Moving to the wrong coast?

The blue dots represent cities with a surplus of single women. Tan dots are cities with a surplus of single men. Here’s the map. Richard Florida says I’m moving in the wrong direction:

By far, the best places for single men are the large cities and metro areas of the East Coast and Midwest. The extreme is greater New York, where single women outnumber single men by more than 210,000. In the Philadelphia area and greater Washington, D.C., single women outnumber single men by 50,000. I met my wife outside Detroit, where the odds were greatly stacked in my favor – single women outnumber single men by some 20,000 there.

In fact, single women outnumber single men in many large cities around the world, even though men outearn women at all ages, according to Lena C. Edlund, a Columbia University economist. One reason young women in the prime marriage years – the 25-44 age range – flock to big cities is to compete for the most eligible men. And smart women who gravitate to vibrant cities are more likely to stay single – for longer, at least – because they rightly refuse to settle for someone who can’t keep up with them intellectually or otherwise.

But women do have an advantage in the American West and Southwest. In greater Los Angeles, for example, there are 90,000 more single men than women. In Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay Area, single men outnumber single women by roughly 65,000. There are considerably more single men than women in San Diego, Dallas, and Seattle, too. Each of these regions has grown substantially over the past two or three decades, offering jobs in everything from high tech to construction and services. As numerous studies of migration show, men – especially those in regions with declining economies – are initially more likely to move long distances for economic opportunity, while women are more likely to stay closer to home and family.

At least Portland’s got distilleries. And hey, gin never turns you down and goes home with the guy who has the bigger blog.

Relatedly, here’s Tim Harford explaining Edlund’s economic theory about why big, successful cities tend to be home to more single women than men.

[Thanks to Zack for the link.]


3 thoughts on “Moving to the wrong coast?”

  1. So, it’s Portland, then?

    I once saw that map with the caption, “United States resembles middle school dance.”

  2. Yeah, that pretty much confirms what I’ve theorized about Tampa all along. It also confirms I need to get my ass up to Virginia – look at the size of that circle! (Why exactly do you want to move again? 🙂

    The middle school dance line is awesome.

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