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Single in the city: What the census can tell you about your dating pool

Saint John New Brunswick
Saint John, New Brunswick. Saint John and St. John's, Newfoundland had the highest ratio of available women to men aged 20-65 according to the 2011 census. Global Maritimes

So you’ve had hard luck on the dating scene. Maybe it’s time to take a more scientific approach to your search for potential partners.

Statistics Canada spreadsheets are admittedly not very sexy, but a close look at the latest census release reveals all kinds of details about how to increase your chances of meeting that special someone.

1. Age matters.

It’s sad but true. Generally speaking, the older someone is, the more likely they are to be married or in a common-law relationship.

The chart below tracks the number of unmarried people who are not in a common-law couple. So it includes people who have never been married, who are divorced, who are separated and who are widowed. We’re casting a wide net here.

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As you can see in the chart, people aged 15-19 are almost always single. This number slowly declines over time until late middle age.

It seems men tend to get married at a later age than women, as there are many more young, single men than women. Both sexes are at parity in their late thirties, then the numbers of available individuals creep up again in the fifties, perhaps due to divorce or widowhood. And all those available elderly women? There just aren’t as many elderly men around anymore to keep them company.

2. Location, Location, Location!

Where you live makes a big difference in the dating pool. In Saguenay, Quebec, for example, there are 120 unmarried, not common-law men between the ages of 20 and 65 for every 100 available women – making it the most man-heavy census metropolitan area in Canada.

Generally speaking, Alberta and smaller towns in BC are also great places to look for an available man.

And if you’re looking for ladies, visit the east coast. There are ten available women for every nine available men in both St. John’s, Newfoundland and Saint John, New Brunswick.

Toronto and Halifax aren’t bad places to look either, with only 92 available men for every 100 available women in both cities.

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Montreal, Moncton and Regina manage to achieve near-perfect gender balance in their dating pool.

Check out your prospects in the charts below. It tracks unmarried, non common-law individuals who are between the ages of 20 and 65. This range was chosen to avoid skewing the overall numbers.

3. Drilling down

Maybe you want to get even more granular with your search. That’s what this map is for.

First, zoom to your city. Then, simply select your desired gender and age group from the drop-down menu, and see where the singles are, down to the neighbourhood level.

To better show concentrations of single people, the map displays the number of selected individuals as a percentage of the total population aged 15 and over.

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4. Plenty of fish in the sea…

But they might not be much of a catch. Statistics Canada tracks quantity, not quality. So maybe there are no single people of your desired gender in town. But it’s possible that those who remain are delightful individuals. Or not. That part’s up to you to figure out.

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