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Maps

All the Single Ladies Should Move to San Jose or Denver

A new interactive map shows the best and worst cities for women looking to marry men.

The "marriage market" for women by metro. (Pew Research Center)

Women weary of swiping left on Tinder might want to consider moving. Seriously. If you're looking for The One (and why wouldn't you employ Tinder for this quest?)—the location of your search is key.

We figured out the problem with the "marriage market" last week—women want their partners to have jobs and there just aren't enough of those to go around. That's part of the reason that a fifth of adults over 25 years old—more men than women and an increasing number of African Americans—have never been married. Still, over 53 percent of these people want to be married at some point.

Now, the Pew Research Center has released an interactive map showing what the "marriage market" looks like for women in different cities. It also has a breakdown of all metro areas in America, in case you want to see the prospects in your own city.

(This picture of the "marriage market" is a very generalized look at the ratios of employed single men compared to single women in a particular region. The inclusion of LGBT data and other variable implies that in reality, the picture is a lot more complicated, says Wendy Wang, author of the report. Not all of the women who are single and looking to get hitched want to marry men.)

As a whole, the picture doesn't look great for women who do want to marry men: There are only 84 employed men for every 100 women among the nation's singles.

But there's hope if you live in one of the cities where the ratio is higher. San Jose, California, tops the list of large metro areas with the highest ratio: 114 single, employed guys for every 100 single women.

Next up is Denver, Colorado. With 101 employed, single men for every 100 single women, there are just enough fish in the proverbial sea. In both those areas, a little less than 60 percent of the adult population is single; that's a pretty big pool of possible couples.

Move to one of these cities if you're a woman who wants to get hitched. (Pew Research Center)

But that's it. In all of the other cities on the list, the number of single, employed men drops below 100 for every batch of 100 unmarried women. So the single ladies seem to have the odds stacked against them in these cities.

Women from cities such Memphis, Tennessee, have the worst odds, because these cities contain the smallest number of employed men per 100 women. But for young, single, straight men looking to settle down, living in these metro areas might be a good idea. The smaller pool of employed, single men means more potential dates—and less competition.  

Straight men might want to move to these places if they're looking to settle down. (Pew Research Center)

About the Author

  • Tanvi Misra
    Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering demographics, inequality, and urban culture. She previously contributed to NPR's Code Switch blog and BBC's online news magazine.