downtowngender.jpgA woman used to have to move to Alaska to find herself the center of attention of an overwhelmingly male population; now she just has to move south of Chambers St. According to an article in the New York Times, residential development of lower Manhattan and a booming financial sector economy have resulted in a population that is heavily skewed towards men.

Since 2000, men, mostly between ages 25 and 44, have accounted for more than three-fourths of the population increase in Lower Manhattan. As a result, according to a special census calculation, the sex ratio there increased to 126 men per 100 women in 2005, from 101 men per 100 women in 2000. In the rest of Manhattan, and in the city over all, there were only 90 men for every 100 women.

“For a normal, noninstitutional setting,” said A. Peter Lobo, deputy director of the City Planning Department’s population division, “I would say it is among the highest sex ratios that you would see.”

The census survey, coupled with interviews last week, suggests that what has driven the shift is an influx of well-heeled workaholics on male-dominated Wall Street who prefer short commutes. Nearly one-third of the residents said they walked to work.


Despite the surfeit of male residents, the women interviewed in the story didn't give the impression that downtown was a wonderland of single, rich men waiting to find that special someone, possibly because all the new residents the population shift is attributed to are rarely not working.

(background image of downtown Manhattan, by EricGewiz at flickr)