Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

TheGerbil

Forbes survey - best cities for singles

Recommended Posts

For the third year in a row Forbes Magazine has ranked Pittsburgh the worst city for singles (number 40 out of the 40 largest US cities).

I personally think that this ranking they do is pretty unscientific and unfair. They look at the number of singles living here, but I am pretty sure they do not consider students. If they did consider students, we'd have to rank better.

Furthermore, their idea of measuring nightlife is to simply count how many clubs and bars there are. They do not consider how many there are per capita, but just the total number. And their job growth statistics look at the last decade or so, which for us would mean that the numbers would be pulled down by the problems of the 90's. If they'd just look at the last few years, they'd probably find our performance more in tune with the national average. They also do not consider improvement. So if we did a lot better recently than a decade ago, which I believe is in fact the case, they would not consider that.

The worst part is just how bad it looks for us. People are going to read a lot into this, and Pittsburgh does not need any more image problems. It also doesn't help that some angry Pittsburghers make death threats to the article's author. That makes us look even worse.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The ratings are purely subjective. My older brother never had a hard time finding dates there. It's also worth mentioning that not everyone who's single enjoys going to coffee shops, bars, concert venues or sporting events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gerbil and DBR,

I saw an article about this in the Post-Gazette a year or two ago (either the PG or the Citypaper or the the Biz Journal) I have tried and tried and tried to search for it, it 100% BLASTS forbes on their criteria, I have found a few articles that seem to shrug about it and list some bright spots, but I cant seem to find that one article that point-for-point blows forbes out of the water.

2 points I do remember from the article,

-Cost of Living (heck if we are one of the worst for job Growth, cost of living should be our GREATEST strength), they compared the price of a beer on a date and 2 other criteria, BUT Penn. is the only state that REGULATES alcohol, so the whole premise is flawed with that comparison, Pittsburgh (and Philly) are just gonna get biased off the charts.

The other point I remember it making (and I think the PG columnist pointed this out too). Is that Pittsburgh college age populace is not counted when Forbes GLANCES at U.S. Census figures, where Pittsburgh has 100,000 or so college kids within a 10 square mile area every year, according to Forbes those people, those cafes, those parties, that nightlife doesn't exist! The PG pointed out that the only CITY with a worse Census # on youth population and population growth was the retirement mecca of Gainsville Florida, only prob is that Gainsville is the antithesis of a geratric capital, the ONLY city WORSE then Pittsburgh in youth population hosts "the Biggest Cocktail party in the world" with the annual Georgia-Florida game, and is the scene of many a (and this is from the PG article) "Girls Gone Wild" video! This is the city WORSE then Pittsburgh, so Pittsburgh must be the set of Sex and the City by comparison, again Forbes isn't digging for stats that MEAN something they are simply copying them in glossy covers and selling them at inflated prices WITHOUT any credance to WHAT THOSE STATS MEAN AND DONT MEAN!

If anyone can find that PG article that was scathing (again it might be Pittsburgh BizTimes or CityPaper). Let me know, it was a fantastic read on the media bias that goes on against our fair city!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It pains me that these rankings are so unscientific and biased... yet so many people take them very seriously. I recall my ex-boyfriend once saying something about Washington DC being a great city for singles. I asked him how he knew that, and he said "there are ratings." I knew exactly what ratings he was refering to, and I felt the urge to give him a good slap.

I hate to think of all the young people who might have given Pittsburgh a chance, who will now avoid because of this.

And no amount of complaining to Forbes will help, because they sell a lot of magazines this way. And the logical, intelligent complaints probably get lost among all the death threats anyway <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gerbil, I agree TOO much weight is put in these rankings,

Then Esquire magazine states that Pittsburgh is #1 in cities that "rock"

so we are the worst for singles unless they want to rock out and party and have fun--I DO NOT GET IT

Forbes is "scientific" but it is NOT comprehensive, Gainsville Florida the HQ of "girls gone wild" and the "world's largest cocktail party" is the only metroarea WORSE in youth population, why? cause they dont count U of F college kids just like they dont count the 100,000 Pitt-CMU-Duquesne-RMU-PPU-Carlow-Chatham-LaRoche kids here.

and the price index, since when is DENVER more economical then Pittsburgh? Again its scewed because Beer isn't in the "serving size" that Forbes is comparing BECAUSE THE STATE RUNS IT! They do have it scientifically based but it is too cookie cutter, they are not allowing for college kids or beer by the case.

They blame us though because every year Pittsburgh is low on the "reader poll". I think it is a self-fullfilling prophecy on that one, tell your readers this is BADDDDD then ask them whats bad. Go figure!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They blame us though because every year Pittsburgh is low on the "reader poll". I think it is a self-fullfilling prophecy on that one, tell your readers this is BADDDDD then ask them whats bad. Go figure!

I think the first year we actually did pretty decently on the reader poll. It was only after we got ranked last that we started doing worse on the reader poll. So you are probably right about it being a self-fulfilling prophecy,

We also have to remember that ANYONE can vote in that poll, whether they know anything about the city or not. So there may be a ton of people who have never even been here voting us down. Ugh!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say something to all of you posting on this topic. As a man who has been single in Pittsburgh for most of his adult life, I can attest to the fact that it is extremely difficult to meet women here. Women don't have any trouble meeting men here because single men outnumber single available women by about 4 to 1. This is no joke. Check out the U.S. Census if you don't believe it. I'm a nice guy, in good shape, respect women, etc. However, because I'm shorter than 5'9" and considered a "non-alpha" male when compared to the typical tough Pittsburgh guy who basically growls instead of talks, women don't choose me first. There's simply too much competition. Seriously, you all don't understand how bad it is. I have the experience to prove and many friends in a similar boat. Just because you all cannot relate doesn't mean that it ain't so. I just wanted you to know simply to set the record straight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^btw welcome to the board VOR hope to hear more from you . . . I have heard one theory being that most Pittsburgher's (since we have more churches here then any other city in the U.S. save in Utah, and we are the third most religious metro) many Pittsburghers are still in the 1950s/1960s where you are married and having kids by 25 . . . not living the Sex and the City life at 31 or 32. There is the obvious outmigration of some young people (higher in proportion then other metros) and the job market situation. I really do feel though that a lot of this is "hip city" bias where nothing cool happens outside the RealWorld House on Southbeach or Beacon Hill or the Castro District etc. (eeewwww! Omaha ewwww! etc.).

VOR, the way you talk your looking for a girl to settle down with (thus your not looking TO BE SINGLE), looks like Pittsburgh is not a great town to try to get married in for you, which isn't the same as being in your early to mid 20s and just looking to hang out.

BTW, as soon as Forbes come out with these rankings (partially based on a price of a beer which as everyone on this board knows treats Pennsylvanian cities like lepers because its comparing apples to oranges since the state regulates it by the keg NOT by the bottle or something like that and also based on census data that DOES NOT include over 100,000 college kids in the metro) Esquire votes us "most rocking city".

I have a hard time believing we are that much lower then Austin etc. and VOR if you can't find the right woman to spend the rest of your life with thats one thing but if you can't find some girls and guys to hang out with (and the ones I know aren't going to care if your ALPHA or not just to hang), that is being SINGLE. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Forbes survey was about much more than how many people there are to meet. And I think a lot of what they looked at was pretty unscientific and poorly done.

I have heard many people say they are having trouble meeting someone here. But to be honest I think people in every city say that. At any rate I think Forbes did a lot wrong in that ranking, even if they got the population aspects right. They were pretty unfair and off-base when it came to cost of living and nightlife, and that was more what bothered me about it.

Wow, seeing this old thread again brings back memories! LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah the best part is a new ranking comes out in just a few weeks (July).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah the best part is a new ranking comes out in just a few weeks (July).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh geez, I am scared to see it! Seriously, I don't want my city to be last again. Some people really take those ratings seriously and I think it is very bad for the city's image.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having lived in and visited Pittsburgh off and on from 1999 until May of last year, I would say Pittsburgh's single life is pretty bad and has gotten worst. If you are going to rate a city for singles, I say do the ranking and exlude college students because singles life should be evaluated for those that have jobs, have money, have graduated from school, and have maturity.

If you are a college student, nightlife in Pittsburgh is OK. There are plenty of parties in Oakland and if you're 21 plenty of college bars to go to. However, once you graduate, these places with their bad rap music and poor guy/girl ratio (4:1) become depressing and undesirable. You realize that when you were in college you didn't know any better than to go to these places and you realize finally after you graduate that they suck. the conventional meat market is not at all desirable.

What Pittsburgh used to have going for it are the afterhours clubs- these actually attracted people from OH, Western NY, Western PA, and West Virginia. You could meet all kinds of people at these places of all age groups and from a variety of backgrounds. Pittsburgh nightlife was good for a while, but then the afterhours fell because of bad media, a few shootings and some unfortunate circumstances. In addition, our concert venues such as the Beehive, Metropol, Rosebud, etc are also gone. Actually Metropol became fat cats which in turn is now an 18 and over club called the zoo- talk about a downhill slide. The afterhours clubs were among the few places were it was easy to meet other people outside of the conventional club playing bad rap.

With the afterhours clubs and mid sized concert venues gone, there really isn't a whole lot for 25+ crowd to do in Pittsburgh in terms of nightlife. Many of my peers in the Pittsburgh area have chosen to already buy a house and start a family, so nightlife after college is not one of the things really valued in the Pittsburgh area. Its really quite aweful to go out in pittsburgh after 25 because you do feel old and the guy/girl ratio is just terrible. Go to Club H20 or Bash if you want to see what I'm talking about.

There are other cities, on the other hand, that I have been to that have very amazing clubs that cater to the 25+ singles crowd. More females than males, easy to talk to and very nice.

So Pittsburgh's problems in my opinion are:

1. Current nightlife caters only to college crowd

2. Nightlife after college not important and not inherent to values of Pittsburgh area residents- family and housing buying are more important- thus venues for the 25 + crowd do not exist in any good quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Pittsburgh's problems in my opinion are:

1. Current nightlife caters only to college crowd

2. Nightlife after college not important and not inherent to values of Pittsburgh area residents- family and housing buying are more important- thus venues for the 25 + crowd do not exist in any good quality.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree with that. Part of Pittsburgh being a "family values" and religiously oriented city is that people tend to "settle down" earlier - get married and have kids. Over 25, the crowd is mostly older people out for a "ladies night out" or "drinking with my buddies". What there is caters to the college crowd.

I don't really see that as changing since that seems to be not only the way things are in Pittsburgh but also in other similarly-sized cities in that region. Take Cleveland, for example. Desptie all the talk of the much ballhooed "Flats" district, I found it to be the same college-age stuff you'd find at the Strip District in Pgh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1:4 ratio guys to girls. Are you serious? As a girl I am not buying this. My female friends and I have a rough time meeting decent guys. I guess "decent" is the key word though.

I see your point though. When I was in college here in Pgh we had a great time.

I went away for grad school and now I am back. Pittsburgh at 26 is very different from Pittsburgh at 21. It is hard because alot of my friends are getting married. I went to the boardwalk for my sister's 21st recently and wanted to shoot myself.

I will stay in Pittsburgh because the quality of life here is unmatched and I love it. However, my one gripe is the lack of a young, professional degree crowd. It is hard to meet guys at my education/work level because they are all married. People get married way too young here - I hate that.

That is why we need to bring in more businesses - people will move here. Once Pittsburgh can draw in more businesses all these ancilliary problems will resolve themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I think Pittsburgh has like the second-highest concentration of college students in the country, so it isn't surprising that a lot of the clubs cater to that group. There are just going to be a ton of college students in any bar/club you go to, and there is no avoiding that. And the afterhours clubs were technically illegal, because of PA liquor laws, so it isn't entirely fair to lament their dissappearance.

But I think people need to realize there are othere ways to meet people. There are groups that do volunteering, there are art openings, young professionals groups, things like that. Why does the "singles scene" have to be about bars and clubs only? I hear about stuff going on for mid-20's+ people all the time.

As for people getting married young... this may be so. But what can be done about it? It's just the way it is. That doesn't mean there aren't people out there to meet. Also, you have to consider that there are a lot of grad students here, too, who may not be included in population statistics.

All in all I just think the Forbes survey was poorly done and misleading. I am sure any problem you can think of with the Pgh singles scene is true of many other cities too. And they were just so unscientific about the whole thing. It bothers me that they even feel the need to rank cities in this way. Can't they just talk about the ones they think are top ten, and leave the rest alone? If you insist on ranking things, of course something is going to come in last.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-True I don't think there should really be a singles ranking. "Singles" is a such a broad term and Pittsburgh has both strengths and weaknesses depending on how you argue as done in this thread.

-True, you can't change local attitudes about lifestyle and raising a family young. Its just the way of Western PA and its not necessarily right or wrong as compare to the NYC sex in the city lifestyle- its just different.

-Kasper I meant 4 guys to 1 girl not the other way around as you stated. I think this is accurate.

-Young professional societies and volunteer groups are good ways to meet people, but I still get ants in my pants come Saturday night and I like to go out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-Kasper I meant 4 guys to 1 girl

oh I know what you meant. I am just suprised if it is true because so many girls I know have trouble meeting guys.

I guess there are plenty of guys around. The problem is the ones who are at my age/work/education level are scarce and if they do exist they are married.

I guess it could be worse. Everyone in Pgh gets married in thier mid-20s it seems. I went to grad school in the midwest and the locals out there were married by 18 - very strange.

Maybe I will have to find a man in another city and force him to move here ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I think Pittsburgh has like the second-highest concentration of college students in the country, so it isn't surprising that a lot of the clubs cater to that group. There are just going to be a ton of college students in any bar/club you go to, and there is no avoiding that. And the afterhours clubs were technically illegal, because of PA liquor laws, so it isn't entirely fair to lament their dissappearance.

They're not technically illegal. Because they charge a "membership fee" (cover), they use a loophole in the law sicen they are considered private clubs. Private clubs are allowed to serve alcohol after 2AM.

But I think people need to realize there are othere ways to meet people. There are groups that do volunteering, there are art openings, young professionals groups, things like that. Why does the "singles scene" have to be about bars and clubs only? I hear about stuff going on for mid-20's+ people all the time.

I agree. The club scene is really not the palce to go to meet single professional people. That said, the professional crowd in Pgh tends to be older since msot young people have a tendency to want to move to bigger cities in their 20's. It is only after they get older and have a family that they move back to Pgh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw some stuff in the City Paper today that fits under this topic. It was some letters to the editor about how supposedly horrible Pittsburgh is for meeting people. I am pretty sick of reading how Pittsburgh is a "wasteland" for singles, etc. I really really doubt it is any worse than other cities this size, and I doubt it is as bad as people make it sound.

But anyway, these letters piss me off mainly because they (and things like the Forbes rnaking) can be self-fulfilling prophecies. If people would stop saying how bad they think it is being single here, maybe more college grads would try to stay here instead of leaving when they graduate. The belief that it's a bad city for singles is probably chasing away a lot of young singles. So why can't people shut up with theses letters? I mean, it isn't like the letters are *helping* in any way. They are usually just some person venting about their own bad luck at dating, blaming the city rather than considering that maybe they are doing something wrong themself. So these letters do no good, and are probably doing a lot of harm instead. :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are usually just some person venting about their own bad luck at dating, blaming the city rather than considering that maybe they are doing something wrong themself.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would have to add that 90% of the complaints I hear about Pgh are absolutely due to people blaming the city rather than taking responsibility for their own lives. Most of the complainers I know are just ridiculously lazy and would rather blame Pgh than getting their a$$es of the couch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These types of listings are a joke. They are a way to get media attention in many cities and get discussions going - and why? Publicity to sell magazines. I wouldn't even take it with a grain of salt. I just wouldn't take it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I certaily don't buy into those listings. But what bugs me is that many people do. "If Forbes says it, it must be true" etc. Some people see statistics and just automatically believe them without questions. "How can it be wrong, it's SCIENCE." :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I moved to Pittsburgh under the pretense of going to college when I was 18, after living for 10 years in Philly, because I didn't want to live in my parent's basement until my early 30's. By now I've been to virtually every major US city on both coasts (I'm an immigrant and a US Marine), and maybe 15 countries (including 3 years in Germany, 6 years in Poland, and 1.5 years in Iraq). I have to say that in MOST places in the world outside of certain European centers such as Berlin, youth are typically deprived of their autonomy until a fairly late age. I have NO problems with Pittsburgh because the cost of living and the ease of moving around is about as good as you can hope for in the USA.

I never tried to stay in Pittsburgh, but I have to say I've been extremely dissapointed in places like Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington, New York, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Denver, you name it! Everywhere you go kids are living with their parents until their late 20's because no one can afford to get out on their own. I know of *doctors* in Philly who lived with their parents until they were 32. The "young proffesional singles" class that Forbes does the poll for is an exception to the rule, NOT the norm. Pittsburgh on the other hand has everyone I know working since they were 15, people just have an incredibly strong work ethic here... it's just a tough town with a footbal problem and an alcohol habit. And it's just so much easier to get out on your own because of lower insurance, rent, and the walk-ability of places like the South Side, Downtown, and Oakland. I just have to say it's better here. Bill Gates got his start in his parent's garage and the unsaid thing about seemingly every pretty-boy garage-band from somewhere else is that it's their parents' garage. I don't think that everyone wants to get reined in by the mailroom of a huge corporation somewhere and wear a suit and tie to work out of their parents' basement. Pittsburgh is GREAT if you have some sense of independence and actually want to make it out on your own. The thing is that I think most people don't want to be able to make it on their own. It's easier to have your path laid out for you and to be able to predict everything in your future while you live with mommy and daddy.

Another thing about "singles life" is that places like San Diego that seem to have done better in the ratings than Pittsburgh are simply OPPRESIVE. A Long Island sets you back 12 bucks in the famed gas lamp district, they only have lousy Mexican beer and Coors crap and then you see 5 guy hangers-on for women so despicable-yet-scantily-clad that they would not even get a second look-in-disgust in Pittsburgh and a guy like me can't hope for much because I don't drive a Ferrari. By the way, the clubs in other towns SUCK, Hollywood sucks, Las Vegas sucks, I have NO IDEA how people deal with the irony when they say they're so great and make fun of Pittsburgh's nightlife in the same sentence. Missouri has some better night clubs in the Ozarks than these famed cities. (Women: if you want to go from a 3 to a 10, move South or to the West Coast. Otherwise, keep doing those pilates.)

At first I was impressed with how easy it is to pick up women outside of Pittsburgh, but after a while it just gets to you that all you're really getting is a little more cleavage showing and a little more leg and yet the women are being so insinsere, so fake, because they don't actually like you any more than any girl anywhere else. They're only putting on a face and doing what they think they're expected to do, even if that includes putting out. You know why I like Pittsburgh? Because someone will tell you "get lost" and not waste your time and you get the same chance if you drive a rusty pickup or a porsche (not with the same girl, but at least the same chance). Actually I find it quite disturbing that there is a redneck fetish in this town, but I digress. I don't feel like I need a girlfriend or a wife anyway, so it doesn't bother me how hard people think it is. People should stop picking their mates via mutual affinity to top-40 music and stop pretending that they can get by as a mannerless slob and I think they'd do fine on the "singles' scene" anywhere.

Since I was 18 I've had 6 apartments, 2 cars, and 2 motorcycles and basically weened myself from parental support by my sophmore year. Sure, it was partly by getting sent off to Iraq, but so what? Now I'm 25 and go running every day after work or school with the greatest view in the world on Grandview Ave, ride my brand new Honda CBR600rr to the Crazy Mocha to do homework, and I LOVE it. I'm in no way the traditional college student or stereotypical young proffesional, but that's the great thing about Pittsburgh... I'm in good company here. I couldn't live my life the same way anywhere else. Lists be damned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First welcome to the board and thanks for serving our country!

Second I always think Pittsburgh can and should improve and will improve BUT you made some incredible points in your post that I have struggled to put to words before. I am a big proponent that the Forbes ranking is just unfair on a few counts (reader response given the utter ignorance of people that might still think we are a smokey city, or self-haters here in the 'burgh, the cost of a date which calculates it some on a price of a certain volume of beer which b/c of Harrisburg's unique state liquor stores is really a whacky way to compare Pittsburgh to say Cleveland, and yep the census data which makes "Girls Gone Wild" central Gainsville (UF) Florida appear--at least on paper--to be Geriatric World, with no one below 40 years of age, going off stats like that Pittsburgh would appear a lot less hip then Cleveland--with about HALF of the college students we have!), but more importantly I think Forbes relies much too heavily on Richard Florida's "creative class" type attributes and not a balanced ranking including some of the very points you citied BlueBlack. The safety (us being the safest big city in America), the cost of living when u take into account our unique beer laws, and thinking EVERY cool city has to be a set out of Sex and the City or MTV's Austin etc. If a city doesn't have at least 5% mulitple face peirced orange spiked hair computer punks going to gay pride parades then it just can't make the list--Richard Florida's "creative class" plays heavily on crunching the data for Forbes. I have no prob with somebody peirced up or loves body art, spiked hair or gay pride parades--Pittsburgh has a healthy dose of just that and more, yet not to the amount of some of the top cities on the list--just be tolerant of some folks in some areas that don't groove that way. Seems like most of the cities on the bottom of the list are exactly that way, good safe places you can hang out and have a beer and catch some football with friends and family etc. That's #1 in my book . . . true not a balanced opinon, not a Sex and the City or anything goes Castro District or South Beach type attitude but then again Forbes doesn't reflect a Cleveland Flats or Strip District or Zinzinnati type singles life in a fair manner either. Hope Forbes gets diversified streams of income b/c it just isn't my book anymore I guess. Forbes your dead last in my rankings. Richard Florida ended up moving on to George Mason to be closer to the direct opposite of the "creative class" the old white male club of national politics, go figure. His loopy ranking system (I swear he must hand out points on the # of nose rings and lip rings he can spot on a Sunday morning) is still being muzzled on to some great American cities that have to suffer with it. As Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade said in Scent of a Woman "and Jimmy, Trent, Richard Florida . . . ** you too!"

George Mason sure got a winner ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your post, Blueblack. You did a great job of articulating what many of us are thinking.

You were wondering why the clubs in "cool" cities aren't really any better than the ones here, yet people think they have much better nightlife... I'll tell you why: perception. Sometimes perception is 9/10 of reality, sadly. The TV says San Diego is cool, so it must be. The TV doesn't say Pittsburgh is cool, so it must not be! This is how some people think, if only subconsciously. I don't know if there is any way to change that.

As for Richard Florida, you are right about him, PghUSA. And there are many people who agree that his "creative class" business is bullcrap. I am just mad that he left Pgh because it "wouldn't let him be himself." What a load! All he really means by that is that we weren't idolizing him and throwing tons of money his way. Sheesh.

PS - Blueblack, it would be wonderful if you wrote a letter to the City Paper and said some of what you said here! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.