It’s not uncommon to wonder if you’ll ever find the right person, especially if you look around you and feel that you’re the only single person you know. A major study this summer by the Future Foundation decided to look at where the biggest concentrations of single people of either gender are in the United Kingdom, and found that single women should be looking in the City of London, while single men should be looking in Knowsley, in Merseyside.
The capital generally seems to have the two biggest clusters of men – 155 per 100 women in the City of London, and 126 men to 100 women in the borough of Newham, but after that the ratios are better elsewhere, most notably in the Isles of Scilly, Forest Heath in Sussex and Copeland in Cumbria. After Knowsley, the biggest concentrations of single women are in London, in Enfield and Wandsworth, with Barking, Dagenham, Chichester and Bromley all close behind.
The results display a surprising gap between town and country at a national level. Based on the most recent census results for England and Wales, along with national survey data, the research paints a more precise picture than official figures. The Office for National Statistics merely assumes that people are single if they aren’t living together or married. Most interesting, the figures suggest that the highest proportions of single women live in urban areas with 99 women to 100 men, while there are higher proportions of single men in rural areas, with 103 men for 100 women.
This may not seem like much, but mapped out over the wider population this equates to there being 67,000 more men than women. The disparity is most obvious in the 18-34 age group where there are over 338,000 more single men. This is down to women tending to enter relationships when they are younger, while the proportions are reversed in the older 35-64 age range, with 271,000 more single women.
This broadly matches the proportions of the UK population, with there being a large number of young men and a large number of older women as a trend across the country. As a result, those areas with a generally younger population tend to have bigger surpluses of single men, while areas with older populations tend to have a greater number of single women.