Thursday, June 28, 2007

Get excited... we're average

Maybe it is strange to get excited about being average. But remember the years of thumping by Forbes magazine for being the worst place for singles. They now have a ranking of best cities for young professionals. In a ranking of 40 cities, Pittsburgh came in at 21. According to them Pittsburgh has:
High marks for entrepreneurs, as Pittsburgh ranked 9th for best big and small businesses. A rank of 20th for attracting young professionals and rank of 34th for highest never-married population dragged down the score for this affordable city
Far be it from me to quibble with a number. Wait, before that... Pittsburgh ranks near the top for small business? Someone needs to dig into that.

But the only thing we really do bad on then is our "rank of 34th for highest never-married population ". I am not quite sure what they mean, I think they mean we don't have enough unmarried people around. Is it just another age artifact, we have more elderly around so the proportion of young people around appears lower. So somehow its a bad place for young professionals if you have to talk to old people every now and then. I don't think this says anything about the probability that if you meet someone roughly your age, whether or not they are less likely to be single. Forbes, meet Bayes. Bayes, meet Forbes.

but we're not last.


Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

The wording would indicate that we have too many never-married people, unless they mean "34th highest population of never-married people."

People I know who are not Pittsburgh natives have often observed that people here seem to marry younger than in other cities. So if you move here in your late 20s/early 30s and are single, you might be SOL. You might know better than I whether people here really do marry younger.

Friday, June 29, 2007 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I thought about that and looked at their comments in other cities.. it seems to me they mean we are ranked 34th from the top and the top would be the place with higher "never married" however they define that. but its hard to be sure given their wording. Note the distinction between counting "never married" and single which could include widows and widowers of which we have a disproportionate amount.

Friday, June 29, 2007 1:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why divorced or widowed people don't count. They would be dating and going out just like their never-married counterparts.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007 1:16:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

ok... it's not my metric.. you do probably need to make some accounting for widowed. Consider that if you were to look at male/female ratios across the country, you might conclude Pittsburgh is a great place to be a guy... but that is just an artifact that results because women tend to live longer than men.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007 1:32:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

ha. The Wall Street Journal has even taken this up... with some similar issues. See this blog post and comments:

It could be fun to be the WSJ's numbers guy.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007 7:33:00 AM  

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