The Average Cost of a Date in Each State

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Dating can be fun, and it can be stressful; the two of you might be meeting for the first time or you might be well into a relationship. But no matter if it’s the love of your life who is sitting across the table from you or someone you can’t wait to never see again, at the end of the evening comes the bill — and that can be expensive. Dating happens to be a lucrative business.

Finding love comes at a cost, and people seem to be ready to open up their wallets. Single people spend the most on dating, compared to people in a relationship or married, according to a 2018 poll of about 1,000 people conducted by GiftCards.com. They spend an average of $146 per month on dating.

24/7 Tempo constructed an index based on nine different measures related to dating expenses in all 50 states. The following list is ranked from most to least affordable states for dating based on the overall composite index value.

The average cost of a date today — consisting of two dinners, a bottle of wine, and two movie tickets — adds up to $102.57. Are you already thinking it’s better to stay single? The independence of single life is for many people highly desirable — and these are America’s best cities to be single.

But many of the factors that contribute to the average cost of a date – from price of gas to taxes — vary considerably from state to state, making dating far more expensive in some parts of the country than others. By far the most affordable states to take someone on a date are in the Midwest, while the least affordable are in the Northeast.

To determine the cost of a date in each state, 24/7 Tempo constructed an index based on measures related to dating expenses in all 50 states. The index was applied to the national average cost of the typical date, consisting of a liter of wine, two movie tickets, and two restaurant dinners.

The index consists of the average U.S. price of a liter of wine from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. price of two movie tickets from the National Association of Theatre Owners, and the national average cost of two restaurant dinners from a Zagat survey.

Each state was given an index value based on nine measures related to the cost of goods, services, dining out, transportation, and alcohol. The regional price parities for goods and services other than rents came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and received a full weighting. Consumer price indices for the cost of food away from home and for recreation by region — Northeast, South, West, and Midwest — are unadjusted figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and were given a half-weight. Data on the mean travel time to work is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey. Commute time and the average price of a regular gallon of gasoline from AAA as of Aug. 6, 2019 were combined into a product and given double weight. Data on the combined state sales tax rate and average local sales tax rate for each state came from the Tax Foundation and were given a one-tenth weighting. Data on state spirit tax, wine tax, and beer tax in dollars per gallon also came from the Tax Foundation and were each given a one-tenth weight. All data are for the most recent period available.