Those looking for love on Valentine’s Day in Warwick can take solace in the fact that they’re not alone, as a study has shown the Ocean State has a higher percentage of singles than all but one other state in the country.
Rhode Island ranked exactly average overall in financial and research analyst company WalletHub’s “2018 Best & Worst States for Singles,” at 25th out of 50 states.
More interestingly though, information gathered for the study through U.S. Census data showed that the Ocean State has the second highest percentage of single individuals, only trailing Louisiana in terms of people without a long-term partner. A majority of Rhode Islanders (53.69 percent) are single.
However, the study indicated that those high number of singles also may be at a disadvantage, as Rhode Island ranked in the bottom 10 as to its “dating economics” situation, and its singles may also have to be more inventive to figure out where they will take a potential date and what they will do, as the study also concluded that Rhode Island has the second fewest movie theaters per capita, with only Delaware having fewer.
To determine the rankings, WalletHub compared all 50 states across three categories – dating economics; dating opportunities; and romance & fun. Each of these dimensions were weighted by 27 different metrics, from the total share of single adults and the gender balance of those singles, the average cost of beer and wine and beautification services as well as the number of attractions and restaurants/nightlife options available.
Rhode Island ranked 16th in dating opportunities, supported by the aforementioned high percentage of singles. It did not fare well in dating economics, ranking 43rd out of 50 states.
The state also ranked in the bottom 50 percent of the study (31st) for the “romance and fun” rank, possibly due in part to the state’s small size, which lends to less space for dating-centric developments like amusement parks, nature parks and movie theaters – the total number of which in each state were factored in the final grade for that category.
However Karen Jedson, director of the city's Department of Tourism, Culture and Development, thinks the city hosts "a little bit of everything" for people to do. She mentioned Proclamation Brewery moving into their new brewhouse location on Kilvert Street as a good example of a new business which can attract a younger crowd who may be looking for spots to take a date.
Jedson said that, although the people of Rhode Island don't seem to be screaming for more movie theaters, if they really feel they need a place to experience arts and culture they can start going to the new spot for the Gamm Theatre on Jefferson Boulevard when it opens its new season here in September - or they can continue going to the Showcase Cinemas at Warwick Mall.
Elsewhere in the city, Jedson said singles can take advantage of several outside the box activities if they want to do something fun and different for a first date - she mentioned horseback riding, available year-round at Goddard Park; Central Rock, an indoor climbing facility on W. Natick Road; and Launch, a trampoline park moving into a new location on Bald Hill Road.
For something more traditional, Jedson promoted Harbor Lights Marina and Pool Club as a great place to meet people, go swimming and grab dinner and a drink (and enjoy a fire outside overlooking the bay in the nicer weather). She also touted local dining establishments around the city, such as Shanty's in Cowesett, O'Rourkes in Pawtuxet and Iron Works Tavern Hillsgrove.
Jedson also previewed some new "additions" will be coming soon to the former Pontiac Mills location in Pontiac, which will be the site of a major residential development project, but couldn't divulge any specifics at this time.