10 Cities With the Most Adultery

Print Email

4. New York City, New York
> Pct. population who are members:
4.8%
> Ashley Madison members in city: 962,168
> Pct. population married: 38.8%
> Pct. population divorced: 7.9%

While a relatively small percentage of New York City area residents were married — 38.8% — a relatively high percentage of Ashley Madison users in the area identified themselves as married or attached — 84%. With less than 8% of area residents divorced, Ashley Madison’s promise of secrecy may be working well in New York City. The city’s divorce rate was one of the smallest compared to both the nation and other cities reporting the most adultery. Of course, the low divorce rate may be better explained by the low marriage rate. As Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman suggested, income can also play a role in the likelihood of taking such risks. One in 10 New York households earned more than $200,000 annually, a far higher proportion than in most of the nation. Suspicious spouses are also more likely to hire private investigators, and the prevalence of adultery in the area may have partly contributed to the metro area having nearly the highest concentration of private detective occupations.

ALSO READ: States With the Fastest Growing Economies

3. Boston, Massachusetts
> Pct. population who are members:
4.8%
> Ashley Madison members in city: 214,000
> Pct. population married: 27.8%
> Pct. population divorced: 8.1%

Adultery is actually against the law in Massachusetts and can result in up to three years in jail and fines as high as $500, although these laws are seldom enforced. Like in a few other cities, wealth may play a role in the relatively high share of residents using Ashley Madison’s services. One in 10 area households earned more than $200,000, twice the national share. According to a 2013 report in the Boston Globe, the Back Bay neighborhood led the area for Ashley Madison usage. Boston itself has moved up in the ranking since that time, when it was seventh on Ashley Madison’s list of cities with the most registered users.

2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
> Pct. population who are members:
5.6%
> Ashley Madison members in city: 131,375
> Pct. population married: 32%
> Pct. population divorced: 8.9%

There are about 131,375 Ashley Madison members living in Pittsburgh, one of the highest raw numbers. They comprised 5.6% of the population, tied with Austin for the highest among all cities reviewed. Less than one-third of the population was married as of 2013. Like all of the cities with the highest Ashley Madison membership, the proportion of married people was well below the national average proportion of nearly 48%. Perhaps as a result of the relatively small married population, the percentage of people in the area who were divorced was also relatively small, at less than 9%. Unlike most of the cities considered the most adulterous, Pittsburgh residents were not especially wealthy. The median household income of $51,291 was lower than the national median income of $52,250, and 4% of households earned more than $200,000 versus the national share of 5%.

ALSO READ: The States With the Strongest Unions

1. Austin, Texas
> Pct. population who are members:
5.6%
> Ashley Madison members in city: 70,000
> Pct. population married: 39.1%
> Pct. population divorced: 10.9%

There are roughly 70,000 Ashley Madison users in Austin, or an estimated 5.6% of the area’s population. No other city for which data was available had a higher percentage of its population using the dating website. While Ashley Madison is designed for married or attached individuals, 26% of users in Austin were single, nearly the highest such proportion among cities reviewed. Like most cities with the highest membership, Austin’s median household income of $61,750 was higher than the national income figure. While adultery is not illegal in Texas, a person who has suffered from a cheating spouse’s behavior can sue for damages.