Where the Single Men and Women Are

In the late 1990s, a surprsingly large number of friends-of-friends who were women were involved in relationships with older married men (it was never clear to me how much thought they’d given to the long-term prospects for the relationship). I remember a Globe and Mail article from that time that talked about “The Man Glut”, a situation in which the author estimated that there was something in the order of 10,000 more single men in Accordion City than women. It’s probably no coincidence that I took up the accordion at around the same time.

When I lived in San Francisco around the end of 2000 and the first half of 2001, a number of people I knew complained of the lack of single women. There were a number of news reports that made the claim that the male-female ratio in Silicon Valley was even higher than in Anchorage, Alaska. As for the available men, women there had a saying about the nerds in the Valley: “the odds are good, but the goods are odd.” I remember hearing about some very expensive “how to meet women” courses in the valley in which nerds paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars to workshop their dating and socializing techniques.

Returning in Toronto in 2001, I came back to the complaints about the lack of eligible single men. In one particular case, the expectations of a friend of a friend were impossibly high.

It turns out that my experiences were indicative of larger trends, as the map below showing the ratios of single men to women across the United States shows. The west coast has a higher ratio of single men, while the east coast has a higher ratio of the single women. You might say that the country looks like a middle school dance:

Preview of map showing ratios of single men to women across the US.
Click the map to see it at full size.

My proposed solution: a big barn dance in “flyover country”.

[found via Reddit]

4 replies on “Where the Single Men and Women Are”

I think it would be best to factor in urban vs rural.
Some years ago I was in quite a rut because every woman I met seemed to have these unrealistic goals for the ideal man — and it wasn’t me.
Then I visited my friend Christina, near Wasaga Beach. She assured me I could find a woman in no time. Without explaining further, I realized why city dating was so different; too many choices.
When you’re in a city it doesn’t seem unreasonable to find the “perfect” match. There are so many to choose from. But watch out when those women get to theirs 30s. That’s when they start lowering the bar. Now that I’m in my 40s I’m starting to discover that. I’m not a good-looking guy but I’ve seen more action in the last few months then I’ve seen in the last ten years. Even to the point where I’ve been stalked. Something strange is going on.

Then there’s suburban, where everybody married their college sweetheart and I’m the only one over 23 who isn’t a Smug Married. And I’m a West Coaster and female, so you wouldn’t expect that.

Yes, but where is the greatest plurality of very, very RICH men or women? Or the greatest plurality of very, very interesting male or female conversation partners? Details like that would be more directly useful for planning purposes by those of dating age, don’t you think?

More single men than women unless you’re African American. Look at all of the cities with more single women and look at the demographics. Simple as that.

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