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Online Dating in the Bay Area, Gender Ratios by City and Age – Match.com (tableau.com)
56 points by swimfar 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 44 comments





Gay person’s perspective: Even in the worst case, a straight man’s dating pool is so much larger I’m envious.

Also something to consider: When 2 straight people couple off, it’s only -1 from the dating pool as far as other straight people are concerned. But when a gay couple exits the dating pool, there’s a loss of 2 people, heightening competition for an already tiny pool.


I don't quite follow the math. Why would only 1 person exit the pool in the one case and 2 in the other?

In the gay case, both people who left the dating pool are potential mates. In the straight case, only one potential mate left.

Yeah but gay sex is so easy to come by. Open up Manhunt or Grindr with dick pics galore.

The link seems to be linking to a comparison of several major cities, not bay area cities. The correct link appears to be: https://public.tableau.com/profile/eddie.hernandez#!/vizhome...

(And to compare, with where the current link is taking me: https://public.tableau.com/profile/eddie.hernandez#!/vizhome...)

Looks like the term Man Jose is valid to some degree within these data.


Yeah, I should have verified the link. Thanks.

Original source: https://www.reddit.com/r/bayarea/comments/9mqx2l/online_dati...


On mobile it's basically unviewable.

Gotta say, I wasn't expecting Boulder to have a worse ratio


Tableau has removed the view entirely so I can't even see the broken views your talking about but regarding Boulder... It doesn't have a worse ratio (assuming you're talking about the gender ratio the bay - though this is partially because the town is still small enough that CU Boulder augments gender ratios for its age groups). But the deal is, I'm a young single Boulderite and there's no chance I would sign up for Match.com...

Conventional dating is easy in Boulder and I'm more inclined to have a "how-we-met" story of how our eyes met across a crowded coffee shop or we both got bamboozled by the joke of a hilarious vendor at the farmers market, then to tell people I chose to have software help because I'm too busy for traditional romance or am too helpless/hopeless to do it myself.

Per the title, this is only a representation of online dating. Match.com is simply a poor representation for the actual singles population here because nobody wants to use it.


What's Boulder's deal?

It'd be interesting to know gender ratios as they exist at specific levels of attractiveness.

Since you can't really objectively measure that, the next best thing would be via something like Tinder's internal ELO score it assigns each user.

Distribution of ELO across genders would also be interesting. I've often heard statements like "the top n% of [gender] are fought over by x-y% of [gender]".

As an aside, I really loathe the fact that part of the optimal route for finding romance these days seems to be surrendering oneself to a collection of proprietary/black-box algorithms.


> As an aside, I really loathe the fact that part of the optimal route for finding romance these days seems to be surrendering oneself to a collection of proprietary/black-box algorithms.

I actually love that online dating is now the optimal method of finding romance. The only reason that wasn't the case before is because we didn't even have that option. You're still free to try the older methods, but online dating is far more efficient in my experience. The dating pool is effectively global and you can be as selective and honest as you want without the awkwardness that comes with dating someone in a close circle of yours.


Oh, I agree entirely. My only qualm is that in terms of online dating, people have essentially no choice but to submit themselves to systems where the inner workings are either not known or poorly designed. Yet, it's what everyone uses, and to abstain is to drastically reduce one's exposure.

The way Tinder seems to work for example, the broader an appeal you have, the higher your score. That can really suck for LGBTQ people depending on what gender they're looking for matches with.

An openly bisexual male for example, will be met with a huge score penalty due to all the left swipes from women that he isn't concerned with in the first place. Most could be vastly less attractive, or in some geographies even bigoted. The women he is looking for however, have a lower chance of seeing him because of the score hit. It's perverse incentivization all around.


I'm sure NYC looks better than these cities, but I'm not sure by how much if the stats are through the lens of a dating app rather than the overall population.

Can anybody weigh in on why Boulder is so skewed? I was expecting San Francisco to have the most imbalance because of the tech-dominated economy, but it looks like it's relatively more balanced than any of these other cities.

That this doesn't line up with my expectations makes me question the data. I kinda doubt these ratios are actually representative of the overall population of these cities.

A quick google search turned up this page which claims to be using Census data and shows a fairly even gender ratio (scroll down to view the Population Pyramid): http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/san-francisco-pop...

Maybe the point of the OP's data is to show men that subscription fees may be a poor value if relatively few women are using the platform in their cities.


Online dating is a small subset of real world dating, so doesn't have any connection with gender ratio etc. E.g. in SF women are more readily using online dating to hunt for better prospects, since more of them are there.

"small subset" may be no longer the case, I can't find the chart I was looking for, but I believe last time I checked it was around 40% of all relationships. The numbers may be even higher in 2018.

I wonder what the ratios are on other apps. Do specific apps have different gender and age cohorts? Probably.

My perception is that few millennials and younger even bother with dating sites anymore. Dating apps, yes, but not legacy dating sites like Match.com.

I haven't bothered with dating for a few years, but my brief experience with Match.com is that you're basically paying them to provide you with a bunch of fake profiles that superficially look higher quality than one might find on OkCupid or Tinder. Even when it came to OkCupid, there was virtually nobody on it, and I was living in a metropolitan area.

My guess would be the gender ratios wouldn't look that different for other sites and apps, though Match.com clearly skews a little older because it's people 25 or older who are going to remember that it even exists.


Head to the DC area if you want to flip the ratio.

I've never lived in that part of the country. What is it about that area (government jobs, other industries) that make it imbalanced toward women?

while more women are graduating from college, vastly more are graduating with social sciences and polysci degrees. If you would like a well-paying stable job with a degree in one of those two, government is an awfully nice choice.

Alternatively, head to the DC area if you want to live in a city of class presidents.

Also a city of classless presidents.

Is this something unique to the bay area? Does this reflect the overall gender ratios in the area?

At the last census the Bay Area was 50.4% female and SF in particular was 49.3% female, so no this does not reflect overall gender ratios.

NYC, DC, Vancouver are all places where there are more females than males. If you are a guy it's way better odds. If you are in the Bay area, maybe find a company with a balance as well (hard to do).

The link seems to be broken?

SF also had a skewed gender ratio during the 1849 gold rush. History repeats itself.

What, dudes just give up after 60? something seems off

Without context on how this data was gathered it's mostly meaningless.

> Without context this is meaningless.

In the context of the match.com dating app, in these cities, in these age brackets, the gender ratios are as shown. There you go. Meaning!


Dating in these cities as a single man in your 20s and 30s is good for the soul. It forces you to actually develop a personality, figure out how to be fun to be around. Have something interesting going on for you besides working at startup x or being Senior Frontend Engineer at Uber #775.

Women in a city like SF expect more from you, they're not that impressed with money or the fact that you have a stable job. Some look at it as a disadvantage, but is actually an upside. Some men come out of the experience jaded and bitter, blaming "the 49ers" and the ratio. Others take it as an opportunity to step it up and have more to offer to a potential partner. You attract who you are.

Disclaimer: huge generalizations above, take with a pound of salt.


This is really just trying way too hard to make the best of a shit situation. I know what you're saying, but consider the implications that this argument has for women in the bay area. So as a straight man, fierce competition presumably "forces you to develop a personality" (I think this is actually a pretty dangerous thought in that it suggests that single guys are lacking something in their personality which would net them a girlfriend).

So after all this self improvement, it's so that you can meet women who don't have the same driving forces, and actually have quite the opposite -- they can just choose not to date you because you have a funny haircut or they aren't sure and don't feel like following up. That mismatch of effort is a great way to drive resentment on both sides.

I'm not trying to place blame here. All I'm saying is: if you're a single straight male in the bay area, it's probably just the gender ratio of your social circle and social habits. Don't turn blame inwards towards perceived personality defects. In a different city or different friend group you might get drastically different results


I do turn inward when I think of things like "why I'm single": personality, my social circle is almost entirely co-workers, I spend a most of my time working or playing video games, I work out a little but not enough, etc. The reality is that I can change these habits if I really want to change the outcome. It feels bad sometimes, but it's the reality whether its "right" or "wrong".

Few things make people as uncomfortable as telling them "hey, maybe your victim mentality isn't helping you and you actually do have a shot at this, you just need to work harder than others". Life's not fair, I guess? If you don't want it that bad, then plenty of other, much more motivated men, will work for it.

It's a little like entrepreneurship and complaining that your parents aren't millionaires and can't seed fund your first venture, so why even bother.


Reading that genuinely made me feel uncomfortable but I'm glad you wrote it, I think I needed to hear that. Something about imagining all the other men who are much more motivated than me really gives me a deep desire to prove myself.

From what I've seen, the Bay Area men who struggle the most with dating really do have defective personalities — at least in the sense that they don't align with what most women want. Some introspection and focus on self improvement would often help them break out of their rut.

It's a zero-sum game, and the gender ratio guarantees that the majority of those trying to follow your advice will still fail. I agree with you that adversity can lead to personal growth, but failing too many times can cause some people to become demoralized. You conceded as much when you said that "some men come out of the experience jaded and bitter." It sounds like they'd be better served by a less one-sided dating environment, where they could actually land a date here and there and gain some confidence in the process.

> Dating in these cities as a single man in your 20s and 30s is good for the soul. It forces you to actually develop a personality, figure out how to be fun to be around. Have something interesting going on for you besides working at startup x.

And the women will ignore you anyway because they only care about someone who is a 9/10 and makes at least $300K+.

Why stack the deck against yourself? If you are a guy looking for a woman, LEAVE THE BAY AREA. Period.

Pick something from here: https://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/solocities_gap1.aspx

The DC area is almost as heavily imbalanced with women as the Bay Area is imbalanced with men.


I agree with what you're saying, but I want to nitpick your data: that site doesn't take age into account when ranking cities by gender ratio. For example, the reason El Paso, TX tops their chart is because lots of older women live there[1].

If you're single in your 20s (and not looking to date a 50-something woman), here's a gender ratio map that takes age and marital status into account: http://jonathansoma.com/singles/

[1] https://www.states101.com/gender-ratios/texas/el-paso-county


As someone who's nowhere close to any of those numbers and has had an exceptional level of success in the Bay, I can tell you that those requirements are bullshit, and very, very common justifications that men tell themselves to resort to inaction.

Dating is like anything else, it's a skill. So is knowing how to present yourself, how to be charismatic, how to market yourself, how to be at the right place at the right time. It's a crazy amount of effort, and it takes years, but again, if you want it bad enough, it's doable. It's kind of like fitness, it will take you many years and a serious amount of lifestyle changes and sacrifice to go from overweight to looking like a fitness model, but it's doable if that's what you want.

The Bay is hard, but then you can extend that reasoning to all dating. Why bother dating American women who want you to have your shit together? Buy a mail order bride from a third world country, who will appreciate you for putting a roof over her head. Go with that arbitrage then.


> As someone who's nowhere close to any of those numbers and has had an exceptional level of success in the Bay, I can tell you that those requirements are bullshit, and very, very common justifications that men tell themselves to resort to inaction.

I am glad for your success, but my anecdata contradicts yours.

From my social circle, I can tick off almost a dozen men who had a really rough time dating in the Bay Area. After they left for places with a better gender balance, they did dramatically better. They went from practically no dates to quite a robust social calendar. And, it seems that the quality of the women they were meeting got quite a bit better.

They didn't all magically get smarter, funnier, fitter, etc. simply by moving.


I'm sure that works. I wasn't suggesting that it wouldn't happen, only that you can fix it if you really want to put in the work. It's an uphill battle, but not unsolvable. Like I said, if you want the least effort per dating success, go to the market where the women are the most desperate and pick the top of the pack, it's just economics.

Sounds like a rat race, albeit a different flavor than what you'd see somewhere like DC.



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