Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering immigrant communities, housing, economic inequality, and culture. She also authors Navigator, a weekly newsletter for urban explorers (subscribe here). Her work also appears in The Atlantic, NPR, and BBC.
If your quest for "the one" spans oceans, here's an atlas that can guide you.
"There are just not enough eligible men on the East Coast" and "all the dateable women on the West Coast are taken" are complaints that have some truth to them. So if you're having no luck with the dating scene in your current U.S. locale, and you're (quite a bit) of a romantic, you can set sail for a different country in search of your perfect mate.
The Singles Atlas can guide you. The map uses demographic datasets from countries around the world and (if you're heterosexual) reveals where you're likely to find a single person of the opposite sex.
I tried it out. To start, I made adjustments so the map knows what I'm looking for. I selected my gender (woman) and the age group of the mate I'm seeking (eh, let's say 25 to 39). There are filters for height and body mass index of the person you seek (if you're superficial) as well as country-specific filters for education level, living cost, local buying power, and English proficiency. For now, I've set these to "all."
According to my specifications, the map color codes countries based on where I have good (green), medium (yellow), and bad (red) odds of finding several single men and not much competition. Qatar seems to be my best bet, with 424 men who meet my criteria per every 100 women:
Actually, if you notice that little box on the right—showing places with my best mate prospects—it seems that there are a lot of nice, young, single gentleman in Gulf countries. Too bad I'm not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.
Sadly, a lot of places I'd love to visit—such as Malaysia, Lebanon, Macau, and the Gambia—are stuffed with women. In Malaysia, for example, there are just 91 men between 25 and 39 for every 100 women. I don't really want to be the 101st and add to the competition:
For me, it seems that the countries where all the single men are concentrated are not always the countries I want to visit. But you know what they say: love conquers all.