Determining the Optimal Sexual Market: Why Gender Ratios Don’t Tell the Whole Story

Much ado has been made about gender ratios and how they affect sexual markets in various cities. While I believe that the gender ratio is a somewhat useful number in determining the “difficulty” of a given market, there’s a lot more at play. is a fantastic site that gives detailed gender ratio information for every geographic locale in the US (and around the world, though I’m just going to be focusing on the US).

The most basic mistake most people make is not taking age into account. For example, if we just look at gender ratio with no other factors:

We get this list:

Age and Marital Status

Filtering by age gets us a bit closer. Suffice it to say that anyone reading this blog is probably not targeting older women, so let’s look at only women aged 18-34.

Our competition matters, too. No matter how many women there are in that age range, if there’s a ton more men competing with us, it’s not good news. We’ll choose 18-44 as our competition.

Finally, we obviously don’t care about anyone who’s married. It would be great if we could actually see what percentage of people are single, but to my knowledge there’s no source of survey data for that, so the least we can do is filter out those who are married.

Unmarried women aged 18-34, with our competition being unmarried men aged 18-44, gives us this:

Body Mass Index

This doesn’t take attractiveness into account, though. Obviously, there’s no great way to get data on attractiveness, but we can at least filter out overweight and obese women.

Taking the above filters and filtering out anyone over a BMI of 30 gives us:

I don’t know how Massachusetts snuck in there, so consider Provo our 10th ranked city.

Does this list pass the smell test? Well… maybe. If you look down the list, you’ll notice that a commonality among the top cities is that they have a high percentage of African-American women, due to societal factors causing a surplus (high numbers of African-American men incarcerated or dead). African-American women don’t tend to date outside their race (just like women of all races) and/or socioeconomic status, so if you’re a median Pancake Mouse reader, a young white, college-educated male, it’s probably not the most ideal list.

We can look at this list more in context by factoring in the percentage of African-American population in each city and mentally adjusting our score accordingly:

  1. Durham (39% black)
  2. DC (45% black)
  3. Winston-Salem (35% black)
  4. Boston (25% black)
  5. Syracuse (30% black)
  6. Denton (9.4% black)
  7. Madison (7% black)
  8. Bridgeport (35% black)
  9. New Haven (33% black)
  10. Provo (1% black)
  11. Springfield (21% black)
  12. Albany (29% black)
  13. Buffalo (37% black)
  14. Grand Rapids (19% black)
  15. Atlanta (34% black)
  16. Hartford (38% black)
  17. Philadelphia (44% black)

What does this tell us? Boston, Denton, Madison, Provo, and Grand Rapids may be closer to our ideals.

Our mentally-weighted list looks a bit closer to what happens when we just look at White people, irrespective of marital status:

Notably, Greenville and Reno jump up as potential options here.

Of course, our data-driven analysis neglects the qualitative intangibles, which at the end of the day far outweigh our data.

General attractiveness of female population – how hot is the average woman? Is this city a “hot girl destination” (e.g. Vegas, LA, Nashville, Miami, NYC?)

General attractiveness of male population – how good is your competition? NYC looks great until you take a look at the guys you’re competing against.

Total population – in singles matching, total volume is important. Given two populations, one with 100 single women and 100 single men, and another with 1000 single women and 1100 single men, it’s better to be in the latter. Potentially because the markets aren’t efficient so as a seasoned player you have more chances of getting to the remaining single women before the competition. Also volume = anonymity = more casual sex, and makes daygame sessions easier so you don’t have to rely on swipe apps.

Sexual orientation – does a city have a higher number of lesbians than normal? If so, your potential female population just got a lot smaller. Does your city have more gay men than normal? Less competition!

In conclusion, our ideal city should have the highest percentage of attractive, single, non-lesbian women compared to the percentage of attractive, single, non-gay men, with some multiplier for total population. If only it were possible to get statistics on this!

How do our favorable gender ratio cities stack up?

Here’s our rough list again (I removed Provo because, come on, it’s Provo):

  • Durham
  • DC
  • Madison
  • Boston
  • Springfield
  • Greenville
  • Grand Rapids
  • New Haven
  • Reno
  • Winston-Salem
  • Bridgeport

One note: if you look at the raw ratios between many of the cities above, there’s actually not that much difference in them. Most of the decent cities have 56-59 unmarried, <30 BMI, 18-34yo women for every man of the same category. This makes qualitative attributes and anecdotal data much more important than ratios for evaluating cities.

Let’s compare this to the “Player’s 6”, the six cities I qualitatively consider the best for Game, based on my own personal experience and reports from others

  • NYC
  • Miami
  • Phoenix
  • Nashville
  • Chicago
  • Vegas

Clearly, attractiveness of the top-tier girls is the disconnect not measured by our algorithm. The above cities are going to have much-hotter-than-average girls available, as well as generally larger populations.

How do our algorithm cities stack up? I’m not sure, but I’d love to find out. I hope to visit each one of these cities within the next few years and put this theory to the test.

4 thoughts on “Determining the Optimal Sexual Market: Why Gender Ratios Don’t Tell the Whole Story

  1. Young Chopin

    When you add a filter for education, the restriction of women with bachelor’s degrees, which is essentially a proxy for social class (and would skew heavier white + asian), I’m somewhat surprised that many cities such as Los Angeles have more single women than men. Although when you consider it further, I believe more women enter college than men so it makes sense.

    None of the cities stand out to me, aside from the obvious NYC. There must be some hidden gems in the South.

    What would be interesting to see is if you could compile a list of cities with favorable gender ratios then cross reference them with online dating.

    I do suspect that logistics probably matter more than gender ratios. If it is hard to meet people, and there’s nothing to do in the town, that adds difficulty.


  2. I’m very skeptical of these data-driven approaches to finding the best city to be a “player” in. The book Date-onomics was written entirely on this topic, but it’s mostly focused on late-twenties and old women who are looking to wife up. If you follow the advice from the men’s book (go to a city like DC, with an excess of women), you’ll find tons college educated, career women, who are 25+ and who are “setting” for casual sex when they really want a serious relationship.

    Also, I also don’t trust the demographic data when it comes to college age girls (which is a prime demographic for casual sex with hot women). Most of these women are transient — living in dorms and short term housing; I don’t think the usual census data captures that correctly. These data-driven conclusions are only as good as their data.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s