Singles, 18-64

Showing cities of - + + people and values

So here we are again.

Way back in 2006 a certain pop sociologist published a map of singles across America. Men cursed, women swooned, and each and every unattached member of society packed up for the nearest City of Love. Trouble was, though, the map was a lie.

Well, mostly a lie. But mostly a lie is pretty bad when Life and Love are on the line.

His singles spanned from 20 to 64 years old, a magical world where grandparents have to sneak booze to their 20-year-old partners. A little unrealistic, perhaps? The map also didn't adjust for population - ten thousand extra single women means a lot more in Des Moines than in NYC. If you'd like to hear more statistical griping, the old write-up.

For now, though: welcome to 2013 Interactive Singles Map (albeit with 2012 data). Drag those sliders to your heart's (dis)content.

Want to see some highlights? We've put together some depressingly accurate images down below.

The cold, hard, sexy facts

Among 20- and 30-somethings, almost every single city in America has more single men than single women. Although no single woman in New York will believe it, I promise it's true.

Once you get up into your 50's, though, the balance shifts to extra single women everywhere.

The changeover from extra men to extra women starts in the late 30's, but doesn't overtake California and the Pacific Northwest until everyone's in their 50's.

If you are looking for single women in their twenties, they're hiding out in Durham NC, Savannah GA, or Jackson MS. The North has nothing for you, it's Southern belles or bust.

If you're on the prowl for single men in their late 50's, Reno NV, Manchester NH, and Beaumont TX should be your primary hunting grounds. Beyond being flush with single gentleman, Beaumont also has one of the world's largest fire hydrants! Get that U-Haul ready.

Single counts people who have never been married, are divorced, or are widowed. It does not include separated people, because separated people sure ain't single. It also doesn't include people who are dating, because the Census Bureau isn't nosy enough.

Cliff's Notes

Gals: Do young single girls exist? Not according to math! Before age 35 almost every single city has an excess of unmarried men.

Guys: F. Scott Fitzgerald published All The Sad Young Men at 30, and we can all just assume it's a somber reflection on marital gender ratios.

Gents: Single men become a rare commodity later in life due to our unfortunate propensity for dying. If you can get to 50 the world seems to be nothing but women.

Ladies: After your mid-40's, you will be fighting tooth and nail for the nine or ten remaining single men.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Way back in 2006, NYC had 200,000 more single women than single men. By 2011, that'd shrunk down to 150,000. We can call that progress.

The median age at first marriage for women is 26.5, while for men it's almost 29. That's almost a whole year later than in 2006.

New Orleans used to be a great place to find an unmarried girl in her twenties, but now they've all migrated north to Jackson, Mississippi.

Every city with more single women in their twenties is in the South.

Reno, NV continues to be a great place to find a single man in his 50's.

As far as I can tell, we're still waiting on someone to title their thesis Social Adaptation and the Creation of the Cougar.

Marriage equality is an ongoing battle, although some gay couples are reporting themselves as married. The map unfortunately takes heterosexuality as a given, and I just plain can't think of a way around it.

Looking for a second opinion? Feel free to cast your lot with New York Economic Development Corporation or the number crunchers at Trulia.

Who am I?

Hi, I'm Soma. I live in Brooklyn, write a newsletter that makes you a more interesting person, and run a school for the curious. I think mustard is the most underrated condiment.

Second year of college I got a D+ in statistics from talking too much to the girls who sat front of me. I didn't marry either of them, so we got this map instead.

You can hassle me anonymously at jonathan.soma@gmail.com or see a steady stream of bodega cat pictures at @dangerscarf. Other nonsense I've created can be found at jonathansoma.com.

What's driving this thing?

Data is from the 2012 American Community Survey, Table B12002, Sex By Marital Status By Age For The Population 15 Years And Over. They're 3-year estimates because I figured, hey, sounds like a good balance between the 1-year and 5-year estimates.

We aren't actually measuring city by city, either. We're using Metropolitan Statistical Areas, which are generally a big city and its immediate surroundings. Sometimes it's a couple nearby cities, like Dallas/Fort Worth.

Codewise, the map itself is powered by D3. The old map was powered by Processing, so I jumped through every hurdle possible to replicate the look.

Share & Scare

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