Skip to main content

Man Jose everywhere until age 35

Update: the charts ARE working correctly. Imagine the United States is the shape of a rectangle. And all the dots from the article are smeared together by a person who is left-handed and cannot color.

How there can be simultaneously more single men than women and more single women than men in the SAME city

San Jose long ago earned the moniker "Man Jose" because of the imbalanced gender ratio. This is likely due to the prevalence of men in tech-dominated Silicon Valley. Anecdotally, it's always been a running joke there are more single men here than women. 

The news gets worse for the West Coast and now there's data to back this up. According to this article, it should also be "Man Francisco" and "Man Diego". There are roughly 50,000 more single men than single women in San Diego (due to the military presence?) and 20,000 more single men than women in San Francisco (likely a similar tech-effect with San Jose). Note: the unmarried population includes those divorced, widowed, never married, and dating/living together.

The East Coast, on the other hand, favors single men. New York City has an estimated 230,000 more single women than men. That's a large discrepancy, with lots of anecdotal support. The article goes on to calculate the gender ratio, which is more helpful than the absolute numbers. In doing this, smaller metro areas get more attention. 

However, the story gets more interesting when you slice the data by age. I will summarize the article's results with some complex geographical charts I designed myself. Here is the key to reading this: where you see blue, the gender ratio is skewed towards men; where you see pink, the gender ratio is skewed towards women. For ages 18-34, here is what the data look like in the United States:

US Metros with More Single Men or Women Aged 18-34
If all you see above is blue, then you read this chart correctly. Everywhere in the country there are more single men than women in the 18-35 age range. This makes sense considering that men tend to marry later than women. 

For ages 35-44, the data are like this:

US Metros with More Single Men or Women Aged 35-44

The author of the article says the odds begin to favor single men in this demographic. That may be true, especially on the East Coast. Unfortunately, most single men in that range are not interested in women in their same range. They're interested in single women of the 18-34 age range. This is a well-documented phenomenon. If you further sub-divided the 25-34 age range, I suspect you would find more blue in the late 20s and much more pink in the early 30s. Now here's the data for ages 45-64:

US Metros with More Single Men or Women Aged 45-64

Everywhere in the country there are more single women than men in the 45-64 age range. In this age range, it is probably a little early to be widowed. I speculate men in that age range tend to get married at a higher rate than their female cohort. This may also indicate divorced women tend not to remarry (or stay remarried for very long) and divorced men tend to remarry at higher rates (or stay remarried longer). 

This data is not sliced by level of education and race, which would be even more helpful. The education level by age would probably be most helpful. I suspect Asians would hew pretty closely to the white stats. Beginning in 1981, the college gender gap began to skew in favor of women. Almost 60% of college students today are women. In the 18-24 range, I would speculate there's a small but growing education gap between single men and women - as half of that demographic has not yet finished school. I bet you would see the education gap broaden as you moved up the age range, especially in major metro areas such as NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. This education gap would likely fall in the 45-64 range because the effects of the gender education gap have yet to be fully realized. 

As mentioned earlier, my suspicion based on other sources is most single men from 18-45 are interested in the lower half of the female 18-34 age range. That's where mating competition is fiercest and helps explain why there's fewer single women in that age range than men. 

Based on this data, here are my recommendations for single men and women looking to get hitched, customized by age and level of education: 

Men: If you're under 35, it may benefit you to move to a city where there are more women. However, the gender ratio will improve over time, assuming you don't mind dating women around your age or older. If you're over 25, you'll reap greater benefits from moving to a city where the gender ratio is in your favor, again assuming you're open to women your age or older. The net for single guys in the 34-64 range is this: don't discount older women (as in around your age or just a few years younger). In the coming years, I would also encourage dating women who are more educated than you are - it will be the reality due to the gender education gap.

Women: If you're under 25, your mate value as a function of physical appearance is near or at its peak so it would be good to find someone sooner than later. You might also benefit from finding an older man, since it is unlikely most men your age will be interested in settling down. If you're over 25, this is prime territory to get married. You can invest more time in your career and education but it will be tougher not easier to find a mate later on. Again, the converse with men applies, once you're over 35, it's good to be open to either much older men and/or men who are not as educated as you are.


Popular posts from this blog

A Dad's Review of Passport 2 Purity

[3,100 words, 11 minute read] The sex talk is one of the most dreaded conversations parents anticipate having with their children. To make things easier, an entire industry exists to help parents with sex education. Dozens of books have been written to help parents navigate this treacherous topic with their progeny. One of the best known among evangelicals is called the Passport 2 Purity Getaway package . It is produced by FamilyLife, a division of Cru (former Campus Crusade for Christ) and consists of a five lecture CD package including a journal and exercises designed as a weekend retreat for a pre-pubescent child and his/her parent(s). Passport 2 Purity was not my initiative. Our trip came about because Judy had heard from several home-schooling mom friends how they had taken their daughters on a road trip to go through the CDs. She even heard how a mom took a trip with husband and two sons to through the curriculum. So a couple months ago, Judy suggested we take our two older boy

Why Asians Run Slower

My brother got me David Epstein's book The Sports Gene . It is a fascinating quick read. If you're interested in sports and science, it will enthrall you.  I finished it in three days. Epstein's point is that far more of an athlete's performance is due to genetics than due to the so-called "10,000 hour" rule promulgated by books such as Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin (both which are very good). The 10,000 hour rule states that any person can reach expert level of performance in a sport if they devote 10,000 hours of deliberate and intentional practice.  That's a lot of hours. Most people aren't capable of anywhere close. And that's precisely Epstein's point. Someone who devotes 10,000 hours of sport-specific practice is likely genetically gifted for the sport in extraordinary ways AND genetically gifted in their ability to persevere and benefit from practice. Therefore, a person who can pra

Unsolvable Problems in Marriage I: Lowering Expectations

Different expectations of conflict From a recent Facebook post: Working on a post about unsolvable problems in marriage: For those who have been married five or more years, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much expectation did you have entering into marriage that communication could resolve any conflict between you and your spouse? How would you rate that expectation now? People often enter into marriage thinking that most if not all their conflicts can be resolved. Women come into marriage thinking "I can make my husband a better man". Men come into marriage thinking, "My wife will learn to see things my way". This idealistic view of marriage does not survive contact with the enemy. Even for couples for whom the first years of marriage are conflict-free, raising children is its own brand of unsolvable problem. And then there's sickness and mental health issues, job changes, unemployment, moving, and shifts in friendships. Conflict in marriage is inevitable. A number