some real effort without access to a vehicle. But, enough about my lonely sob story, you're not here for that.
What Do The Lonely Do On Valentine's Day?
Cry, lol? With the iconic couples holiday, Valentine's Day a little over a month away, the Chamber of Commerce did a recent study of the loneliest cities in the United States. Two in New York landed on the list of the top 20. Spoiler alert: neither is New York City. The list isn't as bad as it sounds, kind of. The Chamber used data based on people who live by themselves,
Whether it’s your neighbor, a relative, or a coworker, there’s a good chance you know someone who lives alone. In fact, more than 36 million Americans, or 29% of all U.S. households, are one-person households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
That's not so bad, right? It's not saying you don't have friends or a social life, it just says you can afford to live by yourself. You could definitely read more into it, but we won't throw that pity party here.
Two Cities In New York State Are The Loneliest
To create the list, the Chamber of Commerce analyzed U.S. Census data from more than 170 cities that have a population of at least 150,000 people.
Neither New York city landed in the top 5, so there's some good news there.
The honor of being the loneliest city goes to Washington, D.C.
According to Census Bureau data, there are 319,565 households in Washington, D.C. Of those, nearly half (48.2%) are one-person households. Overall, 154,140 residents live alone in D.C., and 21.5% of males live alone while 26.7% of females in D.C. live alone.
When it comes to cities in NY that made the top 20 loneliest:
Buffalo, NY landed at #20
Of the total households in Buffalo, 49,153 or 40.1 percent are one-person households. Of those, 18.2 percent are males and 21.9 percent are females living solo.
Rochester, NY landed at #12
One-person households account for 38,740 or 41.5 percent of the total households in Rochester. Males make up 20.8 percent of single households in the city, while females make up 20.7 percent.
If you're one of the people who make Buffalo or Rochester the loneliest cities, I'll leave you with this quote from author Kim Culbertson,
People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don’t think that’s true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.
You can check out the full top 20 list of the loneliest cities in America here.