Count ’em Up: Guys vs Gals

There was a funny exchange that went on last week regarding an article written by Alan Lee on EJ Insight titled “Hey sisters, get real or die alone”. It drew a few responses due to its general sexist tone, most notably by an article by Laurel Chor at HK Coconuts. While the original article from EJ Insight seems have been taken down, the HK coconuts page preserved much of the hilarity, particularly with a few snapshots of FB comments in which the Alan tries to defend his original article along with himself.

Anyway, I’m not here to take a side on that little drama, I’m here to comment on some numbers brought up by Alan’s original article:

“the proportion of women to men in the city was at 1000:856 last year, compared with 1000:904 in 2013.”

I gave the 2015 census data a quick check and got the following numbers:

Male: 3.370,100

Female: 3,954,200

Or roughly, 1000:852 🇭🇰 women to men. Seems close enough.

The thing is though, that ratio is for all of Hong Kong’s entire population, at every age range. 

The first way this skews the data is that women naturally live longer than men, thus the population at the older brackets will be weighted heavily female even though I don’t think that this segment is particularly relevant for examining the dating and marriage market.

We should probably further narrow to exclude people under 20. While 18 probably should be added to the pool, the data is cut into buckets of 5 years; I figured I definitely wanted to exclude 15 year olds from the dating pool that goes all the way up to 39.

All in all, I confined the population to be examined to be between the ages of 20 and 39 (I don’t mean to offend anyone outside this range, it’s kind of a line drawn in the sand by the original article). 

When we confine to this population, we get the following split:

Male (aged 20 – 39): 903,000

Female (aged 20 – 39): 1,195,400

Ouch. That looks even worse. That’s a female to male ratio of 1000:756 

Here’s where it turns around though.

That’s just the raw population counts, if we look at the marriage numbers for that same range, we have:

Married Males (aged 20 – 39): 292,400

Married Females (aged 20 – 39): 543,400

A lot of females have been taken out of the population. This yields an implied single count of:

Single Males (aged 20 – 39): 611,100

Single Females (aged 20 – 39): 652,000

1,000:937 single females to single males. Not as bad right? That’s still 40,900 females hanging though. Will it get worse? Let’s try and guess…

New singles in the 20 – 39 range don’t often come out of the blue, a lot of them come from… people in the 10-19 age bracket. What does that look like? Well, it’s a lot more Male heavy. 

(This next part is a caution to guys in their late 20s and early 30s thinking they will wait 5 years and catch a young 20 something girl.)

The 10 – 19 age range is:

Male: 311,300

Female:  294,000

While not a terribly earth shattering shift on it’s own, sliding the population table 10 years (ignoring immigration) and taking into account very negligible mortality differences at this point, we get this ratio:

Year 2025: (20 – 39 year old) Female to Male Ratio – 1,000:940

Just as a reminder:

Year 2015: (20 – 39 year old) Female to Male Ratio – 1,000:756

2025 is looking way better for the females. What’s more tilting though is that if we keep the current percentage of singles for each gender-age category constant and reapply it to this new aged population in 2025 (remembering that large proportions of men stay single in this age range), we get the following ratio:

Year 2026 [20 – 39 years old, Unmarried] Male to Female Ratio 

1,000 Female : Male 1,160

Not to detract from that punch line, but if men really are the “fine wines” that remain eligible until the 40s. I really should be including the single men at the 40-49 bracket in this, further heightening competition amongst the men for limited women.


Despite all that though, can anyone really get complacent with those numbers? Men in this decade or women in the next? Our individual lives aren’t statistics. It’s not like dating is ranking and matching the entire population of singles until you run out of one gender. You don’t get a date as the shittiest of 600,000 just because the other gender has 600,001.


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