Bundaberg comes in with 91 single men aged in their 30s to every 100 women, leaving nine sadly single women in the age group.
Bundaberg comes in with 91 single men aged in their 30s to every 100 women, leaving nine sadly single women in the age group. Paul Miller

Bundy’s single scene dry

THE Man Drought – more than just a topic on Sex and the City.

The term was first coined by demographer Bernard Salt after he conducted an intensive survey of the nation’s gender and population and found there was an increasing difference between the supply of men and women in the key reproductive age groups.

His findings were presented in his third book Man Drought and Other Social Issues of the New Century and demonstrated that in 1976 Australia had 54,000 more men than women aged in their 30s, but by 2006 the excess of young men had turned into a deficit of 9000.

But thanks to the global financial crisis, it appears that the man drought is easing and in the majority of states may almost be over.

It’s not exactly raining men, but it would appear the drought has broken.

Mr Salt said the GFC had forced Australian expats out of cities such as London, Shanghai and Dubai.

Aussie men working in male-dominated industries, such as financial services, were returning home after the hard economic times had left them without a job.

Mr Salt explained the men returning were mainly single professionals aged in their 30s, and were not being accompanied by similar numbers of women.

Statistics from 2009 showed an extra 35,000 men had appeared in Australia in the past four years, with the overall imbalance of women to men dropping from 133,000 to 98,000.

But Mr Salt warns that while the man drought appears to be easing it could be just temporary.

“Labour will move, talent will move to where the work is,” he said.

Last year’s ABS figures show that for every 100 females in Queensland there are 99.9 males, but the problem is the gender balance is not so evenly split among each towns.

Bundaberg comes in with 91 single men aged in their 30s to every 100 women, leaving nine sadly single women in that age group.

Mr Salt said that it was social and economic changes that shaped the partnering market, with a gender divide apparent across the geography of Queensland especially in the singles market.

A generation ago women were likely to remain in rural communities whereas today they are more mobile and likely to move to the city to study, which creates gender imbalances.

“It’s a story of modern life.

"Women were once happy to marry the local farmer, now they’re more likely to get an education, have a career and move away to the city which upsets the gender, balance between the country and the city,” said Mr Salt.

“Single men tend to be concentrated in rural and remote communities whereas single women prefer the city and lifestyle towns in seachange and treechange communities.

“There is an oversupply of single men in the mining communities as the resources boom is still going strong, whereas women tend to gravitate towards the coast and lifestyle areas, particularly Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.”

He describes the seachange effect as being one of the reasons for the imbalance of men to women in coastal areas.

He said like the main character in the ABC show Seachange, women will often move from a rural area or the city to lifestyle to recover from a failed relationship while the man will stay behind.

“The show really hit the nail on the head,” said Mr Salt.

“Single women who suffer a relationship breakdown look to the coast for a new life.

"They look to lifestyle areas like the Sunshine Coast as almost spiritual places of healing.

"Resulting in an over splice of single women in areas such as the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay and Byron Bay.

"Single men should be onto this!”

He said in industry towns such as Mt Isa, Mackay and Gladstone there was the opposite with an over supply of men in these towns.

“There are fellas out there – it’s just about geography.

"Maybe single women need to go on a rural holiday to Gunnadah or Cootamundra rather than London and New York – that’s where the numbers are.

"They might not like to hear that but that’s where the numbers are,” Mr Salt said.

Lija Jarvis, spokesperson for RSVP, said according to the 2010 RSVP Date of the Nation report, it looked as if the man drought was a thing of the past.

“People still talk about it but it was more of a hot topic a couple of years ago,” she said.

“There are definitely men out there.

"There are a high concentration of single men in far north Queensland.

"There is 10-15% more men than women in Northern Queensland but in the city areas and the Sunshine Coast it is more evenly split.”

She said the breakdown for the areas such as the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane was a 60, 40 split with women the former.

“I don’t think it’s that there aren’t men out there, but they’re not the right ones.”

Steven McConnell, co-founder of the Attraction Institute, a website dedicated to helping men with their dating problems, doesn’t believe in the man drought.

He said it came back people’s attitudes towards dating.

“I meet many women who tell me that there are not enough date-worthy men in Australia.

“And I also met many who tell me that they’re not short of amazing, fulfilling relationships with great guys.

"What’s the difference? Have some women discovered a secret place to meet quality men? Or something clever to say?” Mr McConnell said.

“Well, the short answer is no.

“At the expense of sounding very new-agey, I’ll say that if you’re attracting men who you don’t want to date, have a look at what life you’re living.

"Are you living a fulfilling life of freedom and power?

"Or are you looking for a man because you think that once you get one, things will somehow be better?”

If you want to maximize your chances of finding a potential partner data gathered from dating website eHarmony said the best ‘love hot-spots’ in Queensland were Reedy Creek on the Gold Coast, New Farm in Brisbane and Mount Isa in northern Queensland.

In these areas 64% of people are looking for love and have the highest number of single men.

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