The population of all the single ladies (all the single ladies!) might affect how soon you’re willing to put a ring on it.
In a study reported in the Evolutionary Psychology, researcher Daniel Kruger found that the average age of marriage in a city was closely linked to the way gender is distributed across the population.
“Women are basically getting snapped up, because the guys want to get her before somebody else does,” Kruger explained in an interview.
The study involved analyzing census data—specifically targeting marriage age and gender imbalances—in the fifty largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Accounting for race and income, Kruger calculated the ratio of men to women in those cities, and compared them to the average age of marriage.
The results found—shocker—that where women are scarce, the average age at which those women get married goes down. For example, there are thirteen men to every woman in Salt Lake City, where the mean age of the bride is 23.2; but, in Birmingham, Alabama, where there are eight women to every man, the mean age is to 26.7.
The study also found that while the median age of the bride varied, the age of the groom doesn’t change much—regardless of the abundance of women (though there was a wider range of ages). Kruger said this is likely because women who have the luxury of choices can wait until a man is older—and, presumably, more successful—before settling down.
“[Some guys will] settle down and take the women before other guys can,” Kruger said. “But other guys will have to work more and thus they’ll get married at later ages.”
So where does your city stand? Here are the top spots where women (and men) are scarce:
Top Cities With More Men Than Women
- Las Vegas
- San Diego
- Salt Lake City
- Austin, Texas
Top Cities With More Women Than Men
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Memphis, Tennessee
- New Orleans
- Richmond, Virginia
- A three-way tie for New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
So, depending on where you live, you may want to take Beyonce’s advice…