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Why are there more women than men in Eastern US cities?

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Since seeing this map, Decision Science News can’t quite figure it out. Why do the surpluses of men and women look as they do? What’s up with California?

Source of map:



  1. Alan Schwartz says:

    More single immigrant men than women in california? More male tech workers in california? More single women working outside the home and not interested in responding to the US census in California?

    June 29, 2009 @ 3:36 am

  2. Jeff Galak says:

    One theory I heard (cite needed) was that more women attend college, there are better and more colleges on the East Coast, and people tend to live where they went to college. Though this theory has the smell of truthiness, rather than truth.

    June 29, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

  3. Matthew says:

    Map resembles a map of Military Installations in the US. You don’t think they are that obtuse, do you? Good thing you have to do so much leg work to uncover the counting criteria.

    July 1, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

  4. Ye Li says:

    For whatever reason, this is the first thing that came to me: men flock to places where they think they’ll find attractive women (beach and ski bunnies) and women flock to places where they think they’ll find high-earning men. However, that doesn’t explain the entire middle of the country.

    I bet the college explanation explains at least part of the variance…It’d help if the dots were in terms of ratios rather than absolute differences. Makes it hard to distinguish city size effects from actual gender disparities.

    July 2, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

  5. Gwion Bach says:


    Immigrants, particularly illegal ones, are more likely to be male. The highest percentages of immigrants are in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida.

    It corresponds perfectly with your map.

    July 7, 2009 @ 5:12 am

  6. Gwion Bach says:

    I can’t believe nobody realized this.

    Seriously, have the other commenters here never BEEN to California, Texas, or Florida and seen how many immigrants there are there? You can’t sneeze without a booger landing on an immigrant, and most of them are male for obvious reasons.

    July 7, 2009 @ 5:25 am

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