08242017

Utah women, we know why you are single — it’s in the numbers

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Gender ratios in U.S.

Using Census data from 2011–13, an interactive map with the Time article allows you to zoom in and look at demographics of specific cities. The darker shades of blue represent where there is a larger male population whereas the dark pink represents where the female population is higher than the male population. See the map here.

Utah single women, we have some bad news — the odds in the dating are in the men’s favor.

Writing about the “modern dating crisis,” author Jon Birger recently released his book, “Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game.” In an article published on Time’s website Monday, Birger shared part of his findings on how the United States demographics are skewed in the favor of men in the dating world.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey reported there are 5.5 million college-educated women in the U.S. between the ages of 22 and 29 versus 4.1 million such men, according to a 2012 population estimate. This is a total of four women for every three men. As the age group gets older, the disparity increases; there are five women for every one man in the U.S. for college grads age 30 to 39.

“It’s not that He’s Just Not That Into You — it’s that There Just Aren’t Enough of Him,” Birger said in his article.

“It’s not that He’s Just Not That Into You — it’s that There Just Aren’t Enough of Him.”

—Jon Birger, author of “Date-onomics”

A numbers game: Utah demographics

Oddly enough, Birger says Utah isn’t the prime example for a lopsided state in favor of men. In fact, Utah’s population has more men than women. Utah comes in having the fifth highest ratio of men to women in all age groups across the nation.

Zooming into the interactive map based on Census data from 2011–13, a closer look at Utah County cities shows the ratios of single men to single women. Here are the results for the two youngest age groups comparing single individuals who earned college degrees to those who didn’t earn a college degree.

Provo:

  • Age 18-29
    • 1.7 college-educated single women ages for every single man
    • 1.1 single men ages for every single woman (no college degree)
  • Age 30-39
    • 1.9 college-educated women for every single man
    • 1.0 single women for every single man (no college degree)

Orem, Pleasant Grove, American Fork and Lindon:

  • Age 18-29
    • 1.4 college-educated single women for every single man
    • 1.2 single men for every single woman (no college degree)
  • Age 30-39
    • 1.0 college-educated women for every single man
    • 1.4 single men for every single woman (no college degree)
A zoomed in of the map on Time's website shows Utah's demographics. (Image courtesy Time)

A zoomed in of the map on Time’s website shows Utah’s demographics. (Image courtesy Time)

Spanish Fork, Springville, Lehi (northeast) and Highland:

  • Age 18-29
    • 2.0 college-educated single women for every single man
    • 1.9 single men for every single woman (no college degree)
  • Age 30-39
    • 1.6 college-educated women for every single man
    • 1.6 single men for every single woman (no college degree)

Saratoga Springs, Lehi (southwest) and Payson:

  • Age 18-29
    • 5.2 college-educated single women to every single man
    • 1.5 single men for every single woman (no college degree)
  • Age 30-39
    • 2.8 college-educated women for every single man
    • 1.1 single men for every single woman (no college degree)

Where single people don’t have a college degree, the numbers balance out in these two age groups. However, the disparity widens in favor of men once a college degree is obtained in Utah County. So it’s hard to be a single college-educated woman in Utah.

But it can get more difficult.

Birger’s Time’s article specifically focuses on the demographics of singles in the Utah LDS population.

“At first glance, the state of Utah — 60 percent Mormon and home of the LDS church — looks like the wrong place to study what I like to call the man deficit,” Birger wrote. “… But lurking beneath the Census data is a demographic anomaly that makes Utah a textbook example of how shifting gender ratios alter behavior. The LDS Church actually has one of the most lopsided gender ratios of any religion in the United States.”

Mormon dilemma

A study by Trinity College’s American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) between 1990 and 2008 found there are 150 Mormon women to every 100 Mormon men.

The bad news for women is that gap continues to widen. Birger wrote:

“The Utah LDS Church was in fact 52 percent female as recently as 1990. Since 1990, however, the Mormon gender gap in Utah has widened dramatically — from a gender ratio of 52:48 female to male in 1990 to 60:40 female to male in 2008, according to a study coauthored by ARIS researchers Rick Phillips, Ryan Cragun and Barry Kosmin. In other words, the LDS Church in Utah now has three women for every two men.”

With a supposed 50 percent oversupply of women, ARIS dug deeper, accrediting a higher rate of male apostasy for the demographic difference.

Brian Willoughby, who studies young and emerging adult dating relationships and marriage, is an assistant professor for the School of Family Life at LDS-owned Brigham Young University. He says the higher rate of apostasy from the Church is something he’s observed in his studies, but there are even more unique cultural changes affecting the singles scene.

Even more peculiar — BYU

BYU actually beats the odds as far as male to female student ratios go. In 2014, 55 percent of all daytime students were male while only 45 percent of the students were female. Of those students, 73.8 percent were single and, Willoughby says, they end to be “the upper devout faith and religiosity in the LDS community.” He said that as you get into ages 21–30 the number of religious men decreases while the single population increases.

Willoughby says there are many reasons for the disparity of genders: changing norms for marriage, LDS culture, unique requirements in mate selection, economic demands on adults, many devout LDS men getting married early and more.

Why are there fewer women on BYU campus? Stereotypes and culture suggest gender roles where women stay home with the children while men work and go to school. But Willoughby says that’s not something he’s seen.

“I see a lot of married women in my classroom,” Willoughby said. “I’ve seen a lot of women with children. I’m probably biased because I am more likely to hear about a student that’s stayed than a student that’s left.”

“There is a stronger and stronger pressure both from society and parents about getting an education and having a career path, even among an LDS population.”

—Brian Willoughby, BYU assistant professor in School of Family Life

Plus, there is a culture shift for women too.

Each semester, Willoughby takes a class poll in his classes asking how many of his female students were incentivized not to get married before graduating for college. There are always at least a third (and up to half the class) that raise their hands.

“There is a stronger and stronger pressure both from society and parents about getting an education and having a career path, even among an LDS population,” Willoughby said.

Despite the cultural shift, most BYU students express a desire to get married and many join the rest of the world in online dating efforts to find a spouse.

How women are combating singledom: Online dating

Birger pointed out in his study that even online dating sites show how single women are outnumbering the single men. Tristen Ure Hunt, founder of Mormon Matchmaker, a Salt Lake dating agency, shared she has “three times more single women than single men in her matchmaking database.”

Strike two.

Many singles use Tinder, a dating app that matches people if both parties “swipe right” on a profile photo, indicating they are interested. With 50 million users (45 percent between the ages of 25 and 34), Tinder has made it’s mark on the scene.

But even Tinder seems to be working in single men’s favor — at least at BYU.

Earlier this week Tinder released its annual list of “Top 10 most swiped-right schools,” and BYU men were named the No. 2 most right-swiped. BYU women didn’t make the top 50 list.

Strike three for the ladies.

Willoughby says that online dating and dating apps are just another part of a cultural change.

“I think it generally feeds into a shifting way in which young adults are thinking about marriage and relationships in marriage,” Willoughby said. “They are thinking about individualistic way more so now. They are thinking about me and finding someone who will make me happy versus going back for generations … where it is about me and another person building something together.

“I think a lot of the social media sites like Tinder feed into this new mentality which is more of a shopping mentality, and Tinder is the perfect example of this where I don’t need any more information than a picture.…”

So, yes, the dating world for young, LDS women with a college degree might be favoring men, but it is just an example matching the trend across the United States — the odds are statistically in men’s favor.

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3 Responses to "Utah women, we know why you are single — it’s in the numbers"

  1. G says:

    Most younger men are becoming MGTOW due to the tsunami of SJW Third Reich feministas. (I like sarcasm,too). There really is no advantage in marriage and nothing but risk for all males in America. Divorce will render men losses from 50-100% of our lifetime savings. Why take an over 50% risk of losing that much? As long as divorce is easier than filling out tax forms, marriage will continue to decline. If women really want marriage, then they must rebel against the Feminist Manifesto and create laws that are fair to restore an incentive for men to marry. It’s that simple. “What has been quickly destroyed takes many times longer to rebuild” (Buddha).

  2. Blaine says:

    Being a single guy over 40 and living in Salt Lake City is pretty much a nightmare when it comes too dating. If your a guy like myself who is heterosexual and has never been married along with not being LDS, DON’T MOVE HERE! Women here will not give you the time of day nor will they even think of dating you because they see it has YOU are the problem. And let’s face the biggest pitfall when it comes to dating a woman from Utah shall we? Women here for the most part are LDS/Mormon and they do not date or marry outside their religion. They are taught by the wanna be prophets of god/Joseph Smith that they are to stay and keep it within the church.

    Then you have the other side of the coin for women in Utah, the ones who date only losers. These guys are the ones you see on the side of the freeways panhandling, wearing dirty clothes and a baseball cap while staring down at the ground looking all pathetic. These losers don’t have a real job even though they are fully able to do so, they don’t have a car and they still live at home in mommies basement sleeping on a pee stained mattress. Because you have these two extremes, finding a decent woman in Utah is pretty much next too impossible. So when you women say the stupid thing you always do (Where have all the good guys gone), think about this, those same (good guys) are asking where have all the decent women gone who will actually give a $$$$ about the guys feelings and one who isn’t chasing his bank account and looking to drag him into divorce court.

    We live in America, a country that penalizes men just for being men. Women have the upper hand in courts, marriage and divorces. In America, women will ALWAYS have first place when it comes to assets, money and property. It’s no wonder so many men have gotten passports to leave this hole and look outside the prison borders. I certainly plan on doing so as well.

    Women, its not in the numbers, it’s in the treatment. Men are getting sick and tired of being ran into the ground and tired of putting up with the same stupid attitude that they are moving on.

    • Jane says:

      Not all of us Blaine. Some of us who were raised lds still just want a good guy regardless of religion. We want someone who is trustworthy, nice, and attentive. We are rare in Utah so it’s hard to find us. I am divorced in my 30’s and left me ex everything, didn’t have any desire to sue. I’m not very materialistic. The most important thing for me is happiness. So generalizing us ladies isn’t fair. if I were to generalize men from my past experiences, I would say that they are users, natural infidels, and commitment phobes… But I won’t do that as I know that there has to be a few good men left out there as there are women. Good luck in your search

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