The Real Reason Why Single Women Can’t Find Mr. Right

Numbers dictate that there are not enough college-educated men out there for all the single ladies.

Economics journalist Jon Birger and his wife noticed that by the time they turned 30, their single female friends outnumbered the male friends they had left. This made Birger wonder why the beautiful, smart women they knew were having such a hard time finding their Mr. Right. There is an abundance of great single women, but where are all the wonderful single men?

In his new book, “Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game,” Birger reveals that, statistically, there is a shortage of college-educated men. For this generation, the ratio is four college-educated women for every three college-educated men. Thus as more and more people pair off, single heterosexual women are left with fewer options.

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Birger told Vice that there is not a shortage of males, but rather a shortage of men who are going to college. The gender imbalance in education is striking as he noted about 35% more women than men graduated from college last year. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education forecasts that disparity to grow to 47% by 2023. Birger explained the real reason why those numbers are important:

“Obviously, none of this would matter if we were all a little more open-minded about who we are willing to date and marry. But there have been multiple studies on this and it turns out Americans have become less likely, over the past 50 years, to marry and date across educational lines. So educational intermarriage–I don’t know if that’s a real term, maybe I just made it up—is at its lowest rate in 50 years.”

The preference for educational parity puts women at a disadvantage while having no impact on men. Birger explained:

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“It’s not just women, both men and women are unlikely to date and marry across those lines. It just doesn’t matter for the men because the pool of educated women is so vast that their own classism doesn’t really punish them. But being unwilling to consider working-class guys affects women in ways that it doesn’t affect men. It’s totally unfair and I get that, but it’s not like only the women are choosy and then men are all open-minded.”

Birger advises that the best way to increase a woman’s dating opportunities, other than considering working-class guys, is to relocate to “pockets” in the country where the dating market is more optimal. It seems that the areas with the most potential for women seeking a college-educated partner are Silicon Valley, San Jose, the Bay Area, Denver and Seattle. As one moves from the East Coast to the West Coast, the ratio of college grads also gradually improves.

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