A friend tells me she's excited for speed dating at Nerd Nite NYC, but that she's waitlisted for it. Guh? Wouldn't women be the limiting reagent in any activity involving the words "nerd" and "dating"?
But there it is, right there in courier: the women slots had sold out before the guy slots. And there was even excess demand, as evinced by my friend. An unexpected gender imbalance at nerd speed dating. After I laughed heartily at the thought of a passel of girls in Questionable Content tees grabbing at a fat dude's NES controller belt buckle, I thought "well, notch another for New York's dearth of single men."
But then I got my FactFinder on and saw that New York doesn't have a significant shortage of single guys. True, there are 427,000 more age 15+ women than age 15+ men, a fact that pops up endlessly in the media. But when you dive into the narrower "never married" category, a good proxy for singles, the ratios return to even. There are are only 28,000 more never-married women than men; the gender balance for never-marrieds comes out to 50.5% women, 49.5% men. That's margin of error territory. I charted the demographic breakdowns below, sourced from this table.
Blue bars always reaching past pink, at least in the age ranges where I'm equipped to hear complaints. There are slightly more women in the 25-29 bracket but it's an imbalance of little over a thousand, margin of error stuff once more. And there's that ol' actuarial chestnut that women always outlive men, hence the gender imbalance among the elderly. So nothing crazy popping up in the unmarried sample.
"Great job mathemagician, what about divorced people? That probably matters. You are scum." Hey. Watch your tone. The results aren't terribly different for young people when I add the divorced and widowed to the mix; 25-29 has around 5,000 more women than men, but that's still a 50.5/49.5 split. No biggie. However the gender imbalances do get mega ridiculous towards the middle age-senior side of the graph. Parity falls off hard after age 40: if you're a woman at that age, it's hard to find a man. Groundbreaking stuff. It explains the op-ed woe penned by everyone's cool Manhattan aunt, but that fact isn't confined to New York. Also you'll notice the men getting busy dying in this expanded sample but again, not a New York thing.
To sum up, the assey dating sitch for New York women aged 20 to 39 can't be explained by a simple lack of men. Women older than that are onto something, but that's true everywhere. Maybe there just aren't any good men with jobs and such, but I couldn't get the census to spit out city level data on age + marital status + sex + income. Maybe a better census wrangler could hack it. It's not like I do this for a living. Wait...