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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

May 13, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Sorry, guys, Amazon’s not why you’re still single

Source: Census Bureau, ACS 2010-2012 (Click to enlarge)

Click to enlarge (Source: Census Bureau, ACS 2010-2012)

Is Amazon making it tough for Seattle guys to find a date?

Local technology consultant Jeff Reifman published a blog post on Monday contending just that.

Reifman posits that male-dominated tech companies like Amazon are drawing a lot more young men than young women to Seattle, thereby screwing up the local dating scene.

Reifman uses U.S. Census Bureau data to show the gender imbalance among Seattle singles in the 25 to 44 age range. Indeed, the census estimates he uses (data from 2006 to 2010) show exactly that: among this age group, for every 100 single women, there are 118 single men.*

Not exactly favorable to the guys.

It’s an intriguing argument, but there are a couple of problems.

First, Reifman theorizes that because of Amazon, the gender discrepancy in Seattle is only getting worse. The Census Bureau, however, doesn’t agree. In more recent data (2010 to 2012), census estimates show that Seattle’s gender imbalance among singles for the age group in question actually declined to 116 men to every 100 women.

And then there’s this: While a 116-to-100 ratio might sound dismal for the guys, in relation to other big cities, it really isn’t all that bad. Among the 50 most-populous U.S. cities, Seattle’s imbalance of young single men only ranks 15th, as the accompanying chart illustrates.

With 133 men to every 100 women, the worst imbalance is in San Jose — another high-tech hub. But what about Miami or Wichita or Los Angeles? These places also have a greater discrepancy of young single men to young single women than Seattle does. So you can’t blame tech.

But here’s a tip for Seattle guys who’ve been striking out lately: If you’re looking for a place where you might have better luck, try Baltimore. For every 100 available young women, there are only 90 available young men in the Charm City.


*For you data geeks: In his blog post, Reifman writes that there are 119 men for every 100 women. I found the correct number for the dataset that he used to be 118. Reifman appears to have pulled his numbers from two different datasets — the 2010 decennial Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey five-year estimates. These are not always comparable, and in this case, it caused Reifman to inflate the number of singles in this age group, slightly overestimating the imbalance between men and women.

Comments | More in Social Media | Topics: blogs, Census, dating


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