Richard Florida, chronicler of the “creative class” and author of the new book Who’s Your City?, posted an interesting map and article on his web site the other day. Florida’s map tracks the disparity between the numbers of single men and single women between the ages of 20-64 in various metro areas around the country. Red circles indicate a surplus of single women while blue circles indicate a surplus of single men. Florida writes,
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. . . 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.
People have no problem with moving across the country to get a good job. But considering how the choice of one’s mate is at least as important as the choice of one’s profession, should young singles be willing to relocate for love as well? To the bachelor willing to make the journey, there’s only one answer — Go east young man, go east!