Single people outnumber married people in America today, and about 18 million of those single Americans are age 65 or older. If you’re part of that population of single seniors, meeting and dating someone may seem difficult. But Americans 55 and older are more likely to remarry now than they were 50 years ago, so there’s hope.
Now the bad news if you’re a single older female, or the good news if you’re a single older man: Older women (65+) outnumber older men, by a ratio of about 5:4. The ratio of single older women to single older men is worse, about 5:2. Competition can be tough for older women looking for male companions.
And it’s not all good news for men: Only 15% of previously married women want to remarry, while about 30% of previously married men want to get hitched again. Sorry, fellas, the ladies might be over you.
So, what’s an older man or woman to do to meet the opposite sex? Perhaps find the best places and the best activities where the odds swing in your favor.
After55.com’s recent senior-living survey offers some insight. More than 700 of our readers, between ages 50 and 89, told us what activities they want in retirement communities. Our survey respondents and data research pointed us to two ideas for single seniors.
Older Men, Move East! Older Women, Go Small
The Martin Prosperity Institute crunched American Community Survey data to see where in the United States men outnumber women and vice versa. The map below shows their findings for singles ages 45-64, the oldest group researchers analyzed.
All that pink? That’s where single older women outnumber single older men. See those tiny blue specks? Those are the few metros where eligible older men outnumber their female counterparts. (View a much larger version of the map here.)
The New York metro is the epicenter for single older women, with 325,000 more women than men. Other metros with a lot more single older women than men are Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, Houston and Boston.
So, what cities are those blue dots? Smaller communities where the odds favor women, namely: Hanford-Corcoran, California; Jacksonville, North Carolina; The Villages, Florida; Watertown-Fort Drum, New York; and Michigan City-La Porte, Indiana.
Women, Hit the Ballpark; Men, Get Crafty
After55.com’s survey offers other possibilities closer to home for single seniors who live in a senior-housing or retirement community. We asked respondents to look over 25 potential senior-living activities to pick which ones interest them the most.
We then compared and contrasted activities that interested at least 15% of our male or female respondents. While there was a decent amount of overlap (everybody likes exercise, swimming and walking), a few activities stood out as unique for each sex.
Where the Women Are:
-Doing arts and crafts
-Taking educational classes (languages, etc.)
-Participating in book clubs
-Going on shopping trips
-Gardening and flower-arranging
Where the Men Are:
-Going on trips to sporting events
-Playing billiards and ping pong
-Golfing and fishing (write-in choices)
Though both sexes said they’d enjoy trips to museums and cultural events, women were interested at a significantly higher percentage, 35% to 23%. So, men, get some culture.
And, interestingly, a higher percentage of men (24%) than women (16%) were interested in cooking and baking. The community kitchen could be a singles hot spot.
For women, while you could join a book club or go on a shopping trip, you’re more likely to find men at the ballpark or in the game room, our survey suggests. For men, while you could go fishing or hit the links, you’re more likely to find women on the dance floor or in the crafts room.
So, if you want to meet new people, stretch yourself with some new activities. You’re bound to meet some interesting people – and maybe get a few dates – along the way.
Your turn: If you met your partner at 55+ or 65+, where and how did you get together? Share your story in the comments.