Thursday, January 17, 2013

Where have all the cowboys gone?

I ran in to this post on Ann Althouse's blog yesterday, and was intrigued by her comment that ladies looking for a man should move away from the east coast. She linked to a map from the NYT that showed where the unmarried men in the 18-34 demographic tended to live, and indeed at the top of the list were states like Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota.

After taking a look at the map and accompanying graph though, I was a little baffled by her follow up:
But you guys, in New York and Massachusetts (and #1, my home state, Delaware), you have rich pickings in the female-heavy disproportion, where you can continue to behave in ways that women will angst over in the pages of the New York Times, which the guys in North Dakota and Alaska and Wyoming probably don't read, but if they did, would they shed a tear for you?
Being a Massachusetts resident who hasn't been on the dating market in a few years, I was curious how bad our "female-heavy disproportion" I scrolled down.  I was a little surprised to find out that every single state in the nation has more young unmarried men than women.  I normally like Althouse quite a bit, and I was a little surprised to see this oversight there*.  I immediately checked the comments and found that it took over 30 comments before someone even mentioned the numbers, and it was around comment 60 that someone finally spelled out that men were actually the majority everywhere (at least on the state level).  In case you're curious, feminists were directly blamed for making women the majority in comment 6.

Since that part had already been corrected in the comments by the time I got there, I added this:
From the 2010 census, the population of Massachusetts is 8 times the population of North Dakota...and it's 25-34 year old population is 10 times as large. If you assume half of people in that demographic are single (just to pick a random number), then Massachusetts would actually have 193,000 more single men than North Dakota even though Massachusetts has a lower percentage.  So basically, your odds might be slightly worse, but your selection is much bigger. Which you prefer probably depends on what you're looking for.
I always find it a little fascinating when people default to presuming the "odds" model of dating works better than the "numbers" method.....because in real life most people use the numbers method.  Young people tend to move to cities, then back out once they're married.  When you're only looking for one, numbers matter more than odds.

Oh, and in case you're curious about the cities she was presumably referencing, here's the city data.  Men still outnumber women in Boston, and in most cities actually.  Even NYC is more even than many would have you believe.

*To be fair, I think she was more annoyed at the next NYT article she linked to in that post that portrayed North Dakota men as bad people.  I don't think the state populations were her overall point.

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