Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lessons from Nerd-dom

I was one of those nerdy kids whose favorite pastime was going to school. I liked to sit in the front of the class, raised my hand often, and asked so many questions that even my own mother grew sick of me. I went to a public school that didn’t particularly support the love of learning, though I was careful to choose an undergraduate school that did (relatively) and a graduate school that not only encouraged active participation, but required it!

After two years of graduate school that forced us to question numbers, regard “facts” with skepticism, and break rules, I have found that I am almost unable to hear statistics of any kind without jumping into analytics mode. This happened recently when a good friend of mine started a exasperated conversation with me after she read an article in Time Out New York that lead with “In February, National Geographic published a fairly stunning statistic: There are 185,000 more single women than single men in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut urban areas combined.” GASP!!! No!! How could this be??? No wonder I’m single.

I did some digging on line to find out the numbers behind the numbers. I couldn’t find comprehensive numbers of single men and women in the tri-state urban areas so let’s assume, absolute worst case, that the entire 185,000 singles gap between the genders live in New York City. Here’s how it breaks down:

2.9 million single men live in New York City. 1.75 million of which are “unattached”, meaning they are not in a serious dating relationship.

Since the population is fairly evenly split, let’s assume that there are also 2.9 million (plus the additional 185,000) single women in New York City. That’s roughly a total of 3.1 million single women.

Also, given that our population is evenly split, let’s assume that there are an equal number of men and women in New York City. The total population of NYC is just over 8 million. 4 million male, 4 million female.

Basically, we are getting ourselves all wound up because the 72.5% (2.9 million / 4.0 million) of males in New York are single and 77.5% (3.1 million / 4.0 million) of females are single. Are you kidding me? A worst-case 5% differential is a “stunning” statistic? On principle, I am boycotting Time Out New York until they get someone on their staff who can work a four function calculator and doesn’t abide by the principle of “let’s twist some numbers around to create sensationalism to sell more magazines!” Ridiculous.

Single ladies, get out there with your head held high and have some fun. Don’t get bogged down by people trying to tell you that you’ll be single forever if you stay in this city. Bologna. There are 1.75 million unattached men in New York for you to meet – you better get a move on! That’s an awful lot of dates.

1 comment:

Janet said...

I love you for being a nerd!