Respected Australian demographer, Bernard Salt, says there is an increasing difference between the supply of men and women in one of the key reproductive age groups in Australia. In 1976 Australia had 54,000 more men than women aged in their thirties, but by 2006 the excess of young men had turned into a deficit of 9,000.
“Baby Boomer women pairing up in the 1970s had it easy. There were more men than women due to a post-war immigration program that favoured men,” says Mr Salt.
However 30 years later the odds have shifted dramatically. “Australian men are now more likely to seek out job opportunities overseas and our immigration program is more balanced in terms of its intake of males and females.”
“This means that the odds for an Australian woman of finding a partner have altered over the course of a generation. There is simply less product for 30-something women in particular to choose from,” he said.
Social and economic changes are also shaping the partnering market. A gender divide is already apparent across the Australian landscape and especially in the singles market.
“Single men are concentrated in rural and remote communities whereas single women prefer the city and lifestyle towns in seachange and treechange communities.”
Bernard Salt’s study concluded that a generation ago women were more likely to remain in rural communities whereas today they are more mobile. This in turn creates the social issue of connecting single men with single women in the same geography.
These and other findings are contained in Bernard Salt’s book Man Drought and Other Social Issues of the New Century published in 2008. The book is currently out of print and hard to find, but you may be able to pick up a copy online at Bookworld.com.au OR Amazon.com but just in case you can’t find a copy, we’ve included the key findings below.
Key Findings of the Book:
- The 34-year Tipping Point: The number of single men in Australia exceeds the number of single women in each year throughout the 20s. At 25, women have the best odds of finding a partner – at this age there’s 23 per cent more single men than women. However these odds shorten after 30 and by the age of 34 there are more single women than single men. Men suffer a Shelia Shortage in their 20s whereas women endure a Man Drought from 34 onwards.
- Under-Supply of Single Men: At the age of 40, there is a 9 per cent deficiency of single men (i.e. 31,244 single men and 34,413 single women). By age 50 the under-supply of single men pushes out to 17 per cent. At 60 the under-supply is 27 per cent, and at 70 it is 49 per cent. The odds of finding a single male partner get worse for women the older they get. By age 80 there’s a 66 per cent deficit of single men to single women.
- The Glenden Man Dam: The town with the best ratio of single men to single women on the Australian continent at the time of the 2006 census was the Queensland resources town of Glenden 165 km west of Mackay. For some odd reason Glenden had 23 single men aged 40-something and just one single female aged 40-something. If you are in the market for a single 40-something male then the odds don’t get any better than in Glenden. There’s no Man Drought in Glenden, there’s a Man Dam.
- Next Best Man Dams: Other towns offering a high ratio of single men to single women are to be found in Victoria’s Nar-Nar-Goon (12 single 30-something men and one single 30-something woman), Mulbring (25 km west of Newcastle) with a ratio of 11 single men aged 20-something per single 20-something woman, Narembeem 220 km east of Perth where there are 10 single men aged 50-something for every single woman in this age group, and Hamley Bridge (80 km north of Adelaide) where there are 14 single 60-something men per single 60-something woman.
- Sydney’s Bachelor Hotspot: The suburb of Auburn is Sydney’s newest bachelor hotspot with 2.10 single men aged 25-34 per single woman in the same age group. Single women in Sydney on the other hand congregate in Annandale where there are 1.48 single women aged 25-34 for every single male. These are the best odds for the singles market anywhere in Sydney. Perhaps Parramatta Road should be renamed Sydney’s “Road of Love” because it brings together the boys of Auburn with the girls of Annandale.
- Melbourne’s Bachelor Hotspot: Footscray is Melbourne’s hottest suburb for eligible young bachelors with 1.85 single men aged 25-34 per single woman. The Footscray bachelor hotspot centres on Droop Street. Melbourne’s single women are concentrated east of the Yarra at Elwood where there are 1.39 single women aged 25-34 per single male.
- Catch Brisbane’s Love Train from Cleveland: Brisbane’s bachelor hotspot is Cleveland with 2.40 single men aged 25-34 per single woman, whereas single women much prefer Manly West (1.61 single women per single male). Perhaps singles should forsake the car and jump on board the commuter train that links the boys of Cleveland with the girls at Manly West (at Lotta).
- Perth’s Mount Henry Bridge a ‘facilitator of love’: Perth’s bachelor hotspot is the suburb of Karawarra (2.20 single men per single woman) whereas this city’s single women tend to concentrate in Bull Creek (1.81 single women per 3single male). Karawarra is linked to Bull Creek by the Mount Henry Bridge, which must now be viewed as more than a piece of infrastructure; this bridge is a ‘facilitator of love’ bringing together the boys of Karawarra with the girls of Bull Creek.
- Bachelors Best in Adelaide’s Woodville West: Adelaide’s bachelors cluster in Woodville West (3.0 single men per single woman) while single women prefer Seaton with 1.61 single women per single male. Woodville West offers the best odds of any bachelor hotspot in a major Australian city: three boys for every girl.
Other Social Issues of the New Century: Beyond the Man Drought Bernard Salt’s new book looks at changes in the workplace, in lifestyles and in consumer values and preferences.
He argues that the hard edges of the 20th century are giving way to softer and more blurred edges in work, relationships and living styles in the new century.
Man Drought and Other Social Issues of the New Century is written by demographer Bernard Salt. It looks at a range of new social trends including the rise of Generation Y, changes in the workplace, and the dynamics of modern relationships.
Man Drought is Bernard Salt’s third book. His two previous books have been best-sellers: The Big Shift (2001) which predicted the seachange shift, and The Big Picture (2006), which looked at lifestyle and consumer trends.