In its early stages, online dating was viewed by many people as a last resort for the desperate. But, as people’s lives became more integrated with the internet, dating websites and apps shook that stigma and went mainstream. Online dating still carries certain risks, but with its widened acceptance, those dangers can easily be overlooked. Meeting someone for the first time always requires caution, even after chatting with them online. However, some cities’ singles should use more caution than others.

The experts at HighSpeedInternet.com and SafeWise.com analyzed a year’s worth of STD (sexually transmitted disease) and violent crime data, then adjusted it for population to determine a safety score. These scores tell you the cities where you should feel safe meeting people and those where you may want to use extra caution.

Top Four Safest Cities for Online Dating

 

#4 — San Jose, CA

  • Total STD Cases: 8,755
  • Total Violent Crimes: 3,242
  • Population: 1,026,908
  • Safety Score: 8.9

San Jose ranked well in both STDs per capita (seventh) and violent crimes per capita (fourth), so San Jose residents should feel safe about the people they meet from dating sites. But from what we’ve heard about the cost of dating in northern California, their wallets may not be so safe.

 

#3 — Portland, OR

  • Total STD Cases: 6,225
  • Total Violent Crimes: 158
  • Population: 632,309
  • Safety Score: 9

With a stunningly low violent crime rate and the eighth-ranked STD rate, Portland ranks as the third-safest city for online dating. Portland had the lowest violent crime rate of any city with just twenty-five crimes per 100,000 residents.

 

#2 — New York, NY

  • Total STD Cases: 19,327
  • Total Violent Crimes: 50,088
  • Population: 8,550,405
  • Safety Score: 9.2

The nation’s largest city also happens to be among the safest. New York coming in at number two shows some misconceptions of the big, bad city are unfounded. While the raw numbers of STD cases and violent crimes seem huge at first glance, when you consider the enormous population of New York City, you see the rates for these incidents is actually quite low.

 

#1 — San Antonio, TX

  • Total STD Cases: 804
  • Total Violent Crimes: 8,594
  • Population: 1,463,586
  • Safety Score: 9.4

Along with having the top safety score, San Antonio also ranked number one for the fewest STD cases per capita. It only saw fifty-five cases per 100,000 residents. San Antonio ranked seventeenth for violent crimes per capita, but its rate of STD cases is still low enough to put the city in the top spot on this list.

Top Four Most Dangerous Cities for Online Dating

 

#4 — Detroit, MI

  • Total STD Cases: 27,732
  • Total Violent Crimes: 13,616
  • Population: 677,116
  • Safety Score: 3.9

Detroit’s reputation as a dangerous city gets support from this data. It ranks second for violent crimes per capita (2,011 per 100,000 residents). The only city with more violent crimes is Las Vegas, Nevada. Detroit’s STD rate didn’t help it much, either: it has the eighth-most STD cases per capita.

 

#3 — Orlando, FL

  • Total STD Cases: 17,388
  • Total Violent Crimes: 2,340
  • Population: 270,934
  • Safety Score: 2.8

The third most dangerous cities for online dating are also the four with the highest STD rates. With 6,418 STD cases per 100,000 residents, Orlando is number four on that list. While fifth-ranked Detroit posed a greater risk for violent crimes, Orlando’s STD rate is so high that its safety score is a full point lower.

 

#2 — Knoxville, TN

  • Total STD Cases: 13,485
  • Total Violent Crimes: 1,720
  • Population: 185,291
  • Safety Score: 1.8

Knoxville’s violent crime rate is in the middle of the pack, but, much like Orlando, the STD rates are the biggest reason Knoxville is so dangerous for online dating. Again, the large, full-point gap in safety score is significant. Knoxville’s STD rates are 860 cases higher per 100,000 residents than Orlando’s. That’s over 13% higher.

 

#1 — Riverside, CA

  • Total STD Cases: 25,682
  • Total Violent Crimes: 1,384
  • Population: 322,424
  • Safety Score: 1.6

Riverside, California’s most dangerous city in the US for online dating and the most dangerous in the West. Keeping with the theme of the last two cities on the list, the STD numbers are the driving force of the danger here. In fact, Riverside ranked eighth for the fewest number of violent crimes with just 429 per 100,000 residents. But the STD rate in Riverside is 7,965 per 100,000 residents, which equates to nearly 8% of the population.

What Else Does This Tell Us?

This data suggests dating safety has more to do with the city you live in than the state. In a previous article, we examined the safest states for online dating, but the fact that New York and California have cities that rank among the top five safest and most dangerous cities for online dating suggests that drawing comparisons on a state level may be problematic. Most people only date within their city anyway, so this data hits closer to home, literally.

What do you think about your city’s safety score? Do you have any online dating horror stories? Tell us in the comments below, and share this post with your friends to see what they say about their online dating experiences.