The Dating Game


Lots of talk on the blogs about Richard Florida's map of where the single people are and its finding that there's a surplus of single men in most west coast cities, and a surplus of single women (though less uniformly) in most northeastern and midwestern cities.

Whenever I see discussion of this kind of thing, it always strikes me that it's necessary to remind people that this kind of data is probably too crude to have implications for what "singles" life is like in one place or another. The issue is that dating in the real world tends to be pretty circumscribed by socioeconomic characteristics. Insofar as a large number of men from Mexico may have migrated to Southern California to work in construction while leaving their wives behind in the old country, a young Smith grad isn't all that likely to start up a relationship with them if she moves to San Diego. Miami's excess of single women may be driven by widows, since women tend to live longer than men, and in some cities the gender balance is going to be skewed by the heavy incarceration rates of underclass men. None of this, however, has much of anything to do with the dating prospects of Florida's "creative class" professionals.