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So if living situations are shifting, local dating scenes like Madison’s have likely changed, too.

(And we haven’t even talked about online dating yet! Every story is different depending on age, outlook and living preference.

In the fall 2017 semester, 43,820 students were enrolled, which is part of Dane County’s population estimate of 523,643.

And according to fall 2016 semester survey numbers from UW–Madison’s Data Digest report, only a little more than half (about 54 percent) of undergraduate and graduate students (out of 38,729 individuals) were Wisconsin residents at the time of the study.

Erin Scallon, 34, and Ray Moore, 36, who met through and have been dating on and off for about seven years in the Madison area, enjoy going on dinner dates, and the sky seems to be the limit on restaurants or cuisine they’ll try around town.

One date consisted of going to Taste of Madison, and the goal was to spend a max of each.

Hometowners will probably be quick to share what they love about Madison—the lakes, the parks, the food scene, the tech community, the Badgers and more.

“Madisonians—many of whom fall left of center politically—have a hard time hearing anything that doesn’t fit neatly into the ‘Madison is a great city’ storyline,” Ryan wrote in a follow-up column the next month.

But she also received direct email from people saying “thank you for saying those things out loud because we’re not allowed to talk about not loving Madison,” Ryan recalls.

There’s a reason Madison ranks high on many “best places to live” polls, including Wallet Hub’s 2017 “happiest places to live” study that placed Madison 15th overall compared to 150 other U. cities in the areas of emotional and physical well-being; income and employment; and community and environment. A “transitioner” in Madison is someone who doesn’t consider Madison a place to put down roots.

But these hometowners might be “loving Madison blindly,” according to Rebecca Ryan, a Madison-based economist and former columnist for this magazine who says there are some downfalls Madison needs to own up to—like the loss of certain opportunities when living in a city its size. Maybe this person is not among the nearly 83 percent white population or doesn’t experience the “best places to live” perks.

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