Census shows where to look for love

Globe and Mail Update
Tuesday, July 16 – Online Edition, Posted at 6:00 PM EST

Canadian women looking for love should travel north, while single men have the strongest statistical chance at a match by heading west.

The statistics come from the 2001 national census, conducted every five years. Wednesday's release covering age and sex statistics from across the country.

In 2001 Canadian women may have outnumbered the men, particularly in the Atlantic provinces, but they're in luck in Nunavut where there are 107.2 males for every 100 females.

Nova Scotia had 468,920 women and 439,090 men, a ratio of only 93.6 men for every 100 women, the lowest in Canada.

Sidney B.C., a seaside community on Vancouver Island had the fourth lowest men-to-women ratio of municipalities of 5,000 people or more in the country (81.5 men for every 100 women), but single guys won't be flocking there anytime soon.

"We're a bit of a retirement centre," said Sidney mayor Don Amos. "A lot of people come when they're around 55 or 60. Men don't live as long as women traditionally, so there we go."

"I guess we're a hopping singles environment for those who are semi-retired and retired. A lot of young-thinking ladies are available."

In Alberta, there was virtually one man for every woman in 2001, despite the fact that Canada's youngest and fastest-growing province is home to 14 of the 25 municipalities with the highest ratio of men to women.

"Alberta was the key gainer in interprovincial migration; it draws a lot of youth from the Atlantic provinces and the neighbouring provinces, so there's a lot of young people working in Alberta," said Statistics Canada analyst François Nault.

"These people are also of parental age, so it's the same double bang that you get when you get a migrant: it's a young person, one that's susceptible to having a kid, so in the end it's a young population."

Overall the census counted 14.7 million men and 15.3 million women, a ratio of 96 men for every 100 women.

The census also found 3,795 Canadians aged 100 and over in 2001, compared with 3,125 in 1996 — a 21 per cent increase.

Among Canadian centenarians, 3,055 were women and 740 were men. They were distributed among the provinces in just about the same proportions as the total population: 36 per cent lived in Ontario, 21 per cent in Quebec and 14 per cent in B.C.

Data show that the median age of Canadians — the age at which half the population is older and half younger — was 37.6, an all-time high. That's up from 35.3 in 1996.

"We've been on an aging curve since 1966," Mr. Nault said. "In '66, the median age was 25. Today it's 37.6 ... we're really on a trend going up and it's going to go up for a while."

Due to a narrowing gender mortality differences, senior men have been regaining some of the ground that they lost to their female counterparts in the four decades between 1951 and 1991.

In 2001, there were 75 senior males for every 100 senior women, up from 72 in 1991. Prior to 1991, the ratio of men to women had been declining steadily since 1951 when it was virtually one-to-one.

With files from Canadian Press

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