I honestly would ignore this... but I feel obliged. We have been through this before. Yes Forbes has again come out listing us near the bottom on its "best places for singles"
Some years ago I had a message from someone at Forbes magazine. If I understood it right they needed someone to confirm that Pittsburgh was an 'old' region. Either I was busy, didn't realize they were on deadline, or couldn't comprehend they needed someone to "check" that statistic and I didn't get back to them. The next week I think was when the first Forbes "Best Places for Singles" list and we were ranked 40 out of 40. One of the key causes was clearly the demographics. I doubt anything I would have said would have dissuaded them from their list at that point, but I should have called them back. Might have earned a half sentence of explanation... but no... the angst machine has its ration for the day.
I just am not going to take the time to parse the entire Forbes story
.. But it clearly places some weight on a metric defined as the percentage of the population that has never been married. They even say they double weight that metric
. What does that mean? Here is the perspective that gets lost. Yup, no denying it, lots of old folks around. and guess what, most of them have been married in the past. It must be just a horrible place to date as a result right?
Here are some quick numbers. For the population age 15 and over in 2000, 26.2% of Pittsburgh's has never been married, which is indeed lower than 27.1% for the US population. Even if you think it matters that's less than a percentage point. But there is a bigger point. The percentage here is clearly impacted by our larger elderly population. If you look within age cohorts you get a different picture. Among those age 20-24, 83.8% of the Pittsburgh population had never been married, compared to 74% for the US as a whole. For 25-29 year olds, 50.6% of the Pittsburgh population had never been married compared to 43.7% for the US. In fact for every individual age cohort including seniors, the percentage of population that has never been married is higher
in Pittsburgh than the US. Hell, it's even a better place for seniors to find a date than elsewhere. It's only when you aggregate the different (young and old) groups that you get Pittsburgh ranking below the US...
Maybe you think: so what?... old is old and unmarried is unmarried. Depends on what the point is to begin with. If there is a point that is. If you throw a dart at a map of Pittsburgh, you are indeed less likely to have it land on someone who has never been married compared to elsewhere. Yet if you go bar-hopping on the South Side one evening, among the younger population likely to be out, the probability that the person on the barstool next to you is unmarried is actually much higher than the US as a whole. So unless you are scamming for a date in a senior center you are not impacted much by this notional lack of singles here...Update:
Amos points out that a table would be clearer, and possibly exlain some of the confusing numbers. Here is what I pull from the 2000 Census on the marital status of US and Pittsburgh populations by age. You will see that the "never married %" is higher for all Pittsburgh age cohorts even though the overall percentage is lower.. again, an artifact of just having more elderly here.
United States Pittsburgh
Married Total Married Total
15-17 11,626,885 11,869,522 98.0% 89,107 90,368 98.6%
18 and 19 7,279,799 8,041,530 90.5% 54,737 59,095 92.6%
20-24 14,085,200 19,025,980 74.0% 110,380 131,751 83.8%
25-29 8,394,149 19,212,244 43.7% 66,988 132,440 50.6%
30-34 5,247,870 20,365,113 25.8% 43,058 152,340 28.3%
35-44 7,167,680 45,905,471 15.6% 65,323 376,930 17.3%
45-54 3,313,475 37,578,609 8.8% 34,770 339,529 10.2%
55-59 757,864 13,383,251 5.7% 8,320 120,468 6.9%
60-64 518,607 10,787,979 4.8% 6,142 103,598 5.9%
65-74 798,277 18,501,149 4.3% 12,152 208,472 5.8%
75-84 519,442 12,317,262 4.2% 9,981 160,625 6.2%
85+ 204,122 4,160,561 4.9% 3,165 48,712 6.5%
Sum 59,913,370 221,148,671 27.1% 504,123 1,924,328 26.2%