What Is The Statistical Chance Of Finding The Love Of My Life?

I must admit. I am starting to get desperate. I am ready to settle down and have a family. However, older you get, the harder it is to find a mate because the majority of our population matches up soon after college. Sorry to be a Debbie downer, but it is my opinion that finding a mate that suits your preferences and who is interested in you is very hard indeed.

According to the 2011 U.S. Census, 84% of the Caucasian population between 20 to 24 years of age were not married yet (1). That does not mean that all of these single women were actually “single”. I’m sure some of these individuals were in relationships, but nonetheless they were not married. This percentage of “availability” drops to 54%, and then 30%, and finally 18% between 25-29, 30-34, and 35-39 years of age, respectively. By the time an individual turns 40, the likelihood that he/she will ever become married, if the person is single at that time-point, is slim, as the percentage of never married 40-44 year olds is 15%, and remains relatively the same up to 60 years of age. So if you are single by that point, your chances of marriage is not good.

As a 44-year-old Caucasian male, I am one of the 18% of the Caucasian men in my age group (40-44 years of age) that has never been married. I would like to think that I have a lot going for me. I’m decent looking, neatly dressed and tall (6’1), and in fact only 11% of individuals my age are as tall or taller than me (2), and women generally don’t want to be in a relationship in which they are taller than their male partners (3). So I’ve got that covered. I’m of healthy proportions [my body mass index (BMI), which is weight (kg) divided by height (in m2) is normal (22.4 kg/m2)] (2), I have an excellent credit rating (812, provided by Equifax), and I am a college professor (PhD). I’m well published and successful in my profession. I ran three Boston Marathons, and I am a 4.0 computer rated USTA tennis player. So I’m fit, too. Theoretically, all these should be attractive qualities for educated females. I’ve spent about $2,000 dollars on matchmaking services to no avail. So, on a lonely Monday night, I have decided to statistically determine the percentage of available women that are in the U.S. who suit my preferences and who may be interested in me.

My preference is a slender, non-smoking, Caucasian woman with perhaps a bachelor’s degree or above, between the ages of 25-39.

According to the 2011 U.S. Census (1), there are 6,660,000 single Caucasian women (never married) in the U.S between 25 and 39 years of age. There are 1,940,000 divorced women of the same age range (25 to 39). So, let’s add these two together = 8,600,000 (eight million six hundred thousand). That is about 3% of the total U.S. population of 320,400,000 (5) that could be available for marriage.

Now consider that about 18% of these 8,600,000 women have a BMI of 21 or less (6). Since, I usually date women under a BMI of 21, my desired sample would be reduced to about 18% of my preferred female population. That leaves me with 1,548,000 Caucasian single women in the U.S who are single, Caucasian, and of my correct BMI preference.

Now 40% of those women have a college degree (Bachelor’s or more) (7). So, that leaves me with 619,200 available, slender, Caucasian women in the U.S. with a college education and of the right BMI. As 82% of these women are non-smokers (8), that leaves me with 507,744 women or about 6% of 25 to 39 yr old population in the U.S.(0.32% of the total female population in the U.S.).Thus, in any city, 0.32% of the female population would fit my preferences.

Of the 507,744 women available in the U.S., what about certain personality factors, exercising habits, and other “likeness” constructs that I wish for my partner to possess? I would say about 30% of these women would have amicable personality traits and other attributes that would suit my liking. But this is a big guess. So, we are now left with 152,323 women that I would get along with. Now, what percentage of those women would find me attractive? Again, I can’t find any data on the percentage of women that you like who like you too. So I’m going to take an educated guess and say that 20% of these women would also find me attractive.

So, that leaves me with 30,645 women in the U.S. that fit my desires and who find me attractive.

Remember, this statistical estimate is based on women that have never been married or are divorced. But the U.S. Census did not give me insight as to the percentage of those single women who are in “relationships.” Let’s say half of these women are in relationships, so now, we are left with 15,344 women in the U.S. that fit my criteria.

Given that the percentages of lesbians in the U.S., hovers around 4% (9), then that would leave me with a final total allotment of 14,730 women, or 0.17% of available women in the U.S that matches my preferences [(14,730÷8,600,000) x 100]. Good grief.

In a large city like New York (population 8,406,000) there are 226,962 single Caucasian women 25 to 39 yrs of age (0.027 x 8,406,000). This would leave me with 386 women that fit my desires and who find me attractive (0.0017 x 226,962). However, I don’t live in New York. I live in a town that has 751,000 residents. Thus, there would be 20,277 single Caucasian women of my preference 25 to 39 yrs of age (0.027 x 751,000). This would leave me with 35 women in my local area who fit my desires and who find me attractive (0.0017 x 20,277). What are the chances that I bump into one of these 34 women in a population of 751,000? Pretty damn low. Now imagine if I do not want to date women with children and that I want to raise a family of my own without raising someone else’s children (only because I’d like to avoid possible mixed family complications). Well, this would dwindle this population of available, desirable women even further since 33% of women 25 to 39 years of age have no children (10). So, now 0.056% of a given population would be suitable for me (0.0017 x 0.33 = 0.000561). In my area, I would be done to 11 women who fit my desires and who also would find me attractive. The huge task is to figure out where these 11 ladies are, or is it time to move?

Thus, for someone that has selected only five major desirable traits in a mate, I’ve narrowed my selection to 0.17% of the female population. If I want a sixth desirable trait (no previous children), I’m at now 0.056% of the population. So you can see America, I am totally screwed, or rather, NOT screwed (pun intended).

Ladies, as for your own statistical computations you may observe that I also fall into the hard to find group. However, if any of the above mentioned 0.056% (or 0.17%) of the women happen to read this and have the preference for a tall (6’1”), blue eyed, family oriented, left-handed, 44 yrs of age, 6’1, 170 lbs, Caucasian, college professor, never married, no children, I make your search easier; I can be reached at im2exl@gmail.com. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


  1. U.S. Department of Commerce. United States Census Bureau.
  2. U.S. Department of Commerce. United States Census Bureau.
  3. Stulp, G., Buunk, A. P., & Pollet, T. V. (2013). Women want taller men more than men want shorter women. Personality and Individual Differences. 54, 887-883.
  4. World Health Organization
  5. U.S. Population
  6. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2006) (NHANES)
  7. Percent of women with at least a college degree
  8. U.S. Smokers
  9. Percentage of Lesbians in U.S.
  10. Census.gov

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